Mary Gray Clarke, the former cellist of the North Carolina String Quartet and long-time professor at NCCU, has died, in Durham. She was 95.

Her life-story is remarkable from its outset: her father was an administrator at the Metropolitan Opera, and she was educated in New York, prior to obtaining her Ph.D. at UNC, where her dissertation was on Francesco Maria Veracini, a composer best known for his violin sonatas.

The obit notes that, in Chapel Hill, “[s]he was … something of a local institution, typically seen dressed in a long dark skirt and white blouse as she rode her bicycle around town.”

We remember her as a cellist, thanks to her appearances in Raleigh when Dorothy and Edgar Alden lived in the capital and then later, when the quartet performed state-wide. A surviving Lp record features the Aldens, violinist Jean Heard, and Clarke in Debussy’s string quartet and Bartok’s second.

We extend our sympathies to Mary White’s family, friends, former students, and her many admirers.

The obit is here: