Bruce Prince-Joseph Dead at Age 89
Dr. Bruce Prince-Joseph, 89, Kansas City, Missouri, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 25, 2015, in the comfort of his home in the embrace of close friends. Bruce was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, son of Lebanese immigrants Adele Prince Joseph and Hanna (John) Joseph. He moved to the Valentine area of Kansas City as a child. He became interested in music while attending St Paul’s Episcopal Church and the pipe organ quickly became his life’s passion.
By his early teens, he gave his first organ recital at St Mary’s Episcopal Church. He attended the Norman School and Westport High School, graduating in 1942. After a year of working and saving money, he followed his dream to New York where he began studying with Pietro Yon at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Within the first year of his studies, Bruce was hired as Chancel Organist there. He then began work in the undergraduate organ program at Yale, studying organ with Frank Bozyan and composition with Paul Hindemith.
Read the entire obituary at legacy.com.
Speaking to a Catholic priest, Bruce remarked: “I thought it was a big joke,” Prince-Joseph said. “I kept telling him, ‘No, you don’t want to mess around with an old guy like me.’ Then one day, I woke up and said, ‘Do you want to sit around feeling sorry for yourself?’ That’s why I am here. Because I am crazy.”
And when, not if, he pulls it off? “What a way to die,” he said. “When I die, I want to know that it worked.”
Read this article on his desire to promote good music in World-renowned organist seeks to preserve classic Gregorian chant in Catholic liturgy.
John Apple and I only spoke by telephone with him two or three times, but he was always interesting and supportive of anything related to good music. Many of us will remember his fascination with the pedal harpsichord and these albums.
Read Bruce Prince-Joseph: Toccata Giovane, a paper by Lucas W Fletcher for Illinois Wesleyan University in 2014.