Death of US early music leader, 81

Michael Jaffee, founder and director of The Waverly Consort, has died in a fall at his New York home.

Mike once told me that his life changed when, on his first trip traveling around England, he heard several Cathedral choirs singing the astonishingly beautiful 16th-century music for which they are famous. The gorgeous straight tones of the voices and the purity of the intervals they sang, making the tensions and resolutions of the polyphony so thrilling, transported him. He gave up his guitar for the lute and vowed to make sure that this music, and all early music, would become as well known as the standard repertoire of orchestras and chamber-music societies.

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