Deceased September 13, 2015
Like the musical works he devoted his career to creating, Ethan F. Greene’s combination of wit, charm and deep warmth always left those who encountered him eager for more. That’s never been the case more so than now, after Ethan succumbed Sept. 13 to a brief and unexpected struggle with leukemia in Orlando, Fla., near where he had moved in 2014 to join Stetson University as an assistant professor of digital arts.
Ethan came to Amherst from South Orange, N.J., and, after a flirtation with hard science, ultimately pursued a degree in music. He played trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble and bass guitar in numerous bands on campus, most notably the hip-hop group the Ones and the Twos. He moved to Austin, Texas, after graduation, working at a lab at the University of Texas while regularly performing music and collaborating with other artists.
In 2007, he moved to Houston, where he earned a master’s degree at Rice University in music composition in 2009. He returned to Austin that year to pursue a doctor of musical arts degree at the University of Texas, which he earned in 2013. Along the way, Ethan’s works were performed by ensembles including the Houston Grand Opera, which commissioned his 2010 youth opera, A Way Home. Ethan, whose musical influences ranged widely, also found commercial success, scoring video games and providing music that appeared on the television version of This American Life and a National Geographic Channel documentary about Lincoln’s assassination.
At Amherst, Ethan was known for his gregarious nature, and he united diverse groups of people. He brought his creativity and sense of humor to all of his pursuits, from dressing up as “Count Bakula” one Halloween to his trademark “angry squirrel face.” He found his greatest happiness in marriage and fatherhood. He is survived by his wife, Alma Lagarda, and his young son, Mateo.
Ben Wieder ’04