Daily Archives: April 25, 2011

Composer Peter Lieberson Dies At 64

Published April 25, 2011

Peter Lieberson, a passionate, expressive composer who created many original works for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, died Saturday at the age of 64. He was in Tel Aviv receiving treatment for lymphoma. He’d been battling the disease for years.

Lieberson photographed by his wife Rinchen Lhamo last year.

Lieberson photographed by his wife Rinchen Lhamo last year.

I spoke with Lieberson in 2010 for a story about what would be his final BSO commission, “Songs of Love and Sorrow.” The work’s world premiere performance took place at Symphony Hall in March of last year.

Lieberson dedicated “Songs of Love and Sorrow” to his second wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. She died of breast cancer in 2008. It’s a companion piece to “Neruda Songs,” (2005) another work inspired by the composer’s deep feelings for his partner, as well as the couple’s profound appreciation of love sonnets by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

While reporting the story I got a glimpse into Lieberson’s relationship with his wife, with heartbreak and with death.

Lieberson is survived by three children from his first marriage, as well as his third wife, writer and former Buddhist nun Rinchen Lhamo. Lieberson was a life-long student of Buddhism. He served as director for the international meditation program known as Shambala Training.

In speaking with Lieberson for even a brief stretch of time it was abundantly clear that his heart was open and searching and filled with compassion and light. May his gentle spirit rest in peace.


Monday Morning: State Budget Takes The Spotlight

Published April 25, 2011

The state budget takes center stage this week as lawmakers negotiate changes to the $30.5 billion spending plan in full debate on the state House floor. The biggest point of contention in the budget is House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s controversial plan that gives municipalities the ability to change employee health care without union approval.

The state failed to inspect three-quarters of escalators in Massachusetts malls over the past three years, according to the Globe. A four-year-old boy died after falling from a mall escalator last month in Auburn, spurring the probe.

The Boston sports fan in your life should be walking with an extra spring in his/her step this morning after a banner weekend for the city’s teams. The Celtics yesterday finished off a sweep of the Knicks and won their first round playoff series, behind a solid day from Kevin Garnett. The Bruins beat the Canadiens in double overtime Saturday — they lead their series 3-2. And the Sox, 2-10 to start the season, are almost back to .500 after a torrid 8-1 run.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on a conference at the Berklee College of Music set to examine the future of the music industry, the debate on improving the Marshfield seawall and Boston’s effort to get many tax-exempt businesses to pay taxes.