Rita Katherine Steblin

22-Apr-1951 - 03-Sep-2019

Obituary Overview

Rita Katherine Steblin


In Memoriam.
Celebration of Life to be held on October 6, 2019 at 2:00pm in her home church of Richmond Baptist Church 6640 Blundell Rd, Richmond

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Rita Steblin, on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at the age of 68.

Rita Katherine Steblin was born April 22, 1951, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada to Sergej and Renata Steblin; the oldest of six children, Rita had a special relationship with her father, who inspired her to pursue what would become her passion – music. In addition, Rita excelled scholastically all throughout elementary and secondary school, even skipping second grade. Continuing in her lifelong pursuit of excellence, she graduated as valedictorian of Richmond High School, class of ’68, to pursue her career in music thereafter. 

She was a talented musicologist, specializing in archival work combining music history, iconography and genealogical research. After obtaining degrees in Vancouver, Toronto and Urbana, Illinois, and studying at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Vienna, Rita worked in Canada (mainly in Vancouver) and since 1991 in Vienna first at the Internationales Franz-Schubert-Institut (de) and then as an independent researcher on Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and social life in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century in Austria (including Hungary and Bohemia).

Her numerous academic contributions and discoveries will impact the musical community for generations to come; we, her family, will remember her passion, her will and her loving kindness. As an adult she was beloved by her many nieces and nephews, and that tradition continues with her great nieces and nephews. Whenever she was visiting, all the kids would look forward to piano lessons, wild adventures around the city and the candy and bubble gum that was sure to be found in her pockets.
Rita will be lovingly remembered by her mother, Renata, and siblings, Victor (Teresa), Elvira (Roger), Peter (Lynda), Denis (Laura) and Gordon (Ingrid), as well as her many nieces and nephews and numerous other family members and friends.
Rita was predeceased by her father, Sergej Myron Steblin.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 2:00pm in her home church of Richmond Baptist Church (6640 Blundell Rd, Richmond).

Posted by James Wright | 11-Nov-2019

I was profoundly shocked and saddened to learn of Rita's passing. While I never had the honour of meeting Dr. Steblin, I enjoyed correspondence with her, primarily on the topic of Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved," in connection with my chamber art song cycle for piano trio and baritone (or mezzo-soprano), titled "Letters to the Immortal Beloved." The depth and breadth of Dr. Steblin's scholarly contribution is truly staggering. I was beginning to put together an Order of Canada nomination package for her when I learned of her passing. She was a deeply gifted musicologist and teacher, an exemplary Canadian, and as fine a person as one could hope to encounter in this career. With my most sincere and heartfelt condolences to her loved ones, J. James K. Wright, Ph.D. Louis Applebaum Distinguished Visiting Professor in Composition (2019-20), University of Toronto Professor (Full), School for Studies in Art & Culture A817 Loeb Building, Carleton University 1125 Colonel By Drive Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6 Email: James.Wright@carleton.ca Website: http://jameskwright.com Telephone : (613) 520-2600 (ext. 3734)

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Posted by Herbert Kellman | 22-Oct-2019

PART 3 - Herbert Kellman Taken together, however, Rita's published work represents a contribution of great significance. In the years that she was my assistant and then wrote her dissertation, then came back to Illinois from time to time, then came to the celebration of my retirement in Toronto in 2000, and finally when Susan and I spent time with her in 2005 in Vienna, Rita was a faithful friend to me and I hope I was to her. She had a fine mind and a sensitive soul. Susan and I mourn her death very deeply. Herbert Kellman Professor Emeritus of Music and Medieval Studies University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL

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