Jean-Michel Damase, while president of the jury of the Concours Cité des Arts, 2011. Photo: Jean-Marc Volta
As many of you will have already heard, Jean-Michel Damase died the day before yesterday, at the age of 85. Son of the great harpist Micheline Kahn, he leaves behind him an exceptional, prolific and imaginatively diverse contribution to our instrument. From absolute beginners to the most virtuoso artists, a concert harpist's repertoire is not complete without at least one work by Jean-Michel. Those fortunate enough to have known or met him personally equally treasure his kindness, open-mindedness and good humour. Like many distinguished musicians, he was first and foremost an exceptional human being. He will be sorely missed.