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US composer’s secretary suffers near-fatal beating

Lou Rispoli was secretary to Virgil Thomson for many years. Read on here.¬†Update here.¬†Doctors say Mr Rispoli, 62, is not expected to survive. Last night, he was taken off life-support, with his family’s consent.

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  1. Malcolm James says:

    Very tragic and my thoughts are with Mr Rispoli and his family. In an article some time ago, it was mentioned that Virgil Thomson was homophobic. Is this true, and, if so, it is ironic that his long-time secretary was gay?

  2. When I was working on Neil Butterworth’s book on Copland (Toccata Press, 1985 — I think…), Lou was very helpful in getting hold of some photographs for me. Let’s hope the prognosis turns out to be unnecessarily pessimistic.

  3. Ryan MacGavin says:

    The third link in Norman’s post does not work — there is a Wall Street journal link in Google News that says “Take OFF Life Support”, but when you click on it, it is not consistent. An older post on Towleroad says that he was taken OFF:

    Sunnyside is very gay friendly neighborhood, full of musicians and artists. Its fairly common to see people walking around in the early hours of the morning, as their are food vendors on the street who stay open for the bar crowd. This is extremely disturbing no matter what the motive was.

  4. It is an extremely sad note on which to end the week. I just read of the attack this morning in a column pertaining to gay issues, but didn’t know his history except as an activist; certainly not that he had worked with Virgil Thomson. The shock waves that are rippling through the gay community, and the community of Sunnyside, and through his family and friends, are now also rippling through the musical community. The incredible amount of damage that is done to so many communities when one person is silenced in this way gives one pause… I am just so saddened by this.

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