The news that David Crosby had died took a while to sink in last week. Still young at 51, he was a vibrant, strong and positive force in local musical life. He passes with a huge string of accomplishments to his credit, all of them motivated by a fervent desire to build something enduring and valuable for the area community.
He was also a delightful, down-to-earth person, without the least guile or pretense. He was naturally inquisitive as a musician, always seeking new ways to enliven his performances as the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra's music director, checking the latest scholarly editions, trying various tempi and phrasings, letting his intuitive judgment be the arbiter, rather than adhering doggedly to canonical authority.
I don't think David had a mean bone in his body. When I had the good fortune to join the WCO in 1981 as the soloist in the Bach Concerto in D Minor for Harpsichord and Strings, he was a high-spirited leader and a warm, attentive collaborator, and he treated me with utmost kindness.
I'm sure not only his family, close friends and musical
colleagues will miss him greatly, but so will the many
thousands who flocked to the Capitol square for the summer
concerts and to various local venues for the WCO's artist
-- Jess Anderson
Isthmus, July, 1998
Copyright 1998 Jess Anderson