Friday, December 10, 2010

Sergiu Luca/Peter Marzio

Two major losses have brought the Houston arts community together in mourning this past week:

Peter C. Marzio, the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for the last 28 years, died this morning of cancer, the museum announced. During his tenure, the museum’s attendance increased from 380,000 people annually to over 2 million, and its endowment grew to over $700 million. The Houston Chronicle obituary highlights his achievements: "The collection's rapid growth was accompanied by many other milestones under Marzio's tenure: the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen sculpture garden designed by artist Isamu Noguchi; the European decorative arts center, Rienzi, donated by Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III; and the Audrey Jones Beck Building, designed by architect Rafael Moneo."

Marzio's death follows on the heels of music pioneer Sergiu Luca's passing. The New York Times reports, "Sergiu Luca, a Romanian-born American violinist who founded several important chamber music festivals and ensembles and who was renowned for the breadth of his repertory and the elegance and warmth of his tone, died on Monday at his home in Houston." Luca, 67, was the founder of the Da Camera Society of Houston, the former director of the Texas Chamber Orchestra and a professor of violin at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, among his many other accomplishments. "It's an immeasurable loss," says Shepherd School of Music dean Robert Yekovich. "Sergiu was a pillar of the faculty, a major force in the violin division, a prestigious artist and a gifted teacher."

Listening to:
Béla Bartók's Contrasts - Yehudi Menuhin, Jeremy Menuhin, Thea King