Volume C, No. 9September, 2000
Henry Aaron – Viola/Conductor
Sal Amato – Saxophone
Al Avola – Guitar
Gordon “Tex” Beneke – Saxophone
Arnold Black – Violin/Composer
Emil P. Blasko – Trumpet
Louis Deluca – Guitar
Bernard Flood – Trumpet
Philip Frank – Violin
William G. Halfacre – Bass
Andrew W. Holler – Drums
William Kimel – Saxophone
Julius Kuti – Piano
Marcus Messing – Bass
Martin Orleck – Saxophone
Danny Raimond – Bass/Vocals
Alfonse J. Semola – Piano/Arranger/Copyist
Oscar Shumsky – Violin
Samuel Thaviu – Violin
Sal Amato, 98, a saxophone player and a member of Local 802 since 1924, died on June 15.
Mr. Amato was a member of the NBC and CBS orchestras, and later played with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He was one of the top freelance recording musicians of his time, recording with such singers as Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone and Johnny Mathis.
He is survived by children Marie and Anthony, brothers Anthony and Albert, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Arnold Black, 77, a violinist and the composer of concert works, theatre music, film scores and commercial jingles, died on June 25. He had been a member of Local 802 for 55 years.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Black graduated from the Juilliard School, where he majored in violin and composition. He achieved considerable success as a violinist, becoming the concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony and assistant concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra.
In the early 1950s he was composer in residence at the Circle in the Square Theatre, where he wrote scores for such productions as Ulysses in Nighttown. He also wrote scores for productions at the National Shakespeare Company and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. A composer of commercial jingles and film scores, he owned his own company, and used many Local 802 musicians on his recording dates. Mr. Black was the founding director of the Mohawk Trail Concerts chamber series in Shelburne Falls, Mass., directing the program for more than 30 years.
He is survived by his wife Ruth and daughter Hilary.
Philip Frank, 89, a violinist who joined Local 802 in 1933, died on April 29.
Mr. Frank’s first teacher was Leopold Auer. He went on to study with Efrem Zimbalist Sr. at the Curtis Institute, and made his debut at Town Hall. Over the course of his career he toured the United States and Europe extensively, as a soloist with orchestras and performing in solo recitals.
An original member of the NBC Symphony orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, Mr. Frank premiered a number of contemporary works. He led the NBC String Quartet, which was heard on weekly broadcasts throughout the country. He appeared as concert master and soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, in two concerts conducted by Leopold Stokowski. He had lived in Toronto since 1968.
He is survived by his wife Shirley, son Larry, daughter Sally, brother Bernard and many grandchildren.
Danny Raimond, 77, a bassist, entertainer, leader and singer, died in San Diego – where he retired a decade ago – on July 13. He had joined Local 802 in 1950. Mr. Raimond spent many years in the club date field in New York, but his real joy was in his night club acts – the Bebe Shop Trio and the Three Manhatters – where he shared the bill with such entertainers as Ernie Kovacs, Sarah Vaughn and Vera-Ellen.
He is survived by his wife Doreen, three children and five grandchildren.
Oscar Shumsky, 83, a violinist who won renown as a brilliant performer, and who trained generations of successful younger artists, died on July 24. He had joined Local 802 in 1938.
Mr. Shumsky began studying the violin at the age of 4. When he was 8 he played a concerto at a Philadelphia Orchestra youth concert conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and that same year began studying with Leopold Auer, first pivately and later at the Curtis Institute of Music. When Auer died in 1930, Efrem Zimbalist took over his training
He performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the early 1930s and, in 1939, joined Toscanini’s NBC Symphony. He was the first violin in the Primrose Quartet, which made several classical recordings in the early 1940s. In the 1950s he began playing the viola in both chamber performances and recitals. He also took up conducting in the ’50s, conducting such orchestras as the Westchester Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and Mostly Mozart Orchestra.
Mr. Shumsky trained generations of violinists at some of the nation’s leading music schools, including the Curtis Institute, Peabody Conservatory, Yale University and, for 25 years, at the Juilliard School.
He is survived by sons Eric and Noel
Samuel Thaviu, 90, who was a first violinist at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the mid-1930s and who had been a member of Local 802 since 1945, died on July 1.
Born in Chicago, he studied violin as a child with Leon Sametini, Jacques Gordon and Mischa Mischakoff. His first position was as concertmaster of the Little Symphony of Chicago and he soon joined the CSO, where he was a first violinist from 1934 to 1937. He then became concertmaster and soloist at several orchestras – the Kansas City Philharmonic and the Baltimore and Cleveland symphonies – before moving to the Pittsburgh Symphony, where he served for 20 years under Fritz Reiner and later William Steinberg. While in Pittsburgh, he served as conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Orchestra.
Mr. Thaviu joined Northwestern University’s Music School as professor of violin and chairman of the strings department in 1966. He was professor emeritus at Northwestern University at the time of his death.
He is survived by his wife Elinor, son Tom, daughter Lisa and one granddaughter.