Photograph © 1950 Don Cravens

    St. Nicolas In Memoriam

        When he passed into orbit on
    December 25 1995 at the age of 101 2/3,
    it suddenly became apparent that the
    Christian name of this secular Jewish
    genius of modern music had assumed a
    double entendre. After sharing names
    with the Czar of Imperial Russia,
    conductor, composer, musicologist and
    lexicographer Nicolas Slonimsky now
    had passed into Sainthood, musicologically,
    chronologically and orthodoxically.
    A man born on three dates in three
    different cities had made a dramatically
    timed exit - his parting Christmas
    present to future writers on 20th Century
    music of the avant-garde.

    © 1996 Charles Amirkhanian

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