BERLIN (AP) - German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch, acclaimed for his musical brilliance and unpretentious leadership of the Bavarian State Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, has died. He was 89.
The Munich-based Bavarian State Opera, which Sawallisch led from 1971 to 1992, said he died Friday at his home in Grassau, southern Germany.
"His enormous personality and unrivaled artistry shaped this house for decades," the opera's current head, Nikolaus Bachler, said in a statement Sunday. "His name is linked to the Munich opera like no other. His influence continues to be felt until this day and will continue to do so."
Sawallisch also conducted the Bayreuth Festival, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, La Scala in Milan and Tokyo's NHK Orchestra, among others.
Born in Munich in 1923, Sawallisch began his career after World War II. In 1953, he garnered international attention by becoming the youngest conductor invited to direct the Berlin Philharmonic. By 1960, he had become principal conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra before moving to Munich in 1971.
Taking the helm of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1993, at age 70, he guided the ensemble through a decade of financial and artistic turmoil. He was criticized by some for his traditional approach, but others praised the purity of his performance.
"With Sawallisch the music always sounded simple, clear, uncomplicated and transparent," the Vienna Symphony Orchestra said in its obituary of the conductor who led the ensemble on its well-received first tour of the United States in 1964.
At La Scala, where he made his debut in 1957, he was the first non-Italian to be awarded the Golden Baton in 1993.
Sawallisch "leaves an enormous void in the musical life of our time," the famed Milanese opera house said in a statement marking his passing.
The Bavarian State Opera said it would dedicate Verdi's Requiem, directed by Zubin Mehta, to Sawallisch on Monday.
Former Temptations singer "Damon" Harris dies
BALTIMORE (AP) - Otis "Damon" Harris, a former member of the Motown group The Temptations, has died of prostate cancer. He was 62.
Chuck Woodson, a cousin serving as family spokesman, confirmed that Harris died at a Baltimore hospice last week.
Harris performed with the celebrated Motown act The Temptations from 1971 to 1975 and sang on hits including "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" and "Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)."
Woodson said joining The Temptations was "the realization of a dream" for Harris.
Harris formed a new group after leaving The Temptations and later released solo recordings.
Woodson said that in his final years, Harris established a cancer foundation that was still in its early stages when he became ill. Harris also became a strong advocate for prostate cancer screening.
1950s-60s movie songwriter Diane Lampert dies at 88
NEW YORK (AP) - Diane Charlotte Lampert, an accomplished songwriter of the 1950s and 1960s who wrote lyrics to title songs for more than 20 movies, has died.
Lampert's husband, Fred Stuart, said she died of heart failure Friday at a Manhattan hospital. She was 88.
Lampert worked on songs performed by Brenda Lee, Steve Lawrence, Red Foley, The Lettermen and others. She also was a writer on a Beatles song, "Nothin Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees)" that wasn't released until 1994 on "Live At The BBC."
Lampert helped provide music for movies starring Bob Hope, Cary Grant, Buster Keaton and others.
She is survived by Stuart Lampert, president of Rainbow Music Corp., her husband of 45 years.
Tobasco hot sauce maker Paul McIlhenny dies at 68
AVERY ISLAND, La. (AP) - Paul C.P. McIlhenny, chief executive and chairman of the board of the McIlhenny Co. that makes the trademarked line of Tabasco hot pepper sauces sold the world over, has died. He was 68.
The company, based on south Louisiana's Avery Island, said in a statement that McIlhenny had died Saturday. The statement, released Sunday, credited McIlhenny's leadership with introducing several new varieties of hot sauces sold under the Tabasco brand and with greatly expanding their global reach.
McIlhenny was a member of a storied clan whose 145-year-old company has been producing the original world-famous Tabasco sauce for several generations, since shortly after the Civil War. The statement said McIlhenny joined the company in 1967 and directly oversaw production and quality of all products sold under the brand for 13 years.
Under his management, the company experienced years of record growth in sales and earnings, according to the company.
McIlhenny also worked to develop an array of items that could be marketed and emblazoned with the Tabasco logo: T-shirts, aprons, neckties, stuffed toy bears, and computer screensavers, the Times-Picayune of New Orleans said.
The newspaper noted that McIlhenny was an executive with a keen sense of humor, quipping days before he reigned as Rex, the King of Carnival, for Mardi Gras in 2006: "We're defending the world against bland food."