Obituary: Violinist and festival founder Sergiu Luca, 67

Posted on: December 9, 2010

Thursday (12/9) on The New York Times online, Allan Kozinn reports, “Sergiu Luca, a Romanian-born American violinist who founded several important chamber music festivals and ensembles and who was renowned for the breadth of his repertory and the elegance and warmth of his tone, died on Monday at his home in Houston. He was 67. … Mr. Luca founded the Chamber Music Northwest summer festival in Portland, Ore., and Context, a period-instrument group based in Houston, among other ensembles, but it was in New York that he established his own career, playing the virtuoso Romantic repertory in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. By the mid-’70s he began experimenting with period instruments for performances of Baroque music. … Mr. Luca made his American debut playing the Sibelius Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1965. He repeated the work later that year with the New York Philharmonic on one of Leonard Bernstein’s televised Young People’s Concerts. … Mr. Luca also had a talent for organizing and programming. After founding the Chamber Music Northwest in 1971, he ran the festival until 1980. He started the Cascade Head Music Festival in Lincoln City, Ore., in 1985 and directed it for 21 years.”

Posted December 9, 2010