On This Day

Musicians Who Died on May 25

  • 1555 Gemma Frisius [Jemme Reinerszoon], Frisian physician, mathematician and instrument maker (created globe), dies at 46
  • 1765 Pierre-Joseph Le Blan, Flemish carillonneur and composer, dies at 53
  • 1826 Christian Friedrich Ruppe, Dutch-German composer, dies at 72
  • 1862 Johann Nestroy, Austrian actor, singer and playwright (Judith und Holofernes), dies at 60
  • 1914 Paolo Giorza, Italian-Australian composer, dies at 81
  • 1917 Léon Vasseur, French composer, dies at 72
  • 1924 Theodore F. Morse, American composer, dies at 51
  • 1934 Gustav Holst, English composer (The Planets; Ode to Death), dies at 59
  • 1936 Ján Levoslav Bella, Slovak composer, dies at 92
  • 1942 Emanuel Feuermann, Ukrainian-born cellist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), dies of complications during surgery at 39
  • 1946 Patty Smith Hill, American composer, teacher and songwriter ("Happy Birthday To You"), dies at 78
  • 1955 Wardell Gray, American swing and bebop jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 34
  • 1964 Vasily Andreyevich Zolotaryov, Russian composer (Rhapsodie hébraïque; Prince Lake), and teacher, dies at 92
  • 1965 Sonny Boy Williamson II [Aleck Miller], American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, dies at 65
  • 1966 Ricardo Castillo, Guatemalan composer, dies at 71
  • 1971 Mark Brunswick, American composer, dies at 69
  • 1981 Rosa Ponselle [Ponzillo], American soprano opera diva ("Casta Diva"; La Forza del Destino - "Leonora"; Metropolitan Opera, 1918-37), dies at 84
  • 1981 Roy Brown, American R&B singer, songwriter ("Good Rockin' Tonight"), dies of a heart attack at 55
  • 1984 Piet Ketting, Dutch pianist, conductor and composer, dies at 79
  • 1994 Eric Gale, American jazz, R&B, session and touring guitarist (Negril; Stuff; Paul Simon's One-Trick Pony; Bob James; Grover Washington, Jr.), dies of lung cancer at 55
  • 1995 Dick Curless, American country music singer-songwriter (A Tombstone Every Mile), dies of stomach cancer at 63
  • 1996 Bradley Nowell, American ska musician (Sublime), dies of a heroin overdose at 28
  • 1996 Barney Wilen, French tenor, composer and saxophonist, dies of cancer at 59
  • 2003 Jeremy Michael Ward, American musician (The Mars Volta), dies of a heroin overdose at 27
  • 2005 Ruth Laredo, American concert pianist, dies of ovarian cancer at 67
  • 2006 Desmond Dekker, Jamaican reggae pioneer (Aces - "Israelites"), dies at 64
  • 2006 Otto Zykan, Austrian pianist and composer, dies at 71
  • 2008 David Gahr, American photographer noted for his work with folk, jazz and rock musicians (Time Magazine; Folkways albums), dies at 85 [1]
  • 2010 Siphiwo Ntshebe, South African operatic tenor singer, dies of meningitis at 35
  • 2013 Marshall Lytle, American rock bassist (Bill Haley, 1951-55), dies from lung cancer at 79
  • 2018 Piet Kee, Dutch organist and composer, dies at 90
  • 2020 Joel Revzen, American opera conductor and pianist, dies of Covid-19 at 74
  • 2022 Jean-Louis Chautemps, French jazz and session saxophonist (Claude Bolling; Chet Baker; Elton John), dies at 90