Obituary: Cellist, conductor and composer Kermit Moore, 82

Posted on: November 12, 2013

In Tuesday’s (11/12) New York Times, Margalit Fox reports on the death of African-American cellist, conductor, and composer Kermit Moore on November 2 in Manhattan at 82. Moore “appeared as a soloist and chamber player on some of the world’s leading concert stages. He was renowned for championing the work of 20th-century composers.” In 1949 he “became the principal cellist of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, one of only a few African-Americans in the United States to hold such a post. He taught at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, the Harlem School of the Arts and elsewhere.” He was “a regular guest conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and also led the Detroit Symphony, the Berkeley (Calif.) Symphony and Opera Ebony. Mr. Moore was a founder, the principal cellist, a frequent conductor and an administrator of the Symphony of the New World, an ensemble, begun in New York in 1964, that sought to represent minorities and women in far greater numbers than traditional orchestras did.” A native of Akron, he studied cello at the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, and composition and musicology at New York University. Moore composed string quartets; works for cello; the composition “Many Thousand Gone” for strings, flute, percussion and chorus; and soundtracks for the documentaries “Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice” and “Solomon Northup’s Odyssey.”

Posted November 12, 2013