Obituary: Chicago Symphony’s Philip Blum, 77

Posted on: September 3, 2009

In Tuesday’s (9/1) Chicago Sun Times, Mike Thomas writes, “Winston Churchill resigned as British prime minister and Rosa Parks was arrested for civil disobedience the year Philip Blum began his long tenure with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1955. Early Monday, less than a month after playing the last Ravinia Festival concert of his career and a week before embarking on yet another European tour with the CSO, Mr. Blum died in his sleep at age 77. He had long battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Friends and family members painted the Chicago native (born to a musical family in the Austin neighborhood) and Lane Tech grad as a dedicated and spotlight-shunning team member who let his music—which emanated from a Vicenzo Ruggeri cello crafted in 1697—speak for itself. … Mr. Blum’s widow, Nancy, who recently retired as a cellist with the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, said her husband was ‘like a kid’ who never grew up despite his age and professional standing. … He thrived on the teamwork of orchestral playing, she said.”

Posted September 3, 2009