Lucy Rowan Mann, Doyenne of Top Classical Music Awards, Dies at 100

Lucy Rowan Mann, instructor The Walter W. Naumburg Foundation and its influential accolades that helped propel a series of major classical music careers for 50 years, died on January 16 at her home in Manhattan. She is 100 years old.

The cause was Covid-19, her daughter, Lisa Mann Marotta, said.

Ms. Mann is the chief executive officer of the foundation, which she runs with her husband, Robert Mann, who was president and founding first violinist of the renowned Juilliard String Quartet. She handles the management and fundraising, while Mr. Mann, who died in 2018focusing on the musical aspects of the competition and the judges.

But Ms. Mann, who started working at the Naumburg Foundation in 1972 and continues to do so this year, does more than just an office job. She scheduled performances for the young Naumburg winners, advertised for them and even arranged travel. This pairing is a well-oiled machine; Carol Wincenc, who in 1978 won the inaugural Naumburg flute competition, said in an interview that Manns displayed “team spirit at the highest level”.

Naumburg winners who have had distinguished careers include, in addition to Ms. Wincenc, violin soloists Leonidas Kavakos and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg; Frank Huang, concert conductor of the New York Philharmonic; pianists Andre-Michel Schub, Stephen Hough and Anton Nel; clarinetist Charles Neidich; and cellist Colin Carr. Singers who have won include Julia Bullock, Dawn Upshaw and Lucy Shelton.

Music competitions are often key elements of career building, prize money, performance dates, and public endorsements, but they can be overwhelming and often criticized for their assessment of excellence. more technical than personality.

But, Mr. Mann wrote in an article in the New York Times in 1985, “A contest that’s musically, humanely, and culturally as meaningful as it’s meant to be.” The musician said that Ms. Mann’s management and care for her opponents brought that humanity.

The Naumburg Foundation, founded in 1925, began administering the awards annually in 1926. Robert Mann himself won the Naumburg Prize for violin in 1941.

The award categories rotate between instruments each year. They originally included pianists, tea artists and violinists, but the competition has since expanded to include vocalists, chamber ensembles, and dancers, and it also features music. other instruments on a rotating basis. The 2022 Naumburg Competition will be open to saxophonists.

The first prize winners receive $25,000 and two shows in New York and have a piece assigned to them.

Ms. Mann also makes it her mission to promote greater awareness of 20th-century American composers. In her office at the Manhattan School of Music, where the Naumburg Foundation is located, she was known take the stage to celebrate birthdays for contemporary composers, buy candies for students to encourage them to attend, and learn more about music history.

Lucille Ida Zeitlin was born on June 20, 1921 in Brooklyn. She and her two siblings were raised by their mother, Rose Kuschner. Their father, Irving Allen Zeitlin, was a nightclub manager. “My father was a scoundrel and a womanizer,” Ms. Mann told The Times in 2013. “He was never here.”

She attended public high school in Brooklyn and went on to Brooklyn College to study acting, but dropped out and moved to Washington. There, she studied drama under Walter Kerr, who taught at the Catholic University of America and later became a theater critic for The New York Times. During World War II, she worked in various secretarial roles at the War Department and elsewhere.

Her marriage to Mark Rowan, who served in the army and later became an English professor, ended in divorce after eight years.

She returned to New York and in 1947 became a concert manager at the Juilliard School. She met Mr. Mann while also managing the Juilliard Chain Quartet. They married in 1949.

In addition to their work at the Naumburg Foundation, the Manns have performed together in the Lyric Trio: Miss Mann narrating the folk tales of Rudyard Kipling and Hans Christian Andersen through music played by Mr. Mann and pianist Leonid Hambro. Eric Salzman, reviewing the Lyric Trio concert at Carnegie Hall for The Times in 1962, called their performance “witty, sharp, and entertaining.”

Their son, Nicholas Mann, also a violinist, occasionally performs with them as part of the Mann family-centered Baca Ensemble, composed by Robert Mann. In one time 1986 review During the group’s concert at Carnegie Hall, Allen Hughes wrote, “Miss Rowan is a persuasive reader, Mr. Mann’s grades are serious and well-balanced, and the lyrics and music coexist harmoniously throughout the album. these shows.”

Ms. Mann is also an artist: She started painting as a hobby but later became more serious about it, culminating in a flashback of her bright abstract works at the Tenri Cultural Institute in Manhattan in in 2017 and 2019.

In addition to her two children, Mrs. Mann has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Lucy Rowan Mann, Doyenne of Top Classical Music Awards, Dies at 100

Fry Electronics Team

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