In Wednesday’s (2/23) Charleston Gazette (West Virginia), Kathryn Gregory writes, “Grant Cooper said the earthquake in New Zealand caused more than a loss of life—it caused a loss of cultural identity for many of the country’s people. ‘The pictures of the city are devastating,’ said Cooper, artistic director and conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and a New Zealand native. The country’s deadliest natural disaster in 80 years struck just before 1 p.m. New Zealand time on Tuesday (about 7 p.m. Monday here). … The earthquake measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, and a series of aftershocks, some as big as 5.0 on the Richter scale, continued to rattle the country Wednesday. Cooper, who grew up in the New Zealand capital of Wellington, about 250 miles from Christchurch, said Wednesday evening that he had just been talking about the tragedy at symphony rehearsal.” A message on the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra website in New Zealand reported that back offices are currently not operational, but all staff and musicians appear to be safe.
Posted February 24, 2011