The murder in New York City of Virgil Thomson’s former secretary – to all appearances a random homophobic crime – has shocked many within the music community who worked with this gentle, generous facilitator. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Page got to know Lou while editing Virgil’s correspondence. Here is his moving tribute to Lou, written specially for Slipped Disc:
One of the funniest, gentlest, most brilliant men I knew
by Tim Page
Early in the morning of October 21, a 62-year old music educator named Lou Rispoli was set upon by three feral punks as he took a walk through the New York City neighborhood where he had lived for more than 30 years. According to a witness, Rispoli was clubbed over the head with a blunt object, hit with such force that those who heard the sound from their homes thought there had been a gunshot. The SUV sped off, Rispoli was taken to a hospital, he was removed from life support on Thursday and he died shortly thereafter. No suspects have yet been identified.