I was very sorry to hear today that Mary Ruth Ray, violist of the Lydian String Quartet and a performer with Emmanuel Music, has died of cancer at the age of 56. There is an article here from Brandeis where she taught and chaired the music department. (Note the slideshow link – some great pictures.)
The Lyds over the years have made a terrific contribution to new music. I’m familiar with their fine recordings of music by Harbison, Mackey, and Hyla, and I experienced their excellence myself several years ago when they performed my 2nd Quartet. I didn’t know Mary Ruth well, but in that performance of my quartet, and in observing her work with Emmanuel, I gained a sense of her quiet excellence.
Fifty-six, my own age. And two In Memoriam posts in a row. (photo credit: Mike Lovett)
UPDATE: Boston Globe obit here.