Robert Levine  

In memoriam 2009

Robert Levine
January 4, 2019

Editor's Abstract (Click to Hide)

This is Polyphonic.org's tribute to those of our colleagues and co-workers who left us in 2009. By its nature it is almost certainly not a complete list. We apologize for any omissions, and will make corrections if you post them in the "Comments" area.

- Robert Levine

January

Betty Freeman, age 87. Noted patron to contemporary composers, she commissioned works from some 80 composers, including John Cage, Philip Glass, Pierre Boulez, and Harry Partch. John Adams’ Nixon in China was dedicated to her.

W. Randolph Adams, age 64. After a career spent in private-sector finance, he served as president and executive director of the Saint Louis Symphony from 2001 to 2007, during which period he helped increase the orchestra’s endowment from $18 million to $125 million.

Veronika Dudarova, age 92. Chief conductor and artistic director of the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra from 1960 to 1989, she founded the Symphony Orchestra of Russia in 1991.

Ron Bauers, age 60. A former guitarist and union officer, he returned to school to earn an MBA in accounting, leading to second career as a nationally-recognized expert in orchestra finances, in which role he provided invaluable assistance to orchestra musicians and AFM locals in collective bargaining.

Irving Bush, age 68. Member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic trumpet section from 1962 until his retirement in 1995, he also served as the orchestra’s personnel management beginning in 1982, as well as playing on many film scores, consulting for several trumpet manufacturers, and serving on the Executive Board of Local 47.

Charles Veal, Jr., age 57. A student of Jascha Heifetz at USC, he went on to make his Carnegie Hall debut in 1975 and became an active LA freelancer. He coached Minister Louis Farrakhan, who played at his memorial service.

Arthur Weisberg, age 77. Former principal bassoon of the Houston and Baltimore symphonies, Symphony of the Air, and second bassoon of The Cleveland Orchestra, he was a prolific composer and taught at Juilliard, SUNY–Stony Brook, Yale, and Indiana University.

February

Lukas Foss, age 86. Eclectic composer and one-time music director of the Milwaukee Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Brooklyn Philharmonic, Foss was a native of Germany, where he began his career as a child prodigy pianist and composer.

Mario Duschenes, age 85. Former principal flutist of the CBC Radio Orchestra in Montreal and music director of the Newfoundland Symphony, he was best known for conducting educational concerts with Canada’s leading orchestras. He was a native of Hamburg and studied at the Geneva Conservatory before emigrating to Canada in 1948.

Gerry Niewood, age 64. Saxophonist who had toured with Simon and Garfunkel and Liza Minelli, he was traveling to Buffalo to play with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Chuck Mangione when he was killed in the crash of Continental Flight 3407.

Coleman Mellet, 33. Guitarist for Chuck Mangione’s band, he too was traveling to Buffalo on Continental Flight 3407.

Mason Jones, age 90. Former principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he graduated from the Curtis Institute in 1938. He returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1946 as principal horn after a wartime stint in the Marine Band. He served as the orchestra’s personnel manager for many years in addition to being principal horn, and was a member of the Curtis faculty from 1946 to 1995.

Kenneth Harper, age 46. Assistant principal bassist of the Colorado Symphony, he had also performed with the Houston Symphony, New Orleans Symphony, and Grand Tetons Music Festival.

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