Former students gather for concert celebrating “Mr. K.”

Posted on: March 1, 2010

“The other day, I found myself rummaging through a closet, searching for my old viola,” writes Joanne Lipman in Sunday’s (2/28) New York Times. “I barely remembered where it was, much less how to play it. But I had just gotten word that my childhood music teacher, Jerry Kupchynsky—‘Mr. K.’ to his students—had died. In East Brunswick, N.J., where I grew up, nobody was feared more than Mr. K. He ran the town’s music department with a ferocity never before seen in our quiet corner of suburbia. … After almost a half-century of teaching, at the age of 81, Mr. K. had died of Parkinson’s disease. And across the generations, through Facebook and e-mail messages and Web sites, came the call: it was time for one last concert for Mr. K.—performed by us, his old students and friends. … There were people who hadn’t played in decades, sitting alongside professionals like Mr. K.’s daughter Melanie, now a violinist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. … Yet the legacy he had left behind was pure joy. … You could feel it when the full orchestra, led by one of Mr. K.’s protégés, poured itself into Tchaikovsky and Bach.”

Posted March 1, 2010