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Return to Bass


With the simple act of flipping the catches, I open the case. The smell of rosin mixed with oiled wood and the odour of a velvety fabric hits me with memories. It’s been a while, but it’s the same every time.

Richard Toop, Musicologist, Dies Aged 71


It is with sadness that we note the death on 19 June of the musicologist Richard Toop. Born in Chichester in 1945, he worked as Stockhausen’s teaching assistant at the Staatliche Musikhochschule in Cologne (1973–4) before moving to Australia in 1975 to take up a position at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He remained in Australia until his death, where he was a much admired and influential teacher and new music advocate. Internationally, he is best known for his writings on Stockhausen, Ferneyhough (including his Collected Writings, which he co-edited with James Boros), Ligeti, and ‘New Complexity’, a term that he is often (erroneously) credited with having coined in a famous 1988 article ‘Four Facets of “The New Complexity”’ for the journal Contact.

And the honours go to…


The Queen’s Birthday Honours were announced on 11 June and as usual the list of names featured many musicians. Among those with ties to contemporary music were the composer and conductor George Benjamin (Knighthood); double bassist and Chineke! founder Chi-chi Nwanoku (pictured), and singer and composer Roderick Williams (both OBE); and composer, producer and co-director of the Young Persons Concert Foundation Ian Dean, and CoMA Artistic Director Chris Shurety (both MBE).