Musicians don’t die at 27. The danger age is 56.

Musicians don’t die at 27. The danger age is 56.


norman lebrecht

March 29, 2015

A survey of musicians’ mortality aims to dispel the myth that the great die young, 27 being the preferred exit age.

The research, conducted at the University of Sydney by Dianna Theadora Kenny, assesses all deaths of pop and rock musicians reported in the press from 1950 to 2010 and finds the median age odf departure to be 56.

Unfortunately, and for reasons unexplained, Prof. Kenny excludes classical musicians.

Perhaps because their high mortality would raise the average to 70?

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  • Hilary says:

    Beethoven fits these spurious findings rather well, as he died age 57.
    In essence, musicians who have many vices (Bernstein) don’t live as long as those who have few (Boulez)

  • Ariel says:

    “…their high mortality”?… I think you meant “long life expectancy”

  • El Grillo says:

    I don’t think you can equate Bernstein’s life with vices, in comparison with someone who had a few vices having to do with taste and suppressing those with a difference than his; and then the linear time someone has spent (a composer that creates a perspective on time in a way that transcends it) this does not equal duration, either. “In essence”

  • Stephen says:

    Bernstein undoubtedly destroyed himself, as did Pavarotti and Samson François. There are certainly a fair number of others.