MICHAEL M. SWEELEY

Obituary
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SWEELEY--Michael M., died on June 30 at the age of 85 after a long illness. Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, he was descended from early Western settlers. He attended UC Berkley for a short time and then served in the army in WWII. A lifelong love of music sent him to Juilliard after the war, where he received a BS and MS in music criticism in 1949. His gift for writing and knowledge of music brought him assignments in the field of music publicity and development. After acting as tour manager for Maryla Jonas, the polish pianist, on her last transcontinental tour, he went to work for the impresario Sol Hurok. Michael managed public relations for many of the major classical artists and international touring companies represented by Hurok, including, The Royal Ballet, The Old Vic, The D'Oyly Carte Opera Co., The Kirov Ballet, and La Comedie Francaise. In 1955, Lucie Bigelow Rosen, wishing to expand the Caramoor Music Festival in Katonah, NY into a professional undertaking, borrowed Michael from the Hurok office. Michael became Executive Director and worked with Mrs. Rosen in this endeavor until her death in 1968, at which time he left the Hurok office and devoted his full time to developing Walter and Lucie Rosen's dream of making their home at Caramoor into a Center for Music and the Arts. The summer music festival was expanded from four weekends to nine weeks of classical orchestral concerts, opera, dance, chamber music, recital, etc. The Rosen House, with its collection of fine and decorative arts, along with the gardens, was opened to the public. Educational programs were begun. Michael remained the Executive Director of Caramoor for more than thirty years and helped develop it into a major international arts institution. When Michael retired from Caramoor, he pursued his love of travel for some years. Predeceased by his father, Judge Everett M. Sweeley, his mother, Hazel Browne Sweeley, and his devoted sisters, Jean B. Sweeley and Anna L. Sweeley, there are no immediate survivors. Burial will be with his family in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Published in The New York Times on July 8, 2010
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