Alexander S. Breed, 87, died on Jan. 31, 2018. He was born in New York City on January 7, 1931, the son of Philip Breed and Elizabeth Roberts Breed. He grew up in Lynn, MA and spent his professional life in the Boston area. He attended St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA and Amherst College. His education was interrupted during the Korean War, when he served in the U.S. Army as a radio repairman stationed in Linz, Austria. He returned to Amherst College and graduated with a degree in Political Science. Alex married Phyllis Klein in 1988 and they settled in Watertown, MA.
Throughout his life, music was central. Alex was a teacher and performer, specializing in music composed before 1750. He taught children and adults to play recorders and other Renaissance and Baroque instruments, and for more than 40 years coached private ensembles in greater Boston. His arrangements of music for his student groups were published by the Oriel Library in England, and have been circulated widely in the United States and Europe. He was a founding member of the Boston Recorder Society and performed with La Fontegara and other early music consorts.
In retirement, Alex and his wife moved to Cape Elizabeth, ME where he began to study jazz piano with Tom Snow and other contemporary jazz musicians. He was especially interested in the similarities between improvisational styles in Baroque and Renaissance music and those in modern-day jazz.
Alex’s modest, reserved demeanor belied a sharp mind and a generous heart. He leaves friends, cousins, and his wife, Phyllis Klein.
A celebration of Alex’s life will be held in Cape Elizabeth in the spring.