Obituary: Honens Competition champion Andrew Raeburn, 77

Posted on: August 30, 2010

An un-bylined article in Monday’s (8/30) Calgary Herald (Alberta, Canada) states, “If anyone could truly be said to be the driving force behind Calgary’s Esther Honens International Piano Competition, it was Andrew Raeburn, who died at age 77 last Tuesday, of lung cancer. Raeburn served as the artistic head of the Honens competition for 11 years, his tenure stretching from 1993 to 2004. Raeburn put the ‘international’ into the title, nurturing it to take its place among the top piano competitions around the world. Raeburn, who lived through the Battle of Britain as a child, told the Herald in an interview a decade ago that he started the violin at age four, the piano at six, ‘and the organ when my feet could reach the pedals.’ … His was a unique vision for the Honens: ‘You shouldn’t play music of any of the great classical and romantic composers unless you’re familiar with the non-piano works—the opera, the oratorio or songs—because very often great choral and operatic works are the products of a mature composer and you can see in the earlier pieces the germination of ideas that bore fruit in later works.’ ”

Posted August 30, 2010