POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Michael Pisani, internationally noted author, professor, and music scholar, age 65 of Poughkeepsie, New York, passed away on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.
Survived by his father, Mario; his sisters, Denise and Linda, his partner, Christopher; his nieces, Jennifer and Katherine; his nephew, Josh; his great-niece and nephew, Keira and Biagio; his cousins in Milan, Italy, and many other loved family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Dolores.
Michael was a graduate of Andrean High School, Class of 1972, received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Oberlin College, and earned a doctoral degree in musicology from the Eastman School of Music. He was a beloved professor and current chair of the music department at Vassar College, where he was honored with an endowed chair and taught courses on general music history, opera, and film music. Among his many publications are the books "Imagining Native America in Music," which received the prestigious ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 2006, and "Music for the Melodramatic Theatre." He also published numerous articles and book chapters on opera and film music, including a chapter in "The Oxford Handbook to Film Music" and another, soon to be published, in the "Cambridge Companion to English Melodrama."
Pisani was an accomplished pianist, conductor, and accordion player. He worked for several major opera companies in the 1980's, among them Houston Grand Opera, the Seattle Opera Wagner Festival, and Opera Company of Boston. He accompanied rehearsals for many famous opera singers and stage directors and conducted performances of Monteverdi's "Orfeo" and Handel's "Xerxes" at the Skylight Opera in Milwaukee. He was also invited by the great American composer and conductor, Leonard Bernstein, to prepare the casts for the triple premiere of this opera "A Quiet Place" for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., La Scala in Italy, and the Vienna State Opera.
Please join his family on Thursday, July 18, 2019 to honor his life with a visitation from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. at PRUZIN & LITTLE FUNERAL SERVICE, 811 E. Franciscan Dr., Crown Point (South of S.R. 231 on S.R. 55 – please be advised of road construction just north of the funeral home on S.R. 55). Funeral services will be Friday, July 19, 2019 with prayers at 9:30 a.m. from PRUZIN & LITTLE CHAPELand 10:00 a.m. Mass from St. Mary Catholic Church, 321 E. Joliet St., Crown Point with Rev. Pat Kalich officiating. At rest Historic Maplewood Cemetery, Crown Point.
Please visit www.pruzinfuneralservice.com to express online condolences and view online obituary.