Dr. Yannatos passed away
Dr. Yannatos passed away yesterday, October 19th, 2011.
I have been his teaching assistant the last semester he taught orchestral conducting at Harvard University, in the Spring of 2009. I remember his sharp humor. His great experience was very valuable to the undergraduates who were taking his class.
The Harvard Music Department has not yet announced the news on their web site, but I guess they are going to plan a celebration concert.
Besides being a great musician and a charismatic conductor, he was a true educator. Published in 1978, his book Explorations in musical materials: A working approach to making music was written while Dr. Yannatos was teaching elementary composition to students with little musical training.
Just a quote from the preface:
When teachers reexamine the elements of music with the fresh perspective and perceptions of their students, they can better organize their own understanding of basic musical elements - no matter what period of music they specialize in.