Obituary: Longtime Los Angeles Philharmonic leader Ernest Fleischmann, 85

Posted on: June 15, 2010

In Tuesday’s (6/15) Los Angeles Times, Claudia Luther writes, “Ernest Fleischmann, the impresario who dominated the Los Angeles Philharmonic for nearly 30 years as it was transformed into one of the top orchestras in the country, has died. He was 85. Fleischmann died Sunday at his Los Angeles home surrounded by his family, the Philharmonic announced. The cause was not given. As the Philharmonic’s visionary manager, he was a famed talent scout who had a hand in every large and small decision concerning the orchestra from 1969 to 1998. … Even in retirement Fleischmann wielded influence that resonates with the Philharmonic, recognizing Gustavo Dudamel’s ability as early as 2004 and championing the young Venezuelan conductor, who became the orchestra’s music director last year. Fleischmann brought to bear his love of the classics, his devotion to new music and even the city’s rich show business history to develop an orchestra that drew in concertgoers and increasingly demanded respect. … Fleischmann brought back to life the Hollywood Bowl, transforming it into one of the city’s favorite warm weather venues and making it an important source of revenue for the Philharmonic. … But his biggest contribution to the Philharmonic must certainly be in the hiring of two post-Mehta conductors: Carlo Maria Giulini, whose time with the Philharmonic burnished its reputation as a world-class symphony, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, whom Fleischmann identified as a major talent while Salonen was still in his 20s.”

Posted June 15, 2010