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Kevin Oldham
(August 30, 1960 - March 11, 1993) USA

Kevin Oldham

Pianist, composer

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Kevin Oldham was born in Kansas City on Aug. 30, 1960. He began his formal studies at Northwestern University and won several piano competitions during his three years there, but decided in 1981 to move to New York to study at the Juilliard School. He made his recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1985.

Kevin did not study composition formally, but in 1988, around the time he learned that he had AIDS, he became concerned with leaving an artistic legacy and began to devote himself increasingly to composition. Several of his songs and piano pieces were performed in New York before he received his first major commission, for the piano concerto.

He gave the premiere of the work at the Festival of the Atlantic, in Point Pleasant, N.J., in 1991, and he was invited to play it with the Kansas City Symphony in January in a program of works by composers with local roots. A few days before the performance, Kevin was hospitalized in New York City. But he was determined to give the performance - he left his hospital bedand traveled to Kansas City, to perform his own piano concerto with the Kansas City Symphony just 2 months before his death.

Kevin died fron AIDS-related complications at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City. He was 32 and lived in Manhattan. He was survived by his companion, Stephen Rotondaro, of Manhattan.

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According to Stephen Rotondaro, Kevin composed music from childhood, but after he was diagnosed HIV positive, he became more driven to write new songs. In the final verse of one of the motion picture's most heartrending pieces, "Not Even if I Try", with words and music by Kevin, the composer expresses longing for a lost love and trying to keep a connection between life and death.

"I search the stars
I watch the clouds look down to me
My thoughts are clear
My heart is aching
You're oh so far away
I close my eyes and hold my pillow
And say a prayer for you
I won't forget. I can't forget
Not even if I try."

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Source: https://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/ - http://www.nytimes.com/

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