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Vic Firth Passes Away at 85

Jazzed Magazine • News • July 30, 2015

Everett “Vic” Firth passed away on July 26th at the age of 85.

Beginning as the youngest principal timpanist ever for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Firth designed his own sticks when he felt the ones he had weren’t up to par.
His innovations led to the formation of the Vic Firth company in 1963. The organization merged with the Avedis Zidljian Co. in 2010.
I was lucky enough to interview Mr. Firth – who had a long friendship with former MMR publisher Sidney Davis – many times, including one extensive conversation and tour of his company’s facilities that led to a cover story for our sister publication, School Band & Orchestra. He was a fascinating, engaging, intelligent, and extremely amusing person.

A post on the Vic Firth company website confirmed the sad news. You can read it in full below.

To our dear friends around the world:
We are heartbroken to share the news with you that Vic has passed away.
Vic was an inspiration to all of us. He was a visionary, a mentor, a leader and a friend. He always said he surrounded himself with the best people, but the truth is he brought out the best in all of us. His boundless passion for music and musicians drove every decision he made.
Vic’s spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. He will be missed beyond words.

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