Tammy Konicoff With Don Konicoff, Jacques Rosas And Joyce Herring

John Wegorzewski And Ed Callaghan

An unusual mix of the classical music world’s movers and shakers, aspiring musicians and soap opera fans gathered for an emotion filled Celebration of the Life of composer, actor and teacher Keith Pruitt who so tragically died last week in his Greenwich Village apartment apparently as a result of an esophageal obstruction. His former companion Jacques Rosas who with Keith survived a vicious hate crime attack in 1994, opened his multi-media studio, Shop Studios for the memorial attended by some 130 of Keith’s dear friends. Usually the site of fashion shows for the likes of Donna Karan and Yves St. Laurent and most recently the setting for Diane Sawyer’s controversial interview With Ashley Dupre the call girl that brought down Gov. Elliot Spitzer, the enormous studio took on the air of an old fashioned house party as friends shared their favorite memories of the brilliant artist. Jacques, and Keith’s good friends, longtime publicist and manager Edward Callaghan, John Wegorzewski, James Edstrom, Charles Hamlen and Kevin Thompson hosted the celebration. Composer and writer, Rev. Jeanne Browne officiated at the memorial.As guests entered, the first thing they saw were memorial displays for Keith at various times in his careers set up by his pals and students. On one wall, a film of acclaimed former Martha Graham dancer Joyce Herring performing a piece set to Keith’s sonata, Rhapsody, by Internationally renowned choreographer Pascal Rioult was screened. Moving tributes to their great friend were given by Jacques, Keith’s one time intern Kate Morgan, best friend from high school Libby Griffin, longtime patron Donald Konicoff and one of his piano student’s parents Tony Shepherd and mentor Pulitzer Prize winning composer who summed up everyone’s feelings when he said of Keith, “He dazzled me”. Following the celebration, a group gathered outside the Shop Studios to release white balloons into the air. As they fluttered off into the night sky, all bade farewell to a fabulous friend and brilliant talent taken far too early.
Photos By: James Edstrom