Obituary: Philadelphia Orchestra’s Louis Rosenblatt, 81

Posted on: August 27, 2009

In Wednesday’s (8/26) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes, “To 3 1/2 decades of Philadelphia Orchestra listeners, he was the mysterious Swan of Tuonela, the soul of serenity in Dvorák’s ‘New World’ Symphony. Louis Rosenblatt, 81, an English hornist of unfailing equanimity and expressivity, died Monday at Abington Memorial Hospital after enduring several bouts of cancer, said his wife, Renate.” Trained at the Curtis Institute, Rosenblatt “started out on his oboe career as first-chair player in the U.S. Army Field Band for three years, but somehow the English horn kept calling. He became English hornist in the Houston Symphony, then the New Orleans Symphony. He next landed a job as assistant first oboist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, in 1959, and just as he was getting started, his old teacher [John] Minsker abruptly quit.” Many of Rosenblatt’s students went on to careers with some of the top American orchestras. “He retired from the orchestra in 1995 after 36 years, and was admired, if not always emulated, by his colleagues for quitting at the top of his game. … Louis Rosenblatt’s solos are woven into many Philadelphia Orchestra recordings made with Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.”

Posted August 27, 2009