Former Associate Principal Clarinet, Donald Montanaro passed away December 1 at the age of 82.
Read an appreciation article in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.
Don was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1957 to 2005, for much of that time playing alongside his wife, harpist Margarita Montanaro. A passionate collaborative musician, he also founded the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble in 1977, performed at the Marlboro and... Casals festivals, and toured Europe and the Far East as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles.
A 1954 Curtis graduate and faculty member from 1980 to 2014, his teaching and musicality embodied the great Philadelphia tradition of wind playing. He attracted, guided, and graduated young clarinetists who now occupy important positions in Beijing, Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Malmö, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seoul, and Toronto; as well as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Upon his retirement from Curtis in 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
Sam Caviezel, our current Associate Principal Clarinet, wrote in 2014: “His exquisite ear for tone and mastery of phrasing, combined with a keen understanding of how to transmit this knowledge to his students, made for a learning experience that has been second to none in my life. Whenever I play something really beautifully in the orchestra, I feel like I am standing on Don’s shoulders.”
Sincere condolences to Margarita and the family.
Thanks to the Curtis Institute for the detailed information.