"I have written many articles for these magazines and also for Opera News, a book (Callas: Portrait of a Prima Donna, 1960), and the librettos for two operas, The Magic Chair and The Scarlet Mill (music by Eugene Zador), which have been repeatedly performed. And I have matched wits and shared bafflements with other like-minded specialists on Texaco's Opera Quiz [of the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday-afternoon radio broadcasts]. I have lectured a great deal, and this year I initiated a course called Great Voices in Opera at New York University.
"My work schedule is sheer insanity, but it helps that music and records are my only hobby. I am unfamiliar with the art of carefree relaxation and consider writing and listening to music the best way to fill those 'idle hours.'
"Considering that uneventful childhood of mine, I am astonished at how active and even adventurous my life has been. My home, too, is usually buzzing with happy activity. My wife, Hedy, and my daughter, Nancy, are both artists and editors (and sometime custodians of my English). Ours has been a one-car but three-typewriter family.
"Things have a way of coming full circle. Last year, Magyar Radio (Budapest) invited me to tape a series of my Vocal Scene in Hungarian, and the invitation has been renewed for a second year. If my father were alive, he might even reassess his prejudiced view of journalists."
George Jellinek would continue being a journalist for us for another 23 years. Staying on as music director of WQXR until 1984, he hosted The Vocal Scene until his retirement in 2004. And there were more books: History Through the Opera Glass and My Road to Radio and "The Vocal Scene": Memoir of an Opera Commentator.
George is survived by Hedy and Nancy as well as by a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter. On April 18, a standing-room-only memorial concert took place at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.
Keep listening, George.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.