Death of Tempest composer

Death of Tempest composer


norman lebrecht

December 03, 2015

Family members are reporting the death of John Eaton, who composed an opera on Shakespeare’s The Tempest with a libretto by the late New Yorker critic Andrew Porter. It was premiered at San Diego in 1985.

john eaton

Eaton, who was 80, taught at the universities of Indiana and Chicago. In early days he worked with Robert Moog on synthesisers. Later, he developed a genre of Pocket Opera and wrote in microtones.


john eaton


  • Russell Platt says:

    An important and distinctive American composer. R.I.P.

  • Chris says:

    I worked with John when I was a conducting student at Indiana. I conducted a couple of his pieces and was there when his opera The Cry of Clytemnestra was produced. He was a brilliant and original composer who knew music deeply ranging from obscure motets by Hassler to the latest works. He was also enormously supportive of me, very kind, friendly and with an infectious laugh. R.I.P. John

  • Jonathan says:

    It was our pleasure to extensively talk with John Eaton at NAMM about his career and thoughts on music. Dr. Eaton was a remarkable man and voice in music. The complete feature can be seen here:

  • Carmen-Helena Tellez says:

    Thank you for posting this memorial note. John Eaton was an extraordinary composer, with a virtuoso technique, and a great love of Handel, which would surprise many. His music is not for the faint of heart, but musicians would be always exhilarated after having attempted any of his works. His last concert on October 23 celebrated his 80th birthday in New York City. Symphony Space was full of admirers and friends who gave him a standing ovation. How timely this was!

  • Ivan Kuznetsov says:

    The Tempest was performed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, not San Diego.