On This Day

Musicians Who Died on December 4

  • 1609 Alexander Hume, Scottish poet (Hymns and Sacred Songs), dies
  • 1676 Johann Georg Ebeling, German composer, dies at 39
  • 1732 John Gay, English poet and dramatist (The Beggar's Opera), dies at 47
  • 1836 Daniel Read, American composer, dies at 79
  • 1884 Alice Mary Smith, British composer, dies at 45
  • 1915 Gustav Hollaender, German violinist, conductor, and composer, dies at 60
  • 1935 Johan Halvorsen, Norwegian violinist, conductor (Nationaltheatret Orchestra, 1899-1929), and composer (Bergensiana), dies at 71
  • 1938 Dina Appeldoorn, Dutch pianist and composer, dies at 54
  • 1953 Daniel Gregory Mason, American composer (Chanticker), dies at 80
  • 1954 Nina Vasar, wife of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, dies
  • 1969 Alceo Toni, Italian composer, dies at 85
  • 1974 Sophie-Carmen "Sonia" Eckhardt-Gramatté, Russian-Canadian pianist and composer, dies at 75

Person of interestBenjamin Britten

1976 [Edward] Benjamin Britten, English composer (The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; Peter Grimes), dies of heart failure at 63

  • 1976 Tommy Bolin, American rock guitarist and songwriter (Deep Purple), dies of heroin overdose and other substances at 25
  • 1985 Marcel Boereboom, Belgian musicologist, dies at 83
  • 1993 Frank Zappa, American rocker, composer, activist and filmmaker (Mothers of Invention, Hot Rats), dies from prostate cancer at 52
  • 2002 Bernie Dwyer, British rock drummer (Freddie and The Dreamers - "I'm Telling You Now"), dies at 61
  • 2004 Elena Souliotis, Greek soprano, dies of heart failure at 61
  • 2005 Gloria Lasso, French-Spanish singer (b. 1922)
  • 2007 Pimp C, American Rapper (b. 1973)
  • 2007 Friedrich Zehm, German pianist and composer, dies at 85
  • 2011 Hubert Sumlin, American blues guitarist (Howlin' Wolf), dies at 80
  • 2012 Jonathan Harvey, English composer (Bhakti, Music of Stockhausen), dies at 73
  • 2016 Radim Hladík, Czech guitarist (The Blue Effect), dies from lung illness at 69
  • 2020 Bassam Sabam, Lebanese violinist, oud, and nay player (New York Arabic Orchestra; Silk Road Ensemble), dies of Covid-19 complications at 62 [1]