Tamara Brooks, 70, choral conductor and wife of Theodore Bikel

by | May 25, 2012 | Obituaries

Tamara Brooks, a noted choral conductor, and the wife and musical partner of singeractor Theodore Bikel, died May 19 at 70.

Brooks, a Juilliard-trained pianist and conductor, had a distinguished career as a conductor and educator who performed around the world.

She was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory from 1982 to 2000, and also served as president and head of the orchestral program of Philadelphia’s New School of Music. Brooks founded and was the music director of Sequenza, a professional instrumental ensemble devoted to contemporary music.

Brooks and Bikel met when they worked on two shows about Jewish music for PBS in 1999 and 2000. Brooks became Bikel’s professional as well as life partner, accompanying him on piano in frequent concert tours in the U.S. and overseas. The couple married in 2008 and celebrated Bikel’s 85th birthday a year later at a gala Carnegie Hall concert. (JTA)