Obituary: Philadelphia Orchestra violist Gaetano A. Molieri, 87

Posted on: April 28, 2011

In Thursday’s (4/28) Philadelphia Inquirer, Sally A. Downey writes, “Gaetano A. Molieri, 87, of South Philadelphia, a violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, died of heart failure Friday, April 22, at Methodist Hospital. Mr. Molieri played at the Academy of Music and on tours with the orchestra from 1970 until retiring in 1999. … Mr. Molieri had a good relationship with the three music directors for whom he played in the orchestra. Eugene Ormandy invited him to tour with the orchestra in South America four years before he hired him. When Riccardo Muti became music director in 1980, Mr. Molieri, who spoke fluent Italian, often acted as his interpreter. … After [Molieri] retired, he continued to play for the orchestra occasionally and performed when Muti returned for a concert in 2005. … At 17, he began studying at the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teachers were Max Aronoff and William Primrose. He joined the Kansas City Philharmonic at 21 and went on to play for the Houston Symphony Orchestra. In 1955, he joined the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. While there, he was a viola teacher and chamber music coach at the University of Minnesota.”

Posted April 28, 2011