Online tributes

On 30 May Richard R Adams posted the following announcement on social media platforms. It drew many responses, as reported below:

(From Richard R. Adams:) Dear classical music friends and Baxians the world over, I have some very sad news to announce. Our dear friend Graham Parlett passed away today after having struggled with motor neurone disease since January of this year. The disease developed very quickly and he was hospitalized last week and he died this morning. His brother David has posted an announcement on his own website (see below) and I will be writing a full tribute for the Bax site that should be posted in the coming days. Personally, I have lost an irreplaceable friend and I am greatly saddened. The world has lost one of its great musicologists and we Baxians have lost the foremost authority on our favourite composer. I can't even begin to comprehend how much experience, insight and knowledge on Bax is lost with Graham's passing. I hope someday someone will take up Bax's cause in the same brilliant way that Graham managed throughout his extraordinary life.

Graham was just the most charming man imaginable. So incredibly intelligent and witty -- you could ask him a question on almost any subject from East Indian Art to Sherlock Holmes and his encyclopaedic mind would spring into action and he'd provide you with an incredibly informed comment or humorous observation. He was always so calm and calming to be with and he took genuine interest in the happenings of his many friend's lives. I thought he was going to live forever because he always took such good care of himself and appeared at least 30 years younger than his actual age. I relied on Graham a lot to answer questions about Bax that would be sent to the website by musicians who had questions about details in the scores. Graham would invariably have the answer. Now who am I going to turn to? This is truly an unbearable loss.

Concert pianist Margaret Fingerhut wrote to me: This is devastating news and a big shock as I was unaware that Graham had been so ill.

I have just read Richard Adams’ moving tribute, as well as your own touching words. Although it is a relief to know that he did not have to suffer too long with such a cruel condition, he leaves us far too soon. He had achieved such an extraordinary amount in his life, and still had so much more to contribute...

I will always treasure how helpful and supportive he was to me. Even after a number of years passed since our last recording project together, he would still come to my concerts whenever I was playing in London.

I cannot recall exactly when we first met, but my earliest memory is our having lunch together at the V&A. I remember feeling a sense of astonishment that someone whose full-time work was as an expert on Indian Art could be so erudite and knowledgeable about all things Baxian, as well as many other composers. And, as is often the case with hugely gifted people, he wore his erudition very lightly. He had the most delightful sense of humour, and his gentle quips would invariably be delivered with the trademark warm smile.

To say that Graham will be sorely missed is an understatement. He is quite simply irreplaceable. But, what a tremendous legacy he leaves. He can truly be said to be someone who made a difference.

Responses to Richard's announcement on Facebook included the following:

Simon Brackenborough
Oh I’m so sorry to read this Richard. Graham was generous with his time offering his thoughts to me when I was writing a blog about the third symphony a few years ago. A true gent who will be much missed
Deborah Reader
A really great loss. Condolences to his family. Now he's at peace and can talk to the man himself.
Peter Thompson
I am very saddened and shocked At blue plaque to hear this news today. Like you, Richard in [this] photo, I visited The White Horse in his company, and there was that time in Gloucester when all three of us and Colin Scott-Sutherland attended a performance of Fand.... he was such a fantastic scholar of the Bax brothers, and so very generous with his sharing of material he discovered. I will certainly miss those long ‘phone calls and fascinating email exchanges...
John Mclaughlin Williams
A loss beyond words, so great is its impact. I am so sad to hear of this. RIP.
Anna Joubert
Very sorry to hear this sad news Richard. May he rest in peace.
Phillip Nones
Such sad news. All that we can do is continue to carry a torch for Bax and his artistry. Graham made a real difference and it is up to all of us to carry on the mission into the future. #BlessAllTheBaxians
William B. Hannam
Graham was a wonderful man. I am truly sorry to read this news. {Twitter]:Graham (and you, too, Richard!) helped me win an award from Kent State years ago for my doctoral dissertation on Bax's "Tintagel." I agree 100% that he was always willing to help and share his knowledge with his friends - and it seems there was no end to his list of friends! I had only written him one time and already I was on that list. I wish I had gotten to know him a little better.
Gideon Relyveld
So very sorry and sad to hear and Graham was such an extraordinary great and wonderful man and musicologist, with incredibly wonderful contributions for the Legacy of Arnold Bax, including his amazingly impressive orchestration of the piano work "Red Autumn". May Graham be in a musically-heavenly peace.
Gideon Relyveld (2)
So very sorry and sad to hear and Graham was such an extraordinary great and wonderful man and musicologist, with incredibly wonderful contributions for the Legacy of Arnold Bax, including his amazingly impressive orchestration of the piano work "Red Autumn". May Graham be in a musically-heavenly peace.
Catherine Handley
Very sad to hear this news.
Ian Venables
This is very sad news: he was a delightful and generous man and his passing is a great loss on so many levels.
Peter Joelson
So sorry to hear this very sad news; my condolences to Graham's family and friends.
Ennio Caironi
I'm so sad! Graham helped raise Bax's fame, he gave us real treasures both as an orchestrator and as a curator. In the future his name will be remembered and known even in new generations as a great musicologist. Thank you as always Richard R Adams for your precious contribution
Paul Hess
Very sorry to hear this.
Australian Discovery Orchestra
The Australian Discovery Orchestra sends its sincerest condolences on the passing of Mr. Parlett. We have used his encyclopaedic knowledge of Bax’s music extensively. Vale.
Tully Potter
Sad news indeed.
Grant Murdock
Without Graham Parlett we would know so much less about Arnold Bax. It's been a very sad year.
Christopher Hill
This hit hard.
Johan Herrenberg
A great loss. Condolences from a Baxian in The Netherlands.
Gary D. Cannon
Oh, that is a tragedy indeed. What a magnificent scholar and evidently, from your touching testament, wonderful friend and person. My condolences to you for your personal grieving. May we all commemorate him in some Bax-worthy way.
Francis Pott, Chair of Composition, London College of Music
Hello Richard, I was much saddened to read in your tweet of the death of Graham Parlett. It's a heavy blow for Bax admirers everywhere, but I'm conscious also that you personally have lost a like-minded friend who shared your passion for this remarkable music. Please, no reply needed - I just wanted to convey my sympathies and say that I've been thinking of you. Bax could have asked for no finer champions than you or Graham...
Francis Johnson
Saddened to learn just now of the death of Dr Graham Parlett. A terrible loss of a splendid man.
This is a genuine & gut-wrenching loss. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but his work enriched my life.
Chris Hopkins
Thank you for sharing, but oh dear that's terrible news, really saddened to hear that. Many condolences to his family
Pamela Blevins
Very sorry to learn this news. A great blow indeed.
Andrew Achenbach
Dreadful, devastating news. Such a lovely man and always wonderful company. Still reeling here ... such a terrible loss and an amazing authority on all things Bax. Always a most personable, modest companion. So very sad.
Sad news! His Bax catalogue was the first book I ever reviewed (my first publication), and it’s an incredible resource.
Dreadful, devastating news. Such a lovely man and always wonderful company. x