Obituary: Philadelphia Orchestra’s Abe Torchinsky, 89

Posted on: August 21, 2009

In Friday’s (8/21) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes, “Abe Torchinsky, 89, a tuba player whose deep, dark sound girded ensembles led by Toscanini and Ormandy, whose musicianship matched that of Glenn Gould and others in landmark recordings, and who was a pedagogue of considerable legacy, has died. Mr. Torchinsky died in his sleep at home in Plymouth Meeting Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, his daughter Beth Torchin said. … It was in the orchestral realm that [Torchinsky] made his mark. After playing with the NBC Symphony Orchesta under Arturo Toscanini from 1946 to 1949, he was hired by Eugene Ormandy to follow teacher Donatelli in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Torchinsky was the ensemble’s tubaist from 1949 to 1972, an era of tremendous recording activity and a time when the orchestra’s brass section was perhaps the most admired in the world. A Philadelphia Brass Ensemble album, The Glorious Sound of Brass, won a Grammy in 1967.”

Posted August 21, 2009