April 6, 2010

R.I.P. Charles Dowd

by Moss

From the Eugene Weekly:

The Dowd Effect
The master musician’s lasting legacy
by Brett Campbell

Charles Dowd
Let’s bang the drum slowly for longtime Eugene Symphony timpanist and UO percussion prof Charles Dowd, who died last week. Acclaimed by critics and audiences for his performances at festivals, concerts and in studios around the world and across the U.S., Dowd was even more renowned in the percussion world for contributing to the development of what Evelyn Glennie has called the “instrument of the 20th century” through his nine books, many journal publications and teaching residencies. He was best known here for the scintillating performances of the Oregon and University Percussion Ensembles, which — thanks to Dowd’s irrepressible combination of fun, ferocious precision and forward looking exploration — regularly gave the most exciting and entertaining concerts at the university. Where so many classical concerts are stiff, staid affairs, UO percussion concerts were always an unpredictable delight, with audiences picking up on the students’ joy. Dowd played a major role in solidifying the position of 20th-century percussion composers such as John Cage and Lou Harrison in the repertoire, and shattered the silly barriers between rock and postclassical music by frequently featuring the work of Frank Zappa and others and moving beyond the field’s narrow, self-imposed borders. For all that, his most lasting legacy will lie in the high-standard work of the many students, now teaching and performing across the country, he taught and inspired in a 35 year career of the highest musical contributions to this community. We’ll miss him, but his beat will go on

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

09/08/2014. Tonight I found out that my childhood friend had past away four years ago. I had called him after forty plus years and he returned the call but I had to call him back. We never connected and now I know why. We had French class together in High School and he lived one block from my house in Mantua, Ohio. We double dated even. I am so saddened but at least I have read about the success I knew he would have. Always my pal.

Art Rowles/Walnut, CA.