LOST TO THE ARTS: Eleanor Steber, 76, leading soprano of the Metropolitan Opera during the '40s and '50s, died of congestive heart failure in Langhorne, Penn. Especially admired for her Mozart and Strauss repertory, Steber appeared in festivals, recitals and with many other opera houses, and recorded more than 100 albums. She also taught at the Cleveland Institute and the Juilliard School. Dec. 7 will mark the 50th anniversary of Steber's Met debut; she was to have had a special tribute on the Texaco Met broadcast of Dec. 9, which will now be a memorial for the diva . . . Jorge Bolet, Cuban-born piano virtuoso, died at 75 of heart failure. Though highly regarded all his life, he achieved wide popularity only in the '70s, when a wave of neo-Romanticism swept the world. Bolet performed in Salt Lake City a number of times.
- MUSIC OF FOUR JEWISH COMPOSERS who perished in Nazi camps will be performed during the coming year, thanks to Mark Ludwig, a Boston Symphony violist.The four - Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Viktor Ullman and Hans Krasa - were imprisoned in Terezin, Czechoslovakia, north of Prague. Many of the scores came from the state Jewish museum in Prague and the Terezin National Monument, where they had been deposited after the war and largely ignored. Others came from survivors entrusted with the music.
To bring the music before the public, Ludwig founded the non-profit Terezin Chamber Music Foundation. So far, concerts have been held in Worcester and at a Holocaust memorial service at the Massachusetts Statehouse. Concerts are planned next year for Amsterdam, Boston and the Berkshires.
The pieces, mainly short works such as string trios, quartets and sonatas, carry melodic Slavic influences and, Ludwig believes, are destined to become part of chamber music's repertoire.