In Memoriam: Cliff Colnot

Cliff Colnot headshot credit Todd Rosenberg Photography

Cliff Colnot, Todd Rosenberg Photography, 2007.


It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Cliff Colnot, who died on February 12 following a long illness. Starting in the early 1990s Cliff regularly conducted new music ensembles in the department, including the Contemporary Chamber Players and later Contempo. Cliff was known both for his love of new music and for the precision of his conducting, which together produced compelling performances of works from the repertoire as well as premieres by the faculty and students of our composition program. For many years Cliff also taught an exacting orchestration course that brought students into contact with some of the top-level instrumentalists in the Chicago area (who Cliff brought in to demonstrate instrumental resources and techniques), and that introduced students to notational practices that insured clear and accurate performances of their compositions. Cliff was a long-time friend of the department whose generosity with his time and artistry will be sorely missed.

More on Cliff's life and career can be found in the tribute on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's website.