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Elliott Maxim Antokoletz


1942 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Elliott Maxim Antokoletz Obituary
ANTOKOLETZ, Elliott Maxim August 3rd, 1942 - December 20th, 2017 Elliott was a highly empathic human being with an unusual combination of traits. He could be grandly charming and brilliant; then again awkwardly irreverent and laughing, mainly at himself; yet again cozily reclusive in the familiar pleasures of his home and castle; sometimes all three at once. He wanted desperately to deserve the title of genius, and felt he never measured up to Albert Einstein who was one of his idols. Yet when all is said and done, who would honestly withhold from him that legendary designation? No one. Long time Professor of Musicology at the University of Texas at Austin, he published more than eleven books and 75 articles (we lost count some years ago), some of them translated into several languages; he received numerous awards and honors; he helped to graduate under his tutelage a truly heroic number of students; and he inspired a much larger number of same. Personal contact with composers plus his own deep theoretical insight allowed him to discover the laws of evolution of the Western musical language over the course of its entire history, and especially during the 20th century. According to one of his colleagues, "The history of music has been forever transformed by his work." It is fair to say that he was a pioneer in, among other things, deciphering the methods of the composer B?la Bart?k, another genius and idol of his. In Bart?k's music, Elliott discovered a new musical system analogous to, yet completely different from, the system inherited through the Western tradition of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. He also made brilliant discoveries in the music of Georg van Albrecht, whom he described as a "missing link" in the musical language of the 20th century. Drawing as well upon his earlier career as a concert violinist, he used his insights to coach many musicians in the performance of Bart?k's music, an invaluable and beautifying service which he carried out with enthusiasm and love. We will remember him fondly for his love of eating, especially of eating pizza; his amazing memory and his pride and pleasure in drawing upon it; his fond repetitions of anecdotes of historical figures, especially of Albert Einstein; but above all his teddy-bear sweetness, most especially in caring for his wife Juana, which ever increased with the passing of time. In the end, his heart was wide open, and he knew that that was the most important thing. He is preceded in death by his mother Esther, his father Jack, and his brother Barry. He is survived by his wife Juana, his sister Mina, his son Eric, his granddaughters Fransje and Zoska, his as-yet unborn third grandchild of whom he joyfully recently learned (and who will be named Ian Elliott if it is a boy), and of course his many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends. A memorial event of music and words is planned for Sunday, January 21st, 4:00 p.m., at Bates Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. All are invited.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 14, 2018
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