Deceased January 31, 2018

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In Memory

Alex Breed, who led a life devoted to early music as a teacher, performer and arranger, died Jan. 31 at the age of 87 in Port Elizabeth, Maine.

Alex was born in New York City, grew up in Lynn, Mass., and prepared for Amherst at St. Mark’s School. He began with the class of 1953; left to serve in the Army as a radio repairman in Linz, Austria; and returned to graduate in 1957. He majored in political science and was a member of Delta Upsilon. He married Phyllis Klein in 1958, and they settled in Watertown, Mass.

The Portland Post-Herald reports: “Throughout his life, music was central. Alex was a teacher and performer, specializing in music composed before 1750. He taught children and adults to play recorders and other Renaissance and Baroque instruments and for more than 40 years coached private ensembles in greater Boston.

“His arrangements of music for student groups were published by the Oriel Library in England and have been circulated widely in the United States and Europe. He was a founding member of the Boston Recorder Society and performed with LaFontegara and other early music consorts.”

Alex and Phyllis retired to Port Elizabeth where he began to study jazz piano. He was especially interested in similarities between improvised styles in modern jazz and those of Renaissance and Baroque music.

Alex is remembered as a man of modest, reserved demeanor that belied a sharp mind and generous heart. He is survived by friends, cousins and his wife.

George Gates ’53

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