Tragic death of young US conductor, 36

Tragic death of young US conductor, 36


norman lebrecht

June 20, 2020

The young American conductor Christopher Quentin McMullen-Laird has died of an unspecified medical issue.

Music Director of the Jæren Symfoniorkester in Norway, he was previously assistant to Kent Nagano and Kirill Petrenko at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Christopher was a Leverhulme Arts Scholar at the Royal College of Music London where he earned a Master’s of Music in Conducting, following a Bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

You can read tributes in his memorial page here.


  • Karl says:

    Far too young. There is an online memorial for him.

  • fflambeau says:

    Sad at such a young age in particular.

  • Kemaco says:

    Thank you, Karl. Amidst all our loss This one just undid me. I wasn’t familiar with him. But your link leads to heartbreaking memories.

  • Dorset dick says:

    could you tell us more about jaeren symphony, was it professional was it full time ?

  • Edgar Self says:

    A sad and untimely death. We think of 36 as a young life cut short, yet reflect that the careers of Bellini, Schubert, Mozart held fewer year, and Henry Purcell died at the same age. Death be not proud. I don’t send to know for hom the bell tolls. I know. Deaths of those younger than ourselves, especially of our children, seem all wrong, outside the natural order,and strangely affecting.

    Then there are the deaths of the very young of great promise and ability … Lii Boulanger, Arriaga, Guillaume Lekeu, James Dean, poor Thomas Chatterton, for which there are no words.