Remembering Ernest Fleischmann

Posted on: June 16, 2010

In Tuesday’s (6/15) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed writes, “Ernest Fleischmann, who died Sunday night at 85 after a long, debilitating illness, is well known for having put the Los Angeles Philharmonic on the map during his 29 years running the orchestra. He promoted the L.A. Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta to counter- and mass culture. He employed his remarkable powers of persuasion to persuade the revered Italian maestro Carlo Giulini to sign on with the Philharmonic and give L.A. Old World class. He provided Pierre Boulez with an important American base when the Modernist French composer and conductor proved too radical for the New York Philharmonic. He saved the Hollywood Bowl and turned it into the phenomenon (and cash cow) it is today. … Never shy about telling people what he was up to in his deep, intimidating voice, never hesitating to exploit his impressive South African English accent and natural eloquence, Fleischmann could bully when he felt he needed to. … Still, no one can deny he was a force of nature. His regular reinventions of the orchestra extended to arts institutions in general and influenced even the arts themselves. He was an Olympian and intellectual with a common touch and a social conscience, and that is ultimately what made him great.”

Posted June 16, 2010