Grammy Award-winning musician Paul Sullivan plays an original composition with flutist Deirdre McArdle in celebration of the life of the late concert pianist Edmund Battersby, who summered in Corea. PHOTO BY JACQUELINE WEAVER

Pianist and flutist team up to play tribute to Edmund Battersby

GOULDSBORO — The late Edmund Battersby no doubt would have enjoyed the program, which began with longtime colleague and cellist Evangeline Benedetti and ended with an original composition by Paul Sullivan with flutist Deirdre McArdle.

The concert and community gathering at Acadia’s Oceanside Meadows Inn in Prospect Harbor Aug. 18 was a celebration of the life of Battersby, who died March 25 in Bloomington, Ind., where he was a professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Grammy Award-winning pianist Paul Sullivan of Brooklin was asked by McArdle, a close friend and colleague of Battersby, to join her Winter Harbor Music Festival musicians in a tribute to the late concert pianist.

Another concert in Battersby’s memory also was held Aug. 15 at the same venue with remarks by Battersby’s husband, Christian Claessens.

At the Aug. 18 memorial, Sullivan performed “Fog in the Goldenrod,” an original composition that he said was not written for Battersby, but which Sullivan felt suited the moment.

Edmund Battersby
Edmund Battersby

“I am dedicating this to him, in his honor,” said Sullivan before the concert. “The title is from a phrase in a poem by Philip Booth in Castine. It is one of my favorite poems and he is one of my favorite poets.”

“It’s a late summer elegiac,” Sullivan said. “It’s about the end of things.”

Sullivan said that he and Battersby were not close, but had a “friendly, warm acquaintance.”

“We had several collegial moments together before and around concerts,” Sullivan said. “We’ve shared the stage at least once and I’ve gone to many of his concerts.”

McArdle said Sullivan sat with her at one of Battersby’s performances.

“The lights were out, the candles were flickering,” she said. “It was magical.”

She said she asked Sullivan to join the celebration of Battersby’s life because the late pianist had “unbounded respect” for Sullivan.

Battersby was a student and later a teacher at the Kniesel Hall School of String and Ensemble Music in Blue Hill.

He enjoyed an international career as a pianist, orchestral soloist, chamber player and recording artist.

Battersby was the artistic director of Harbor Music, the Artur Balsam Chamber Ensemble Classes for Piano and Strings at Acadia’s Oceanside Meadows Inn and which was supported by the Indiana University Foundation since 1999.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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