The death of Chris Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, hits close to home.

UPDATE: September 12, 2012, NBC Bay Area interview with Mary and Robert Commanday

We are saddened to hear that Chris Stevens, the son of Mary Commanday, one of our long-time orchestra members, was among three others slain in Libya yesterday. His family has close connections to the Bay Area and is known for passionate support of classical music. All of us at the Marin Symphony are as shocked as the rest of the world. We extend our heart-felt condolences to our Symphony family member Mary Commanday, everyone at San Francisco Classical Voice, and her family.

John Christopher Stevens was just recently confirmed at the U.S. Senate as Ambassador to Libya. Chris is the son of Mary Commanday and stepson of San Francisco Classical Voice founder Robert Commanday. A story on SFCV’s website expresses the pride felt when he was unanimously confirmed: An Ambassador of Our Own at SFCV, April, 2012.

The news of Chris’ death is found in multiple news stories. Here are links to two of the breaking news articles:
U.S. ambassador with Bay Area, Marin ties, 3 staff members killed in Libya consulate attack, AP, via the Marin Independent Journal
Christopher Stevens, Slain U.S. Ambassador To Libya, Was Bay Area Man -
U.S. Suspects Libya Attack Was Planned, September 11, 2012 - New York Times

Marin Symphony Cellist, Mary Commanday
Chris Stevens’ mother Mary Commanday is a beloved member of our Marin Symphony family. She played cello in our orchestra under three music directors; Sandor Salgo from 1976 to 1990, Gary Sheldon from 1990 to 2001, and with our current Maestro Alasdair Neale, from 2001 through 2004. She also has close ties with SFCV as well, serving as associate editor. A review of  Colin Hampton’s book, published in 2001, on SFCV’s website reveals not only her reflections about the book, it exposes  her feelings about being a cellist. Here is a link to the review/story on

In fond memory of Mary Commandy’s son, Chris Stevens…

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 at 1:19 pm and is filed under Musicians, News, Articles, Reviews, Orchestra. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. Both comments and pings are currently closed.