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Tuesday January 21, 2014

Udo Kasemets
Udo, beloved partner of
Catharine Hindson (deceased)
and dear friend and teacher of
Susan Layard, passed away on
January 19, 2014 at the age of
94. Udo was an Estonian-born
Canadian composer of chamber,
orchestral, piano and vocal
works as well as a conductor,
pianist, organist, teacher and
writer. He was born on
November 16, 1919 in Tallinn,
Estonia where he studied music
at the Tallinn Conservatory. He
later continued his studies in
Stuttgart and Darmstadt. In
1951, he emigrated to Canada
where he worked as a composer
and musician in Toronto and
Hamilton for the rest of his life,
becoming a Canadian citizen in
1957. In 1971, he joined the
Faculty of Experimental Arts at
the Ontario College of Art,
where he taught until retiring in
1987. In 1991, he received an
Honorary Doctorate from York
University for his achievements
in Canadian music. During his
career, Udo made many
contributions to Toronto's music
scene. He was one of the first in
Canada to promote the ideas of
American composer John Cage
He organized Toronto's first new
music series, Men, Minds and
Music, and then established the
Isaacs Gallery Mixed Media
Concerts. After retiring from
OCA, Udo continued to
compose, perform and write
Highlights included:
performances of his
compositions honouring poets
Louis Zukofsky, Robert Creeley
and Susan Howe and artist
Michael Snow; writing for
Musicworks; his CD Udo
Kasemets: Requiem Renga/ Palestrina on Devil's Staircase/ The Eight House of I Ching; a
composer recital during the
Estonian Music Days 2006; and a
concert by Toronto-based New
Music Concerts celebrating his
90th birthday. Udo very much
enjoyed his collaborations with
other musicians and artists, and
he was most grateful to Robert
Aitken, Stephen Clarke, Paul
Dutton, Malcolm Goldstein,
Paavo Järvi, Mani Mazinani, Rick
Sacks, Holly Small, Linda Catlin
Smith, and Pierre Tremblay for
offering their extraordinary
talents to the performance of his
music. Udo would have wanted
to thank Jill Aston, John
Beckwith, Austin Clarkson, Trish
Doney, Paul Dutton, Mani
Mazinani, Rick Sacks and Linda
Catlin Smith, for their
tremendous support during his
recent illness, and the caring
staff at Vermont Square for their
unwavering kindness and
devotion. Udo's understanding
of music, art and life has had a
lasting effect on all who knew
him. He will be greatly missed
There will be a concert in his
honour at a later date.Donations
may be made to Array Music
(www.arraymusic.com) and/or
New Music Concerts
(www.newmusicconcerts.com)

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