Obituary: Philip Gossett, leading scholar of Italian opera, 75

Posted on: June 14, 2017

“Dr. Philip Gossett, a retired music scholar and professor of music at the University of Chicago who was considered one of the world’s foremost experts on 19th-century Italian opera, died Monday at his home in the Hyde Park neighborhood,” writes John von Rhein in Wednesday’s (6/14) Chicago Tribune. “The cause of death was progressive supernuclear palsy, a rare degenerative disease…. Gossett was widely respected as an authority on the operas of Gioachino Rossini and Giuseppe Verdi, having served as general editor of the collected Rossini works and coordinating editor of the collected Verdi works. The latter edition was published by the University of Chicago Press and Casa Ricordi, Milan. The critical edition of Rossini operas he supervised or prepared himself was based on painstaking study of manuscript sources and librettos…. The edition has done much to spur the contemporary revival of interest in, and performances of, Rossini’s long-neglected stage works…. Born in New York, Gossett studied at Columbia and Princeton universities….. He was the first music scholar to be given the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award. He also held the Cavaliere di Gran Croce, the Italian government’s highest civilian honor…. Survivors include his wife, Suzanne Gossett, professor emerita of English at Loyola University Chicago; and sons David and Jeffrey.”

Posted June 14, 2017