In Such Loving Memory of Our Dearest Christopher Quentin McMullen-Laird

Our Christopher died June 18th of an acute aortic dissection.

This page will develop as a collection of the memories from the people who were lucky enough to have him in our lives. Please share stories, memories, photos, recipes, music, poems, he is so loved and of course he’d be excited to see us all coming together and sharing the joy he brought into each of our lives.

Plant a tree for Chris’ birthday!

Dear Friends of Christopher,

As you know, one of Christopher’s passions was protecting the environment, especially air and water.  Recently one of us received a nighttime message from Chris which seemed to request us to plant trees for the environment.  Glad to do it Chris! Christopher’s next birthday is his 37th, on September 30th, 2020. We hope that folks can plant a tree on or near that date this year, and hopefully in future years, too.

We would like to keep track of the trees planted in Chris’ honor. Please upload photos or videos of tree planting or trees, to tell us the location of the tree, and the kind of tree, or to let us know about a donation or a tree-related thing you’ve done in Chris’ honor!

Trees of course move a great deal of water from the earth out into the air via transpiration, cleaning it in the process.  Trees also are a great carbon sponge.  And some are particularly good for bees, like linden or tuliptree. Chris’ parents will be planting a linden tree on their cabin property in Michigan.

There are many variations available on how to participate.  

1. Plant a tree!
If you live somewhere which is amenable to a new tree you can plant it directly.  We are encouraging people to read up on what type of tree would thrive in the future at the place it is planted.  With global warming it may be necessary to pick a tree that will thrive in a climate that’s a bit warmer than what it is right now. 
Here are some resources about trees you might plant depending where you live:
UK: 
US:
Since many Hardiness Zone maps are specific to the US, this guide can help you adapt that to where you live. 
2.  Get involved  in a larger movement dedicated to planting trees:
In Germany on the Day of Germany Unity (October 3rd – great timing!) there is an effort for all Germans to plant a tree.
4. If trees are not the right thing right now, you can donate directly to memorial efforts in Chris’ honor.
Regardless of what you choose, we would love to hear about it. Please submit a post about what you are doing in his honor.
Thank you for getting involved!
Family and Friends of Christopher ‘Zeke’ McMullen-Laird

 

Memorial Projects

Memorial Fund

His family and friends are putting together a fund to support the work and causes that Chris is passionate about. Let us know if you’d like to be a part of this project! 

Cookbook

Chris was as enthusiastic an eater as he was a cook! We’d like to collect recipes (along with the stories behind them) to share with everyone so he can have a home in our kitchens. Of course Chris’ own recipe collection will be featured.

Video Project

Memorial video collection from his friends and family of songs or remembrances dedicated to Chris.

Memorial Playlist

A spotify collaborative playlist of songs that make us think of Chris, and spark that special kind of feeling that can’t be named but is undeniably Chris.

Thoughts & Prayers

His Family

John Scherding

Christopher became my nephew in 1990, when Christine and I married, in fact he brought our rings to the altar.  Even as a young child it was clear that this bright and intensely alert boy would make the most of his days.  And as we all know, he did just that.  With...

Christine Scherding

June 24-Wed early am: I woke up to intense rain this morning. The skies are crying. I have wanted to write here but just couldn’t. It’s impossible to find words to express what our family is experiencing. It’s been nearly a week since we’ve heard the news of your...

Greg Laird

Christopher was my nephew and a wunderkind.  Among his long list of qualities, I was impressed by his ability to momentarily interrupt his passionate drive to meet his goals with some goofy joie de vivre. While appearing serendipitous, I often wondered if it was...

Marti Laird

Christopher’s love touched so many people! Just reading the beautiful tributes shows how far and wide his love spread!  Two things I enjoyed about Christoper were his love of food and his sense of playfulness!  My favorite memory is Christopher and Sindre’s...

Julian Scherding

My cousin, my friend, my other brother. Thank you for it all: Munich operas, Boston restaurants, Norwegian cabins, Moosilauke hikes, French books, Cape Cod sandcastles, London museums, and countless WhatsApp voice memos. Thank you for being simultaneously here and...

Mary McMullen

Christopher is my cousin. He surprised me by traveling overseas to attend my wedding September 2018 which made the day that more special. I felt so loved that he came to celebrate and dance with me and our family. He has always had a positive attitude since I first...

Jennifer McMullen

Some people just make life better for everyone around them. They just naturally make everyone feel a little happier, a little more alive to life. That’s how my cousin Christopher was. His kind heart and generous soul blessed so many people. The times we spent together...

Diana Laird

Allerliebster Chris, It’s hard to write this with tears in my eyes and such a heavy heart over your sudden and untimely death. You were just getting started…  Will I really never hear your infectious laughter or Schwäbisch talk again? Your endless knowledge about...

Andrew & Cynthia Laird

Christopher chose positivity to live his life and focus on the horizon above. We witnessed him achieve some of his aspirations and were collectively joyful in his successes.  Although we are deeply saddened and in disbelief at this tragic turn of events we...

Eric Laird

O Maestro! My Maestro!  Your symphony has just begun not here or there but everywhere.  Movement to movement and act to act you will perform with never an end.  I see your vibrance and I see your smile waving that baton from stage to stage and friend to...

His Friends and Colleagues

James Green

My name is James Green, and I am the incumbent President of King’s College London Symphony Orchestra.  The thing I most admire about Chris is his ability to get the absolute best out of people; not just musically but the best of their personality also. In the...

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Hannah Littlechild

Chris was the most extraordinary human being I have ever met. His positive influence with us at KCLSO was immeasurable. Personally, it was an honour to work beside Chris on my first proper concerto with the orchestra, which involved a wonderful tour to Loire Valley. I...

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Kathryn Davies

I only knew Christopher briefly in Weimar, as we were both students from the US there. But it was around the time he met Sindre. We all joined a school-organized trip to Berlin, and I often come across these photos. I have been meaning for ages to send them to...

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Jane Kieran

I am a friend and co-worker at the RSHC, so I know Dr. Molly And Dr. Quentin. I met Christopher at one of the first retreats I worked at and of course felt his welcoming presence and easy nature. He was so full of life and it was contagious. Reading the memories here...

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Aniela Eddy

This performance of Biber’s Passacaglia is for Chris. I thought of this piece specifically for him since the descending ground bass is often interpreted as the steps that a human being takes as they walk through life. In fact, this piece is also called the “Guardian...

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Greg Laird

Christopher was my nephew and a wunderkind.  Among his long list of qualities, I was impressed by his ability to momentarily interrupt his passionate drive to meet his goals with some goofy joie de vivre. While appearing serendipitous, I often wondered if it was...

read more

Peter Verovšek

College was a really formative time in my life. I know that this was the case for Zeke. That he embraced the freedom to rediscover himself is signaled most obviously by the fact that all of us who met him in Hanover know him as Zeke, not as Chris or Christopher. In...

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Phillip Cheah

“Lo duca e io per quel cammino ascoso intrammo a ritornar nel chiaro mondo; e sanza cura aver d’alcun riposo, salimmo sù, el primo e io secondo, tanto ch’i’ vidi de le cose belle che porta ‘l ciel, per un pertugio tondo. E quindi uscimmo...

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Mitzi Huang

Zeke and I were Senior Fellows together at Dartmouth during our senior year. He was so inspirational, that years and year later, I still speak of his fellowship project as an example of the type of amazing friends that I had the fortune of knowing at Dartmouth. We had...

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Claudette Stern

Dear Quentin, Molly, Lydia, Purple, Samuel, Sindre, and Kin, All I can do is to create this embrace, this vessel, of peace and love where sorrow can reside while you merge into this loss and these crushing adjustments. Grief and love are strange bedfellows, but I hope...

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Carol Jennings

Christopher entered our lives last year when he came to Norfolk to conduct the Yorke Trust’s summer opera, The Tempest. On our journey from the station when he told me the choristers would be singing the opera choruses from memory, it didn’t seem...

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Bill Summers & Rachael Lapidis

Passing along this memory on behalf of Bill Summers’s, Zeke’s Senior Fellowship advisor at Dartmouth: A great shadow has darkened the sky.  The birds have begun their silent mourning.  They sense the powerful moment of someone’s passing. ...

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Barbara Hannigan

I’m a Canadian opera singer, and in spring 2014 I was a guest artist at the Munich Staatsoper for a new production of Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten. It was a huge production, and one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career. It was also the first time I...

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emanuela portalupi

Dear Christopher Quentin,  we met first in Berlin, with your parents, than at the wonderful Thanksgiving 2011, you organised in the house of Samuel’s italian family.  With your generous eyes and hands and your sunperson’s heart, thinking of you will be...

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Massimo Rossi

E’ stato un piacere e un onore conoscerti. Ci mancherai nei nostri appuntamenti annuali del 6 gennaio in giro per l’Europa. Ciao Zeke Max e...

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Colin Lawson

Christopher was a remarkable RCM student, with a rare ability to inspire others.  His was a radiant personality, with a musical talent to match.  We worked together on a Mozart project in his final year; he was insightful and passionate.  Deepest condolences from the...

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Stella

Dear Zeke,  You played such an integral role in my Dartmouth experience.  Thank you for our long talks and sharing a passion for music, for the thoughtful discussions during our London Music FSP and the spontaneity and adventure of the trip to Italy and...

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Esther Centers

I join the many who are sending prayers on your way into the spiritual world.May the love that accompanies you help through guide the way.Your deeds inspire me!

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Claire Gonet

Cape Cod is a haven for all of the Lairds and Christopher spent so many loving days with his Grandfather here. He shared Summers on the Cape with his siblings as children, and played with my Daughter when she was five.  Over the years he brought so many friends, as...

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Stephen Johns

It is with such great sadness that we learn of the untimely passing of Chris.  He was a popular student at the Royal College of Music, his infectious personality and easy-going charm touching many lives, from his contemporaries, the staff who taught him, and the...

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Melanie Carbine

I haven’t seen Chris since we graduated from high school but I have clear memories of his kind, sincere character.  We were in the orchestra together and I was always impressed with the way he approached music.  I knew he experienced the music in a way that I...

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Erlend Vestby

I had the privilege of study together with Chris at the RCM in London since 2017\. His pure joy of life, music and people gave an extra important dimension to the social and professional life in college. I would like to share with you this movement of E. Elgar’s Cello...

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Anette Beisswenger

Dear Molly and Quentin, Der Tote ist nicht tot. Er lebt in uns fort auf geheimnisvolle Weise. Er fügt gleichsam seine besten, nun von der Last des Leidens erlösten Kräfte den unseren hinzu. So beginnt er, uns selbst zu verwandeln und läutert in unserem Herzen sein...

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Laura Turner

I have never met Christopher but knowing Quentin and Molly I can only imagine what a wonderful person he was. My thoughts and prayers are with you,Quentin, Molly,and Christopher. I can’t imagine what you are going through.  Love,...

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Nell Campbell

Zeke was one of my first friends at Dartmouth. We haven’t crossed paths since graduation but his voice and presence come so clearly to mind when I think of him. That incredible energy. It is so sad to hear of his passing. My thoughts are with his family.

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Andrée Naylor

Already as a 14-year old, Christopher had the baton in his hand, leading a group of about 12 elderly Health Retreat patients and staff in songs.  ‘How can he and how does this young boy dare work with us oldies’ I (who could have been his grandmother)...

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Colin Lawson

Christopher was a remarkable RCM student, with a rare ability to inspire others.  His was a radiant personality, with a musical talent to match.  We worked together on a Mozart project in his final year; he was insightful and passionate.  Deepest condolences from the...

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Gunter Kahlert Prof.

Lieber Christopher, Sie haben sehr gut Deutsch gesprochen, deshalb schreibe ich in dieser Sprache. In den Jahren 2005 und 2006 haben Sie bei mir in der Musikhochschule Franz List Weimar studiert, diese schöne und sinnvolle Zeit mit Ihnen vergesse ich nicht. Erst im...

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Michael Chan

Michael Chan

I met Zeke at Dartmouth when we were both part of the symphony orchestra there. He was a lively, fun and happy guy then. It is clear that he has been much respected, loved and appreciated since. My condolences on his passing. OLYMPUS DIGITAL...

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Ursula Bell-Köhler

Mein lieber Christopher, es ist ein schöner Sommerabend und eigentlich fände das 2. Hauptereignis der Stadt Mainz, die Johannisnacht statt. Nun schließt  Corona solche Großveranstaltungen aus. Die Spargelsaison endet traditionell an Johannis, dem 24. Juni und es...

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Rassias Center

We write this note with stunned sadness and profound sympathy.  Zeke brought so much to so many always; so giving, so creative, so full of life.   As an office, we put together a list of words and phrases that jumped into our hearts and brains as we...

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Mark Traves

Chris would steward concerts for me at RCM, a few years ago he saved a graduation ceremony by getting his husband Sindre in to help out as I had no one able to work.  Chris was a truly lovely guy and will be missed by all who knew him.  I just watched the...

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Hayat Selim

From day one I met Chris back in 2017, he was all about unconditional giving and help to everyone around him. He organized practice sessions for the conducting module to help those with no previous experience, asking for nothing in return. He was one of these people...

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Ricardo Bartelme

Christopher was an amazing being. May he and we find our right orientation now in the spiritual world. Many have been touched by Christopher while he was on earth. May our love we send to him be supportive wings for his further journey and unfoldment in the spiritual...

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Mike Pilewski

In 2003, Christopher came to Mainz, Germany, on the exchange program of the VDAC as a nominee of Dartmouth College. It is not every day that one has the good fortune of becoming acquainted with someone of such unusual character, with such a zest for life and such...

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Susanne Schiller

Wir sind sehr traurig und werden Christopher vermissen. Die vielen schönen Stunden, die wir mit ihm in Weimar, Berlin und Heilbronn verbracht haben, werden uns immer in Erinnerung bleiben.

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Bo Lyu

Dear Chris, I will never forget our collaborating, you were such an incredible musician and friend. Thank you for the memories. Rest in peace Christopher,...

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Helen Sullivan

I became friends with Zeke at Dartmouth where we were classmates.  I don’t recall how we met, but we spent the most time together over sophomore summer.  There were swimming adventures, ice cream, long evenings on the porch, and “Prom” at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge...

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Ariel Stern

Christopher – or Zeke, as we called him at Dartmouth – and I became dear friends in college despite never having taken a single class together. We have always shared a love of languages and as undergraduates, we had a common (and very lucrative!) side job as teaching...

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Stephannie Moore

I remember hearing about Christopher long before I met him, which was during the late 90s. At the time, I was Purple’s voice teacher and lived just down the street from the McMullen-Laird family. I taught quite a number of Steiner School students and Christopher’s...

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Alexander Dawkins

I briefly met Christopher for the first time in February 2019, before properly meeting in November last year. We met in Paris where Christopher was passing through on one of his regular train trips from Germany to London, where we had arranged our first read through...

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Surrey Mozart Players

Christopher guest conducted the Surrey Mozart Players on 7 December 2019 for a performance of Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez with Giacomo Susani as soloist and Schubert Symphony no. 3 at the Electric Theatre in...

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Sonja (Olson) Dewing

I met Christopher in 2003 when we were both placed in Mainz, Germany for a year of study abroad on scholarships from the Federation of German-American Clubs. We were introduced by our dear caretaker and contact person at the university, Frau Ursula Bell-Köhler....

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Hilary Plaskett

After knowing Christopher for only a short while, it was clear to me that he was a truly exceptional person.  From our very first meeting he made me feel such a special friend and valued colleague as he always offered generous words of encouragement. His...

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Samuel Teale and Quoc Nguyen

With our condolences and best wishes, this is the Adagio Espressivo from Beethoven’s last violin sonata. Gratefully and humbly dedicated to the memory of Christopher, who gave us and so many others so much warmth and inspiration. Thank you....

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Avi Taler

Christopher Quentin was the first person I met when I came to audition at RCM in the freezing February of 2018\. He was stewarding and his appearance struck me immediately: a tall handsome guy, with his wide blue eyes glaring at you and that million dollar smile. I...

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Elisabeth Geiger

Chris m’a impressionnée par sa curiosité, il était avide de tout ce qu’il pouvait apprendre, avec tellement d’envie et de lumière… Il aura aussi été celui qui m’aura sensibilisée au “zero waste”, préoccupation qui...

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Aida McGugan

A verse from Rudolph Steiner… Up to the heights of life we rise through childhood and youth; and then descend toward earth’s final goal. The spirit is revealed at every stage; first spirit creates the body’s strength; then, from physical power, invisible life...

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Harvey Chiles

I have observed this young man’s career and many accomplishments with admiration via FaceBook.  I never met him.  Yet through the pictures, postings, and his music, I felt a great connection.  As a musician, I grieve the loss of his talents in the future.  As a...

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Paola Hopp

Paola Hopp

We are notes Of differing tempos On the staff if life Some of us Are conductors Who lead others In harmonies Leading to grand...

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Muriel Jaschok (Spindler)

Chris, I met you first in spring 2001 at the fundraising, playing „ein eingebildeter Kranker“ with Moira. Having fun together, drawing anatomic hearts on Papierservietten…  I could stay at Chris‘ wonderful family through summer 2001\. Talking swissgerman...

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Amelia Hupe

Christopher was always a genuinely friendly guy who I always liked to talk to. He will be missed.

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Dominic Blanchard

Chris had the brightest soul of anyone I have ever known. Over the past few days it is clear to see that those who knew Chris as family, friend, musician, or otherwise would agree. As friend and mentor, Chris taught me so much both musically and beyond and the trust...

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Alicia Landman-Reiner

I babysat for Christopher and his sister, in Dornach, Switzerland, in 1985; Christopher was a delightful, steady, poised, sweet kid.  I am blown away that this uniquely loving, kind, gifted, creative man’s life has come to a sudden end amidst so much...

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Helene Thian

Christopher, you are in my thoughts constantly and in my prayers constantly. I am asking Mother Mary to be with you and take care of you, firm in the belief that she is doing just that. I am also keeping your mother and father and sister and brother in my thoughts and...

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Michaela Pfistert

Hey Christopher, als Teil deiner deutschen Family möchten wir drei Pfistert-Mädels unsere Bestürzung über deinen allzu frühen Tod zum Ausdruck bringen. Die Nachricht traf uns wie ein Paukenschlag. Wir sind fassungslos – wir sind traurig – uns fehlen die...

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Joy Kwapien

I am thinking of the gesture of Christopher’s life. I have missed sharing his presence in his later years as our paths did not cross. My memories arise from his teen years not long after his family moved to AA. His creative terrain was helping when needed in the...

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Michaela Schnur

“Wohin können wir denn sterben, wenn nicht in immer höheres, größeres, schwersterblicheres – Leben hinein!” (Christian Morgenstern)  Vom 17.-31.8.2001 war ich als Krankenschwester beim “annual Summer Therapeutic Retreat at Lake Huron...

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George Jackson

My Dear Chris: ever since we met at the Bayerische Staatsoper back in 2012, we stayed in touch, and I was so delighted that we crossed paths a little more when you brought your life to London.  You were destined for great things in music, and your shining personality,...

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Stavanger Amatørsymfoniorkester

In Memory of Christopher Du strålte om kapp med solen så kom skyene og du ble borte Du kom feiende inn på Bjergsted alltid forberedt, korrekt og profesjonell Du fylte rommet med din kunnskap, og din unike musikalske formidling, på norsk, engelsk og tysk Du stilte...

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Susanne Schiller

wir hatten schöne Stunden mit Christopher, egal wo wir ihn getroffen haben. Uns bleibt die Erinnerung an Weimar, Berlin und dem Schillerhof in Heilbronn.

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Sean Loftus

No Words   Few words could ever convey, the true light that shines within you,  Few words could ever compare, to the beauty of who you are,  Few words could ever encapsulate, what radiates from your soul,  Few words can express the music, that...

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Susan Barrett

Zeke was so vivacious and so kind; even though I only knew him for brief moments— a few days with friends in Prague; coffee in Berlin— he was so easy to spend time with. He brought joy with him. I always hoped that we would end up in the same place at the same time...

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Edelgard Große-Brauckmann

Medical summer retreat in 2.000\. Christopher 17 years old. Even then he was already a conductor. Somehow he had everything in hand. He was somehow indispensable in this pioneering phase of an anthroposophical clinic. Not only because he started singing together with...

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Barbara Richardson

Molly and Quentin~ I remember meeting Christopher with your whole family at the Symphony in Detroit one Sunday afternoon. He wanted to be a conductor and I would say, from seeing the posts here, that he succeeded very well. I always was happy to hear updates on his...

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Holly Sedillos

Zeke and I were Dartmouth classmates and have always had a musical bond. We didn’t run in the same friend circles but always supported each other’s endeavors. I was very touched that he not only attended my senior recital but took it upon himself to help my parents...

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Holly Sedillos

Zeke and I were Dartmouth classmates and have always had a musical bond. We didn’t run in the same friend circles but always supported each other’s endeavors. I was very touched that he not only attended my senior recital but took it upon himself to help my parents...

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Aaron Berkson

Aaron Berkson

In my experience with Christopher, and in so many more I’m reading about from others, he showed the ability to almost instantaneously make people become a better version of themselves, with his warmth and generosity, and his enormous energy, talent, and skill. What an...

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Luka Venter

I met Chris briefly in 2018 when we were both watching the rehearsals of the Royal Opera House’s Ring Cycle, and I’m still struck by his effortless warmth and the kindness he radiated.  On one day, he and I followed the music using a single score and...

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Steffen Thorøe

I am deeply saddened to learn what has happened to Christopher. My thoughts are with Sindre and Christopher’s family. Only a week ago, Christopher was reaching out to me to hear, if Sindre and he could visit me in Denmark on their journey from Stavanger to Munich...

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Daniel Munks

In the few times I saw Chris when he visited the Croydon Music and Arts centre to conduct our orchestra, I distinctly remember his advice, positive manner and sense of humour. He was an inspiring conductor, and we genuinely looked forward to seeing him in the...

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Margarita Weber

Thank you Zeke for the unforgettable moments when you, Sindre and I were rehearsing Lohengrin on my couch in Cologne, before we went to see the opera.Andreas and I had the first chance to see you conduct in Rheinsberg.we stopped at my parents’ for a short visit...

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Mark Messenger

Immortality is surely what is left of us in the thoughts and memories of others. Christopher, you will truly live forever in all those you touched with such humanity.

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Dianne and Tom McFarland

Dearest Zeke,   For your most precious friendship, we thank you. For the times we spent together, sharing music, opera, books, stories, projects, food, Mozart, hopes and dreams, we thank you. For your never-ending love and  devotion to your family and...

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Samuel Mallia

I vividly remember walking into college on the first day of induction week in 2017, impostor syndrome kicking in and all. I met Chris on one of the college tours. His electrifying smile and genuine interest in my past and future aspirations made me regain the warmth I...

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Rebecca Rossi

September 2004: first time I met you, joyfully welcoming me at Dartmouth. January 2020: last time I hugged you, after celebrating my mother’s Befana in Italy. In between, too much for now, but I’ll share more. I’m shocked and I cry. Romeo is not...

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Kathron Sturrock

In 2018 I was asked to play for a carol concert for SKY and asked my colleague Peter Stark if he could recommend someone to lead this – ‘someone warm, kind, inclusive, communicative and joyful’ – Peter said ‘I have the very person –...

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Ria und Helmut  Bindereif

Ria und Helmut Bindereif

Auch wir sind unsagbar traurig das Christopher so unverhofft gehen musste. Wir hatten letztes Jahr noch soviel Spaß in London. Wir wünschen seiner Familie viel Kraft für kommende Zeit. Grüße aus Heilbronn,...

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Matt Parkin

Matt Parkin

Like so many at the RCM, I was shocked and so saddened to hear the news about Chris, and all the more because of how much life, energy and fun he brought to all those who worked with him. His warmth and ability to quickly make friends with everyone – fellow students,...

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David and Helga Lendrum

We met Christopher McMullen-Laird when we were part of the choir singing Mozart’s Requiem at the Yorke Trust in South Creake, Norfolk, UK, on 29 February 2020\. It was such an extraordinary day which we will never forget. Christopher’s conducting was so inspirational...

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Quoc Nguyen

❤️❤️ It’s been a few days since I first heard about this tragic news but I still can’t accept it  

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Carolyn Tarzia

I met Chris for the first time when he was in 10th grade, and inquiring about private Viola lessons. One month later, he called back to sign on with me, his private teacher, for lessons, and he remained with me until he graduated from high school. We became close...

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Claudia Rizzi

Zeke : la luce di un genio.. Un privilegio raro averne incrociato il cammino ! Conoscendolo, non si poteva che amarlo.. la sua vitalità, la sua ironia, la sua personalissima originalità e la sua sconfinata nobiltà d’animo toccavano direttamente il cuore di ciascuno.....

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Tim Lines

It’s so unbelievably sad that Chris has been taken at such an early age. He gave so much to all who met him at the RCM. He wanted to hear everyone play and experience as much as possible there. His enthusiasm was infectious and his sheer joy in hearing music was a...

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Münchner internationales Orchester

Münchner internationales Orchester

Chris war unser Dirigent von 2011 bis 2014 und Ehrenmitglied des MiO. Am 18. Juni 2020 verstarb er im Alter von 36 Jahren. Lieber Chris, als Du im Oktober 2011 unser Dirigent geworden bist, hast Du uns alle sofort menschlich und musikalisch in Deinen Bann gezogen. Du...

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Claudia Rizzi

Zeke : la luce di un genio.. Un privilegio raro averne incrociato il cammino ! Conoscendolo non si poteva che amarlo.. la sua vitalità, ironia, originalità  e la sua sconfinata nobiltà d’animo toccavano direttamente il cuore di ciascuno .. Una presenza per sempre...

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Marta Tartari

Caro Zeke, un dolore cosí grande non lo potevo certo immaginare. Dal primo giorno che ti ho conosciuto, quando sei venuto a Bologna a trovare Rebecca dopo il suo anno al Dartmouth, ti ho voluto un bene dell’anima e ti chiamavo il mio bimbo americano. Non riesco...

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Louise Watts

Zeke was my boss.  I met him when we were teaching English on a summer camp in Germany. All the kids adored him, and frankly so did I.  Some people can leave such a lasting effect and impact just by being who they are; Zeke was one of those people.  His...

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Nigel Bates

On behalf of The Royal Ballet Music Department I am sending all our condolences and sadness at the loss of Christopher. He had attended a lecture on ballet conducting at the Royal College of Music given by our Principal Guest Conductor Barry Wordsworth and had started...

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Mary Graham

I only knew him for a brief few weeks as he culminated his time at Dartmouth College in NH. I was lucky enough to be part of his Mozart Requiem project, through which his charisma, talent, passion for music and conducting, and unflinching ambition shone brightly. He...

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Christopher Chan

What a tremendous loss. Zeke’s smile and personality lit up the room. I met Zeke when he was giving a guest lecture for an opera class at Dartmouth that I happened to be sitting in on. His passion for music was immediately apparent. I admired how he wanted...

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Alexandra Fleming

I am so saddened and shocked to hear of Zeke’s abrupt passing. I knew Zeke at Dartmouth, where we shared a love for learning Italian and the Santa Fe opera. He was always so welcoming to me, and always greeted me with smile and a warmth that truly made me feel...

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Karen Chalmer

Dear McMullen-Lairds, My mother heart aches for your loss. My music heart aches for the world’s loss. My spirit rejoices in the ongoing light of Christopher’s presence in the world. May you gradually find what you need for mending this huge hole in the...

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Emmelie Carlsson

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Uwe Bindereif

Uwe Bindereif

Wir können es nicht in Worte fassen und auch nicht glauben das ein so wunderbarer, lebenslustiger und herzensguter Menschen schon so früh gehen musste😔 Christopher ich bin mir sich das dort wo du jetzt bist auch alle mit deiner Offenherzigkeit begeistern wirst. Ich...

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Marijean Quigley-Young

Marijean Quigley-Young

As with everyone, I deeply grieve the loss of such a vibrant, loving, delightful, talented, hard working, young man, Chris McMullen-Laird. I was his orchestra teacher at Pioneer H.S. in Ann Arbor, MI, during his time there. During his senior year, we had him conduct...

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Markus Lohse

Where do songs go after they are sung? Now you have found the answer first. Prematurely. But that is not the end of music. We all will meet again and get ready for the next verse.

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Elsa Benoit

I’m in total shock after the terrible news that Chris has left us. We’ve worked together at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. Chris’s smile, positivity, kindness were always so heart warming. We hadn’t been in touch in years, when he...

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Sorcha Ní Mhuimhneacháin

I was fortunate enough to meet Christopher in 2013 during his tenure as music director of the Munich International Orchestra. As a young student on Erasmus, the orchestra became an important social outlet for those of us struggling to adapt to a new culture and...

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Robert Santacroce

Robert Santacroce

Fond memories of Christopher as a member of the Eurythmy troupe in high school. Lovely and sensitive young...

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Wendy Pritchard

I heard about Christopher’s unexpected death and have been heart-broken ever since. It is not exaggerating to say he changed my life. Music and singing are so important to my sense of self and well being. I have worked (as a very amateur and inadequate singer) with...

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Sasha Kaye

Words truly cannot express the loss of someone like Christopher. His love for others was boundless, his kindness unparalleled, his artistry inspiring. He was easily one of the most genuine people I’ve had the privilege of knowing, and it’s so hard to...

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Robert Santacroce

Robert Santacroce

Fond memories of Christopher as a member of the Eurythmy troupe in high school. Lovely and sensitive young man. Confirmation day at the Christain Community Church with my son, Christopher-Michael with other...

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Giacomo Susani

I met Christopher to play Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo with the Surrey Mozart Players in Guildford (UK) on December 7th 2019. Before that we had a rehearsal in a nearby town and he came to my house in London to prepare the performance at our best. I was truly...

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Ines Daniels

About ten years ago I met Chris during an internship in an office in Berlin. We worked together only a few weeks before he left, but I remember us chatting and laughing a lot. He told me that when there was nothing to do (which was the case quite often) he would clean...

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Ezra Tzfadya

I met Zeke in my sophomore year at Dartmouth through my friends Alexia Huffman and Peter Verovsek at the Amarna house. I was always in awe of him and the charismatic splendor and gregariousness he brought to every space he inhabited. Whether that be conducting a...

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Aileen Pagan-Rohwer

What an incredible loss of light to this world! I knew him in his formative years when he was just beginning to crave for what the world was going to offer and he was getting his first few experiences working in a job. His smile, positivity and drive for excellence...

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David McCarty

I met Christopher (Zeke) back in 2011 or 2012 here on Cape Cod, where his grandfather and family have a home in Yarmouth. I was the Artistic Director of Cape Cod Opera, at the time, and was always interested in meeting, auditioning and giving young and emerging...

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Georgie Davis

Christopher was a wonderful friend, I will never forget his incredible attitude to life and the warm aura he brought to every room he entered. The world has lost a beautiful and pure soul, but he will live on strong through all of our memories. My heart goes out to...

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Horst Peter Wilke

I got known to Christopher in concerts in the Epiphanien church in Berlin-Charlottenburg a lot of years ago when I organized all concerts for several years in this church. Christopher and me got friends and I was amazed about his friendly kindness and youth as being a...

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Jonathan Cheung

I only spoke to Chris a couple of times, but he struck me as a very friendly and kind person. I was surprised to find out that he was over 30 when I met him; his eagerness and cheerfulness made him come across as someone much younger.

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Jan Willem de With

Jan Willem de With

Dear Chris, It is difficult for me to find the right words. You were far too young to leave this world behind and it is absolutely shocking and heartbreaking to read of your sudden death. To write these words feels surreal and painful. I will remember you as a smiling...

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Sofia Celenza

He was a person that put faith in me, brought out the best of myself and made me believe in...

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Martha Evans

It was an honour to have met and known Chris only for a short time, during a two week period at Dartington International Summer School 2019,  where he was conducting the orchestra in which I played. His charisma and infectious enthusiasm, warmth and humour were...

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Janina Dillig

I met Christopher in Lambrecht, in village in the middle of nowhere in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany in 2006\. We went there for a seminar of the German American Federation for its exchange students. It was early in the morning; we were supposed to travel by bus to the...

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Bernadette Ward

I only met Christopher a few times, through my aunt Rebecca, but it was immediately clear what a wonderful person he was. Most recently – December 2019 – we had breakfast in London with my Italian relatives, and I remember thinking ‘this man is so...

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Olivia Nunez

Dear Zeke, I woke up yesterday to the devastating news that you had passed. I have spent the better part of the morning trying to wrap my mind around that fact; I still don’t understand it. It is impossible to imagine a world without you in it. And while I don’t have...

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Ashby Mayes

Chris was one of the most enthusiastic, hardworking, musical and loving people I have ever met. He had the most contagious smile and he radiated positivity. He loved life and cared for everyone and I hope to live my life to the fullest the same way he did. Thank you...

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Steve Allen

When Jeanne and I heard this morning that Christopher had passed we were both immediately inspired to go to God with prayers for His mother, Molly, his father, Quentin and for his sisters and brother.  We asked Him to comfort them and to minister, to what must...

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Natalia Gonzalez

Natalia Gonzalez

My dearest Chris (I`ll always still call you Dimitryi): All I can think about is why I had to miss your party last year in Munich. I thought my kids would be too loud, so I promised to come to the next one. The kids would grow older, and meanwhile you would post...

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William Summers

For Christopher A great shadow has darkened the sky. The birds have begun their silent mourning. They sense the powerful moment of someone’s passing. Nature knows another spirit has retired from the earth, and we who remain behind veil our faces as we weep...

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Tom Brown

I have felt lost ever since I read the tragic news of Christopher’s untimely passing. Looking at the lovely messages of remembrance have helped me to reinforce what I already knew – that Christopher was a one of a kind. I will never forget his incredible warmth, his...

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Melinda O’Neal

During the two years I first knew Zeke at Dartmouth (his first and second years), he was voraciously curious, unfailingly kind, and unstoppable in his quest to learn. His extraordinary gifts spanned music and languages in particular, and he was an amazing teacher....

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Lara Poe

Here is a video of a premiere of mine that Christopher conducted.  I originally wrote this piece for the conducting auditions at the RCM, which is when we first worked together.  Before that, we would hang out around the RCM, go to concerts, or go to...

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Aimee Sybrant

I was blessed to include Christopher as one of my group of friends while studying abroad in Mainz in 2004. I remember his smile and laughter…he was always up for an adventure. While I have not seen him in person since, I have enjoyed watching him succeed and...

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Emily Frank

I met Zeke in the early 2000s at New England Music Camp. We swam together in “swim for fit” (I was terrible and he was kind and encouraging) and traded jokes in orchestra (the viola section sat just below the oboes – mostly the jokes were about...

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Johanna Lehtonen

I’m so sorry to hear the news.  I had a chance to get to know Christopher when I was studying in Mainz, Germany as an exchange student in the winter semester 2003-2004\. He led me and other students (Sonja, Elaine and Aimee) to see ballet in Wiesbaden and that...

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Karen Ní Bhroin

Chris and I met at his audition for RCM in 2017, we were both auditioning for the conductors course. Fast forward to August 2019 and Chris walks in smiling to the Darlington Conductor’s course which we both happened to be on too! Neither of us knew the other would be...

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Marcia Cassidy

Marcia Cassidy

Christopher (Zeke) and Sarah Bohlman after performing Brandenburg Concerto #6, 27 May 2002, as part of a chamber music recital at the Top of the Hop, Dartmouth College. Zeke will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him. My condolences to his...

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Kristine and John Prevost

We met Christopher at Harry’s in Cape Cod a few years ago and were so delighted to hear of all his experiences. We enjoyed a wonderful supper together that evening and have spoken of him many times since. We cannot imagine the pain the whole family is going through...

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Martin Habermehl

Yesterday I’ve read the shocking awful news that my wonderful friend Zeke passed away suddenly and completely unexpected – I’m devastated about this. Meeting him for the first time at Dartmouth in fall of 2004, he was a great companion and help during my New England...

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Ingrid Pearson

It was a privilege to have known Chris, who joined my MMus class in September 2017\. He had just started postgraduate studies in London at the Royal College of Music. Chris stood out, even amongst his talented peers, because of the considerable musical and life...

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Christopher Schlechte-Bond

Chris, you messaged me out of the blue one day on Facebook, we’d only really exchanged a few ‘hellos’ in person before then and I didn’t really know who you were. It just goes to show how much you had a hunger to share life with people, to meet...

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Indra Tedjasukmana

I first met Chris at the University of Music “Franz Liszt” in Weimar, Germany where I studied Jazz Vocal Performance and Composition / Arranging. Chris was my lecturer in English diction and speech training. His lessons were hands on and practical, but...

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Magdalena Panz-Sochacka

Dear Zeke,  I can’t believe you’re no longer with us here, on earth. I don’t know why God needed to summon you to the other side of Life now. I will remain forever grateful for your friendship, which enriched my Dartmouth days and continued...

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Cheryl Piotrowski

Though I haven’t seen Christopher in many years, I have a memory of how he could light up a room and make you feel so special when he greeted you. Clearly an angelic force on earth recalled to the heavenly realms so abruptly to continue his work. ❤️

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Julie Andersen

Christopher was a shining example of Brene Brown’s “wholehearted living.”  He was love!  He was an influential person in my life who opened the doors of understanding to the world around me.  Thank you for teaching me about feminism,...

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Rodney Slatford

Christopher was to have joined us in Norfolk to conduct the Yorke Trust’s summer opera production of Handel’s Jephtha this year after a stunningly successful Come & Sing Mozart’s Requiem day in February, and Jennifer Hamilton’s memorable...

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Iman Grewal

Over the last thirty years I have taught thousands of students, a few of them have left a warm imprint on my heart. Christopher was one of these students. We muddled through eight and ninth grade math together. Christopher was witty, brilliant and had a...

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Bruce Duncan

Nothing I can say seems adequate to describe the sense of loss I feel. Perhaps the following recommendation that I once wrote will help to describe some of Christopher’s unique qualities: Recommendation for Christopher McMullen-Laird  28 June 2007...

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Laura Serra

Dear Chris, Those vibrant and energetic blue eyes caught me from the first time and will never be forgotten. You could see in them the passion, warmth, energy, aliveness, wisdom and desire that Chris had for everything he did. Every encounter with him was a source of...

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Donna Soave Weber

There are no words to convey my sadness at this news.  Zeke touched me deeply with his positive energy, creativity, and humor.  The picture of us gathering and sipping green Waldmeister from the Dartmouth Club of Germany’s winning cup is indelibly in my mind.  Such...

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Tricia Cox

Thank you for bringing your shining light to Norfolk and instilling such vibrancy in our opera chorus performance in South Creake church last summer.  You brought with you tremendous energy, kindness and your wonderful smile and, of course, the best hugs!  A light...

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Rachael Lapidis

Zeke, you were so accomplished and so worldly, and you wanted to share all the excitement and joy you found in the world with everyone you met.  You brought all of who you were to every interaction.  Your raised eyebrow could be inviting and devastating in equal...

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Yi-Fang  Chen

Yi-Fang Chen

Chris was the most warm-hearted , caring  and inspiring person that I have ever met. He was always been there every time I asked him for help. I don’t have enough words to describe how lucky and grateful it was to have known him. My deepest condolences to Chris’s...

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Alexia DArco

Alexia DArco

My dearest Zeke, Yesterday your death seemed like some sort of surreal nightmare. Then Owen innocently wondered why I was crying and asked “will Uncle Zeke ever come back?” And when I cried even harder and squeezed him ever so tightly, he put his little head on my...

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Michela Zaniboni

Michela Zaniboni

Remembering Thanksgiving 2011 and visit in London 2018. Love from the Antonicelli family OLYMPUS DIGITAL...

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Moira Walsh

I love you so much Chris! Bruderherz! I’ve been writing poems to you every night and many, many memories are coming up. I will share more when I am able. Here we are jumping into the Blau River in Blaubeuren, Germany. July 2017\. SPLASH!!! Markus or Sindre took...

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Ellen Rostker

Sending healing prayers hugs love and light at this very difficult time for you all. May Christopher’s memory be a blessing to you all, always! 🙏🙏🙏

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Anna Maria Manera

Qualche anno fa, Zeke era nel Salento per lavoro e io, che ero dai miei, lo invita a casa in occasione della festa patronale e lo presentai ai miei genitori e ai miei amici: feci un figurone, lui conquistò tutti. Mio padre, sbalordito dalla sua conoscenza della storia...

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Gaye Rosland

I just recently met Christopher as he was passing by my home in old town Stavanger. We had a short visit when he told me that he and his husband were neighbours so I told him to pop in one day and we could share a glass of wine…he did, and we had such a great...

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Maria Seralessandri

I still can’t believe it happened so suddenly, without knowing how and why.  I can’t find suitable words right now. I was really lucky to have met you.  Goodbye...

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Anais  Itani

Anais Itani

I remember when we were rehearsing for the King’s College London Symphonic Orchestra’s second concert, in that cold and large room on the Strand campus. It was in early February, we were all tired and sniffling from the cold, but rehearsing Finladia by...

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Margo Miller

I met Christopher on November 26 last year.  It was my mother’s 79th birthday and she was visiting from Florida.  She saw that Melinda O’Neal, Professor Emerita of Music at Dartmouth College would be presenting a lecture/concert about Berlioz at Cadogan Hall. ...

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Gabriella Bischofberger

I say a Little prayer for Christopher McMullen-Laird.  You shall travel well and calm, like in your mother’s arm, I will keep you in my heart, my friend, its not an end, take the love to the other side where music plays and you will surely be – eternally...

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KC Gates

I knew Zeke in college. We weren’t close, but he was a friend that could always bring a smile to your face. His passion and enthusiasm for music was infectious, and our interactions always left me feeling inspired.

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Giulio Genovese

Giulio Genovese

I have never met anybody quite like Zeke. The way he loved people and life was unmatched and his enthusiasm was contagious. I met Zeke at Dartmouth in 2005. I did not get to see him much over the years after that but he would always reach out when coming to Boston and...

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Dan Ayling

I’m so shocked to hear of your death, Christopher. We met briefly in Munich when I revived George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin, and your bright energy was utterly engaging. Your warmth, fun and clear talent shone at every moment and I can’t believe your light has...

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