Aspen Pays Tribute to Dorothy Delay



Aspen Music Festival's tribute to the late violin teacher Dorothy DeLay on August 4, 2002, recalled the gentle—yet determined—nature of the woman who made an important contribution to the lives and careers of countless students since 1970 at Aspen. Violinist Robert McDuffie—a student of DeLay, who died March 24 after a long illness–spoke eloquently of his mentor. He recalled her motherliness (she referred to everyone as either "sweetie," "dearie," or "sugarplum") as well as her notoriously uncompromising support for her students and tremendous ambition for their success. More importantly, he turned his words into sounds in very touching performances of "Agathon" from Bernstein's "Serenade after Plato's Symposium" and the Andante from Barber's violin concerto, with David Zinman conducting the Aspen Chamber Symphony. Nothing could have better evoked the loss of, in McDuffie's words, "one of the most important pairs of ears and certainly the biggest heart" as well as her ongoing legacy in the world's practice rooms and concert halls. The short list of her best-known students includes Itzhak Perlman, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Gil Shaham, Midori, Sarah Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, and Nigel Kennedy.

*This article appeared in Strings October 2002
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