In Memoriam: Roger Tapping (1960-2022)
Roger Tapping died of cancer on Jan. 18 at his home in Manhattan. He was 61 and is survived by his wife Natasha Brofsky and children, Cordelia and Eleanor.
The College of Music family is deeply saddened to learn of violist Roger Tapping’s passing. In 1995, Tapping had relocated from London, England, to join our Takács Quartet. During his decade with the quartet, their Decca/London recordings—including the complete quartets of Bartók and Beethoven—placed them in Gramophone magazine’s Hall of Fame and won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy and three more Grammy nominations. Tapping was beloved among his students, collaborators and audiences for his luminous talent and deep sense of humanity.
Writing on behalf of the Takács, Edward Dusinberre said:
“Roger was such a warm and generous friend and colleague to us all, well beyond his time playing in the Takács. A deeply expressive, thoughtful musician, his playing was distinctive and at the same time infused with a vital quality of observation that was an invitation for us all to express ourselves. He played and listened in such a way as to ask, without needing to put it into words: ‘How do you want to play this phrase? Whatever it is, let’s try it.’
“Roger’s curiosity and generous spirit were an ideal foundation for playing chamber music. He embodied the idea that music is full of possibilities, of many different convincing outcomes, as long as the intentions are sincere. Roger was alert and reactive to the smallest spontaneous changes around him: variations in volume, phrase shape or mood. Whether in concert or rehearsal, you always knew that you could trust him: that he would be there, of course to express himself, but in large part to support his musical partners and communicate with our audiences.
“We sorely miss him but his personality and musicianship will continue to sustain not only us but the many other friends, colleagues and students who were lucky enough to come into contact with him. Thank you, Roger.”