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August 08, 2014

Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington Remembers Peter Sculthorpe

We just heard the sad news that our friend Peter Sculthorpe died. Peter is as central to Australia’s music as Aaron Copland is to America’s music. He was a tireless advocate for other composers and his warm, gregarious and fun-loving presence contributed enormously to the world of music.

I’ll never forget his kind response, in impeccable penmanship, to my first fan letter. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Peter’s String Quartet #8 was a Kronos theme song and was central to our first Nonesuch album. He was always pleased to hear that his music was being played in jails, schools, outdoor festivals, concert halls and everywhere else imaginable. Over the years Peter wrote three beautifully vivid works for Kronos and arranged his breakthrough piece Irkanda lV. With his From Ubirr he also brought the didjeridoo into the world of Kronos. Somehow things have always seemed right knowing Peter was in Sydney bringing his music to life. We miss him immensely.

Peter Sculthorpe

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