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March 2009 James Avery & Sapto Rahardjo

Two of my most important friends in music have died

On Sunday, March 8 2009, one of my best friends and supporters, the pianist and conductor James Avery died in peace in the early morning. Jim, as we called him, was an institution in the Freiburg scene with an international influence. There was almost no one who supported the New Music thing as intensive and unselfish as he did, even under extreme circumstances of work. Not only me, but the whole music scene has lost something unreplacable. Dear Jim, we will never forget your passion of work and your thinking.


Already three weeks ago and much too early, the Yogyakarta based composer, gamelan musician and festival organiser Sapto Rahardjo died. It was in 1988 when we did a first intercultural workshop during my tour in Southeast Asia. Sapto was always looking for something new without getting tired. His famous gamelan festival since 1995 was the acknowledged meeting point of all people interested in new tendencies in gamelan. In contrast to many of his colleagues he was open to all new ideas. Jelaousy, envy and intrigues - quite common in the art scene - were alien to him. By that he ressembled James Avery. It is hoped that his impoortant work will be continued, always remembering his pioneering activity.