Tribute to Claire Brook (1925-2012)


Photo: Christian Steiner

23 October 2012: Join us for a tribute to the extraordinary life of Claire Brook at 6:00 pm in the Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue (between 34th and 35th Streets). Brief musical and spoken tributes to Claire by friends, family, and colleagues, including Bill Bolcom, Joan Morris, Drake McFeely, Mark DeVoto, Larry Stempel, Robert White, Allan Atlas, Edward Smaldone, Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Bob Kessler, and others, will be followed by a wine and cheese reception. See program below. Join us in person, or join us virtually, by clicking on Under “Live Video”, click on the link titled “Tribute to Claire Brook”.

Claire Brook has been a stalwart friend and supporter of the Graduate Center’s Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation, named for her late husband (d.1997) who founded the Center in 1989. She served on its advisory board for many years, was the director of the French Opera in the 17th and 18th Centuries facsimile series, and was a member of the board of directors of Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM). Claire was the former music editor at W.W. Norton Co.

Claire Brook was born in New York City and distinguished herself early in the field of music as a pianist and composer. She attended the High School of Music and Art, graduated from Queens College and received a Masters degree in music from Columbia University. Immediately thereafter she studied composition in Paris with the pre-eminent teacher Nadia Boulanger. She was married for 35 years to Barry S. Brook, head of the doctoral program in musicology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. They traveled the world together and always considered Paris their second home. After her retirement from W.W. Norton, she was Executive Editor at Pendragon Press, a publisher of musicological books and series that she and Barry founded with her brother, Robert Kessler. In addition to her work with the Brook Center, Claire was a member of the board of directors of Tannery Pond Concerts, and a member of the Century Club, as well as many other organizations.

Tribute to Claire Brook: Program
6:00 PM, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Welcome: Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie
Director, Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation

Bird Songs at Eventide (1926), Eric Coates/Royden Barrie
Robert White, tenor; William Bolcom, piano

Tribute: Bob Kessler, brother of Claire Brook
Managing Editor, Pendragon Press

Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 3, D.899 (1827), Franz Schubert
Christian Steiner, piano

Tribute: Edward Smaldone
Director, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College

Oblivión (from the score for the film Eduardo IV, 1984), Astor Piazzolla
Allan Atlas, English concertina; Marta Bedkowska-Reilly, cello; Alana Murphy, piano

Tribute: Drake McFeely
Chairman and President, WW Norton

A la Belle Étoile (1947), Joseph Kosma/Jacques Prévert/ William Bolcom (trans.)
Nice Work if You Can Get It
(1937), George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin
Joan Morris, soprano; William Bolcom, piano

Tribute: Larry Stempel
Professor of Music, Fordham University

Bruach na carraige báine (The Brink of the White Rock), traditional sean nos air
Allan Atlas, concertina

Tribute: Mark DeVoto
Professor of Music, emeritus, Tufts University

Graceful Ghost (1970), William Bolcom
William Bolcom, piano

Reception to follow in Elebash Recital Hall lobby area

For more information about the tribute, call 212-817-1996 or email