Alfred Mann (1916 - 2006)
- The eminent musicologist and pioneer early music instrumentalist and conductor, Alfred Mann, who also was one of the great Bach and Handel scholars of the 20th century, died in an assisted living facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Thursday, September 21. Alfred, who moved to Fort Wayne several years ago to be near his son, Adrian, who is the principal contrabassist and the manager of the Orchestra there, would have been 90 later this year.
A refugee from Nazi Germany, Alfred immigrated to the United States with his mother, the eminent harpsichordist, Edith Weiss Mann (1888 - 1951). From the beginning, Alfred was a major figure in the early music revival in the United States, and he made major contributions as a scholar as well as as a performer and conductor. He was on the faculty at Rutgers for many years, and later taught at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. In 1953, he succeeded Arthur Mendel as Director of the Cantata Singers in New York City, and from 1970 - 1980 he was the Conductor of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, in Bethlehem, PA.
A virtuoso recorder player and a first-class double-bass player, Alfred participated in the first recording of the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in which the recorders that Bach specified, rather than modern transverse flutes, were used. His Vanguard recording of the first 6 Chandos Anthems by Handel is a cult item and a true classic among recordings.
Alfred was for many years the Editor of The American Choral Review, and his carefully edited and thoughtfully prepared performing edition of Handel's Messiah has been used for at least two commercial recordings.
Alfred wrote numerous important scholarly articles and monographs, but he is perhaps best known for having made an English translation of Johann Joseph Fux's famous counterpoint treatise, The Study of Fugue, that has been the standard edition throughout the English speaking world for a half a century.