Musical Saints - RIP
As we approach All Hallows Eve, here are a few stories surrounding the weird and untimely deaths of musicians. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
Enrique Granados died in 1916 at the height of his success. This Spanish nationalist composer was invited by President Woodrow Wilson to give a piano recital at the White House. When Granados and his wife missed the boat back to Spain, they procured passage to England and then boarded the Sussex ferry which would take them on to France. While crossing the English Channel, the Sussex was hit by a German U-boat torpedo. Granados, who had a life-ling fear of the ocean, drowned when he jumped out of his lifeboat in a valiant but futile attempt to save his wife.
Jean-Baptiste Lully, the French Baroque master and King Louis XIV’s favorite opera composer, died in 1687 from a self-inflicted wound to his foot. He stabbed his foot with his own pointed staff (used for keeping time) while conducting a performance of his Te Deum. Resulting infection and gangrene killed him three months after he had dealt himself what turned out to be the fatal blow.
Austrian composer, Anton Webern, was a pupil of fellow Austrian composer, Arnold Schoenburg. Webern died on September 15, 1945 just at the end of World War II. On this evening, he stepped outside to smoke a cigar, unaware that a curfew was being enforced by the Allied occupying forces. He was shot dead by an American soldier who saw him light up.