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Christopher George DeBlasio
(February 22, 1959 - July 21, 1993) USA

Chris DeBlasio

Composer

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Chris DeBlasio was born to Conrad DeBlasio and Margaret Daly in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Conrad was Italian-American, with an extended family centered in the Brooklyn, New York area. His family had a history, extending back to turnof-the-century Italy, of working in the law profession. Margaret came to the U.S. directly from Scotland. Although of Irish-British ancestry, the Dalys lived in Scotland because Margaret's father worked there as the headmaster of a school.

Margaret Daly travelled to the United States in 1955 to complete her medical studies, accepting a rotating internship and pediatric residency at Brooklyn Hospital. There she met Conrad DeBlasio, who visited Brooklyn often because of his relatives. The two married in 1958 and settled in West Long Branch, where DeBlasio and his brother Boniface ("Barney") owned a business.

As an infant Chris DeBlasio already demonstrated a response to musical stimulus. His paternal grandmother would comfort him by singing O sole mio . Chris' mother found that singing to him had similar benefits.

Chris DeBlasio attended New York University and the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Giampaolo Bracali. Among his song cycles are All the Way Through Evening , Villagers and The Endless Assent . He also composed liturgical pieces. He is best known for his song cycles. His song Walt Whitman in 1989 , for baritone voice & piano, was part of the presentation The AIDS Quilt Songbook .

He had an intense yet disciplined and pragmatic personality whose career was shaped by an abiding love of the theater, a close-knit circle of friends and the homosexual community of 1980s New York City.

The omnipresence of HIV/AIDS during the final years of his life helped to channel his creative energies into a unique compositional voice. He died at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan. He was 34. His companion, William Berger, said the cause was an AIDS-related complication.

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Sources: http://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/ - http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/

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