Tom Zajac – In Memoriam

It is with great sorrow that we share the news that our beloved colleague Tom Zajac has passed away. Tom was a special spirit; a tender, fierce, loyal friend and an inspiring and sensitive musician. The Consort musicians, Board, and community mourn his passing. Many of our audience will remember his last concert with us, when he was still recovering from one of his many surgeries for atypical meningiomas, the recurring brain tumors with which he was afflicted.

Tenor Matthew Dean remembers the World of Copernicus concert: “Tom Zajac lashed instruments to himself to play them one-handed, Odysseus at the mast on a taunting sea to which he would not yield. Tom was a finer musician and fuller soul at half-strength than any other I have known whole. His melodies will continue to navigate my life. The Heynal sounds in heaven today.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

Tom’s concerts with The Newberry Consort:

Lute Man

  • 1999 Villon to Rabelais
  • 2007 The Play of Robin and Marion
  • 2008 What a Difference a Day Makes
  • 2009 Ecco la Primavera
  • 2010 Melody and Miracles
  • 2011 Rosa das Rosas
  • 2012 The King’s Noyse and Piffaro
  • 2012 Gaude, Mater Polonia: Music of Poland’s Golden Age
  • 2012 La Harpe de Melodie
  • 2014 The Feast of the Pheasant
  • 2015 Music from the World of Copernicus


Click here to read Tom’s full obituary…

5 Comments on “Tom Zajac – In Memoriam”

  1. What an absolutely lovely tribute; thank you so incredibly much for sharing that beautiful audio. How sweet it is to hear Tom’s clear gentle baritone voice.

  2. A strong wind blew up on my hill the afternoon Tom died. It felt like it must have been him flying by. It was a honor and joy to have made music with him.

  3. I will miss Tom so very much on a million levels – but in terms of his musicianship I feel we had really hit our stride together. My favorite moments with him at Newberry include our intro to Rosa das Rosas, that Cantiga ring tone… and his fine hammer dulcimer playing, especially the earth quake in the Cantiga about the monastery that went below the earth. The great thing about Tom – especially in medieval accompanying – was that he was always right there with you, for every note, waiting to play on a little cue, throwing something beautiful in the air. That last concert was amazing – Tom taught us so much by curating such a wonderful program and we just wanted it to be perfect for him. Peace, brother.

  4. Tom’s work with the Newberry Consort in the past several years has been a great joy to my wife and I, as audience members. We’re both so very sorry to hear of his death.

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