Appreciation: What did Peter Brook and Richard Taruskin have in common? Next to everything and nothing | Entertainment

Opera theater

Director Peter Brook and musicologist Richard Taruskin were transformative figures and essentials in their fields. When they were alive, they were too different – ​​separated by age, temperament, and activities – for us to connect them in any way. Yet their deaths within a day of each other in early July placed their obituaries and appreciations on the same weekend cultural news cycle. Chance, always illuminating, brought them together.

On the surface, they occupied opposite ends of the intellectual and philosophical spectrums. One came across as a calm, reserved, eloquent, and reflective force of nature; the other as a loud, quarrelsome, disruptive, and sometimes thoughtless and spiteful force of nature. One was a tidy, cautious, empty minimalist; the other, a voracious maximalist, who has (a lot) to say about everything and is always ready with a sharp repartee.