Volume CVI, No. 6June, 2006
Don Alias – African Percussion
Georges Andre – Bass
Anthony Ayello – Bass
Waldemar Bhosys – Oboe
Dave Blume – Keyboards
Joseph E. Budet Jr. – Saxophone
Arthur Cohen – Saxophone
Guy Granado – Conductor/Sax/Clarinet/Mandolin
James Johnson – Saxophone
Perry F. Lafferty – Piano
Edward W. Mountfort – Drums
John H. Parker – Trumpet
Frank P. Virga – Trumpet
Oscar Weizner – Violin
Georges Andre, 87, a bassist and an 802 member since 1937, died on April 2. For 30 years he was principal bassist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Mr. Andre’s father was a bass player on Broadway in the silent movie theatres of the era. In 1935, Mr. Andre won a scholarship to Juilliard, where he studied for three years with Frederick Zimmerman. At the same time he played with the National Orchestral Association under Leon Barzin.
In 1937, he began the first of four summers with the Chautauqua Symphony and Opera. In 1938 he won a position with the Pittsburgh Symphony as assistant first bass under Fritz Reiner, where he remained for three years.
He served in the Army for almost five years after which he returned to the professional music scene, playing Broadway shows, studio engagements and club dates.
For the next decade, he played with the New York Philharmonic, Firestone Radio Orchestra, CBS and NBC Symphonies, and the Telephone Hour Orchestra before landing his job at the Met.
He recorded with Columbia, RCA, Decca and Deutsche Gramophone and appeared with Morton Gould and Andre Kostelanetz.
Mr. Andre also played with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, the George Seuffert Concert Band, and with the Queens, Bronx and Westchester Symphonies.
He taught privately and at New York College, New York University and Bennington Chamber of Music Conference.
Mr. Andre is survived by his wife Margaret, children Evans Andre, Jeanette Andre and Georgeann A. DelliVenneri, grandchildren Jesse and Elizabeth and daughter-in-law Donna.
Oscar Weizner, 83, a violinist and an 802 member since 1946, died last Oct. 29.
Mr. Weizner was born in Dresden and moved to Vienna as a child where he began his violin studies at the age of six. He was awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious Vienna Academy with Prof. Ernst Morawec.
In 1938, ten days before Anschluss, he and his family left for the United States where he resumed his violin studies in New York on a Philharmonic scholarship. He attended Brooklyn College for two years intending to become an engineer, but his plans were derailed by the Army. Trained as a combat engineer, his status as an “enemy alien” kept him stateside and he spent the war in Wyoming guarding German prisoners and acting as an interpreter.
In 1946, he again took up the violin, joining the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner. Two years later he returned to New York, playing at Radio City Music Hall until 1949 when he joined the Met orchestra, subsequently becoming associate concertmaster.
He joined the New York Philharmonic in 1962, where he remained for 41 years, becoming assistant principal second violin before moving into the first violins in 1986.
During his long career Mr. Weizner also played many commercial gigs and chamber music concerts.
While at the Philharmonic he continued to play opera, often subbing at the State Theatre and the Met. He was also a professional translator.
He is survived by his wife Judith, sons William Weizner and Peter Mananas, daughter Denise Weizner Mananas, sister Judith Weizner Hirsch and grandchildren Alexis and Eleni Mananas. The family suggests that contributions in his memory may be made to the National Rifle Association or the Friends of Israeli Disabled Veterans.