Young composer, conductor, and teacher Christian Michael Kendall Martin, aged 25, passed away Thursday, February 20, 2014, following a brave battle with synovial sarcoma. He was born in Saratoga Springs, NY, on May 6, 1988. Christian was a loving young man and devoted son with a deep well of courage.
Christian wanted to highlight the need for research and awareness of synovial sarcoma to enable support for patients and families affected by this disease. Christian’s family encourages memorial contributions may be made to the Sarcoma Foundation of America through this memorial page.
A Little Bit About Christian:
Christian had been the head of the bowed strings department at the Performance School of the Arts in Clifton Park and a substitute conductor for various middle and high school bands and orchestras around the greater Capital Region. He also taught privately. Christian took just as much delight in sharing his knowledge and talents as his students gave back to him through their discovery of the joy in music.
While Christian’s main instrument was the double bass, he also played the violin, viola, and cello. He continued his own study of strings with Christopher Neubert, a teacher he credits as being a great mentor and source of his knowledge of string pedagogy. As a performer, Christian freelanced with regional musical groups and held the principal double bass chair in UAlbany’s Symphony Orchestra.
Christian was launching his career as a composer of classical music when he was diagnosed with cancer, which took much of his energy. Yet, he continued to compose a number of chamber music works, a piano concerto, and finish a symphony. As a composer and conductor Christian felt it was especially important to connect with nature, which in his opinion, was best done through fishing, an activity he enjoyed since childhood. He also believed that small dogs are essential to coping with the stresses of being a musician.
A graduate of Ballston Spa High School, Christian’s interests in composing and conducting were sparked while studying with composer and conductor Brett Wery at Schenectady County Community College where he received an Associate Degree in Music Performance with a concentration in the Double Bass. Christian nurtured his interest in conducting with Dr. David Bebe at The College of Saint Rose, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, cum laude, and at The Conductors Institute at Bard College Conservatory of Music. Christian was pursuing his Masters in Conducting from Messiah College.
Christian enjoyed eating sushi, following the Yankees, and learning German. He cared deeply for his mother, taking care of little things for her to make each day better. A romantic at heart, he focused much of his attention on the love of his life, Teresa.
Christian’s family would like to thank the staff at Albany Medical Center for their care and compassion as well as the number of friends of faith who fast became a source of strength and support for Christian.