TUROK--Paul Harris. Composer, Critic. December 3, 1929 - July 10, 2012. Died peacefully at home, after a long illness. Paul Turok studied composition with Karol Rathaus at Queens College, with Roger Sessions at both the University of California (Berkeley) and at Princeton prior to studying with Wagenaar and Mennin at Juilliard from 1951-1953. Subsequently he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He lectured at CUNY and was a Visiting Professor of Composition at Williams College. His orchestral works have been performed worldwide including premieres by The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. "Threnody" was recorded on Modern Masters by the City of London Sinfonia .(David Amos) "Aspects of Lincoln and Liberty" (2007), with the Nashville Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin, celebrated the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln`s birth. Recent piano recordings include "Passacaglia" and "Tango for James Adler" performed by James Adler and "Ragtime Caprice" played by Joshua Pierce. Paul Turok's chamber music was premiered at Lincoln Center and the Library of Congress as well as at Notre-Dame in Paris and in Japan, Taiwan and South America. Quoting Baker's Biographical Dictionary, edited by Nicolas Slonimsky, Paul Turok "as a composer, follows the principles of stylistic freedom and technical precision, without doctrinaire adherence to any circumscribed modernistic modus operandi." Among his 150 compositions are several sets of songs and "Richard The Third" - opera in four acts. A regular contributor of classical music feature articles in the Sunday New York Times Arts Section, he was also a frequent guest critic on WQXR's nationally-syndicated program "First Hearing." He wrote for The Herald Tribune, Ovation, Music Journal and Fanfare before founding Turok's Choice: the Insider's Review of New Classical Recordings which he published from 1990-2011. He is survived by his wife Susan. A memorial concert of his music is being planned.
Published in New York Times on Jul. 29, 2012.