Robert Craft, American conductor and writer, Died at 92


Robert Lawson Craft was born on October 20, 1923, and died on November 10, 2015)

He was an American conductor and writer. He is best known for his intimate working friendship with Igor Stravinsky, a relationship which resulted in numerous recordings and books.

Robert was born in Kingston, New York to Raymond and Arpha Craft and studied music at the Juilliard School.

He became particularly interested in early music and the music of Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo, and Heinrich Sch├╝tz, and in contemporary music by the composers of the Second Viennese School and others.

Robert met Stravinsky in 1948, and from then until the composer’s death in 1971, Robert continued to work alongside Stravinsky in a variety of roles.

A relationship that started out with Robert in a rather modest role eventually evolved into a full artistic partnership.

Robert has compiled the libretti for Stravinsky’s The Flood and A Sermon, a Narrative and a Prayer, and lived with Igor and Vera Stravinsky in Hollywood and later in New York City.

Robert remained close to the composer’s widow until her death in 1982.

After Stravinsky’s death, Robert continued to concertize and to write.

His 2002 book, An Improbable Life, details his life before, during, and after his friendship with Stravinsky.

The memoir elaborates on the impact that Igor Stravinsky had on his life.

Robert married Stravinsky’s longtime nurse, Rita Christiansen, and is the father of one son, Robert Alexander Craft, who lives in Copenhagen.

Late in life he made a second marriage, to Alva Rodriquez Minoff (a real estate salesperson).

Robert passed away on November 10, 2015, in Gulf Stream, Florida.