The Musicians’ Voice is an open forum for discussion about the state of union affairs. The letters here do not necessarily express the views of Local 802. E-mail letters to Allegro@Local802afm.org or write to Allegro, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Letters must be no more than 300 words.
A TRIBUTE TO LORIN MAAZEL
My connection to Lorin Maazel began when he hired me in 1989 in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. For my first six years in the PSO, I was fortunate enough to learn from his brilliance, unparalleled stick technique, and incredible ears. He gave me opportunities to improve, and promoted me for two years to co-principal clarinet, giving me the confidence that allowed me to win my job with the New York Philharmonic. After he came to the Philharmonic, I then had another seven years with him. During that time, he invited me to make my first CD at his farm – which was a great opportunity and a huge success. He continued to make a difference for so many young players by having his festival at Castleton and by including many of the students at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard as well as other institutions around the world. His wife Dietlinde also was very active in this Castleton series.
During my 13 years working under the mastery of Lorin Maazel, I was able to see his children grow and got the chance to spend a fair amount of time with his family. I met his mother in Pittsburgh when she was affiliated with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and I knew his father up until he passed away at the ripe age of 103. He had a great family that will sorely miss his presence – as will the rest of the musical world. I am forever grateful!
The writer is associate principal and Eb clarinet with the New York Philharmonic.
URBIE GREEN & ABE OSSER
I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate Bob Pawlo, Bruce Eidem, Marvin Stamm and everyone who organized the wonderful tribute to Urbie Green on June 25 at Local 802. It was very heartfelt. (I’m proud that Bob and Bruce are two former students of mine!)
On a different note, here are two short remembrances about Abe Osser, whose obituary I read in the June issue of Allegro. Once in Romania, Charlie Mariano (who was living in Germany at the time) and I backed up the singer Teresa Brewer along with six Local 802 musicians and seven local musicians. At the rehearsal, Abe started repeating, “Piano, piano, piano” in one section. Of course, the American musicians dropped out, allowing for a piano solo – but the European musicians all thought Abe meant “play piano” – play softly!
I also remember how Abe’s wife always had him eat peanut butter and crackers every day because we never knew what we would be eating in that country. That was a lesson I kept with me on a return trip to Romania and also three concert tours of Poland as conductor of the Glenn Miller Special Unit.
Urbie and Abe were two special people!
We wish to remember our father, trumpet player Raymond Crisara, who died on May 25 in Austin, Texas. A member of Local 802 since 1939, he was grateful for the wonderful experiences and lifetime friends who enriched his life throughout his remarkable playing career in New York. Trumpet Professor Charles Decker from Tennessee Tech University wrote that Ray “was not only a musically sensitive and incredibly consistent performer, he also provided a great example in the way he interacted with his family, friends, and colleagues. I feel that there are a handful of individuals who can ultimately shape our destiny. Ray Crisara is one of those special few.”
Our dad was a true gentleman, filled with compassion and a true inspiration to many. When asked about him, John Ware, former member of the New York Philharmonic, said, “There are no adjectives in my vocabulary – or anyone else’s – to accurately describe Ray Crisara. He’s one in a million.”
Please visit www.bitly.com/raymond-crisara for an extended tribute to Ray’s life.
–The Raymond Crisara Family
[Editor’s note: see obituary for Ray Crisara in this issue.]