Sad death of a Clementi authority

Sad death of a Clementi authority


norman lebrecht

December 19, 2017

We have been informed of the death last week of Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald, a Cambridge scholar who spent much of his professional life in Italy. He was in his 40s.


Rohan’s major publications include New Perspectives on the Keyboard Sonatas of Muzio Clementi (2006); Jan Ladislav Dussek: A Bohemian Composer «en voyage» through Europe, co-edited with Roberto Illiano (2012), and The Early Keyboard Sonata in Italy and Beyond (2016).



He was also active as a concert pianist and accompanist, and a regular choral singer.

Here is the notice we have received:
It is with the deepest sadness that we have to announce that the dear fellow musicologist and friend Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald passed away last week.
Truly kind and generous, Rohan was a skilled scholar.
He has been always an important presence for the life and the scholarly development of Ad Parnassum Journal (Bologna). He was a member of the advisory board from the very beginning, since its launch in 2003.

As a member of the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini (Lucca) and the National Edition of the Complete Works of Muzio Clementi (Bologna), he always demonstrated his remarkable capacity to work endlessly. Our scholarly lives crossed several times since we met almost eighteen years ago and he was inspiring for all of us.

We are going to miss him and his delicate sense of humour. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with his family.

Luca Lévi Sala (Université de Montréal)
Roberto Illiano (CSOOLB)
Massimiliano Sala (CSOOLB)
Fulvia Morabito (CSOOLB)


  • Simon Fairclough says:

    He was my analysis supervisor at Cambridge. Courteous beyond measure, he’d end up apologising to students if they came to a supervision ill-prepared, and would respond politely to even the stupidest ideas with the line ‘yes, well that’s a very interesting point’. His supervisions were spattered with excerpts from major orchestral works played from memory on the piano.

    Such a loss.

  • Julian Perkins says:

    I am very distressed to read about this. Rohan was incredibly kind to me when I was a music undergraduate at Cambridge University. He was forever giving me extra (unpaid) help when preparing for finals, and almost seemed embarrassed when thanked. His disarming modesty concealed a truly brilliant mind.