Obituary: former Atlanta Symphony bassist Ralph Jones, 68

Posted on: October 17, 2013

In The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday (10/14), Michelle E. Shaw reports the death of former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bassist Ralph Martin Jones on 10/9 at the age of 68. Jones “joined the ASO in 1970 and became the principal bass in 1977. He retired at the end of the 2012-2013 season, as complications of an aggressive throat cancer left him too exhausted to play.” Shaw reports that Jones was “described by ASO music director Robert Spano as ‘a consummate musician’ ” and that his “enthusiasm for his craft did not go unnoticed by his ASO peers. ‘Ralph had a cooperative spirit, and I’d say more than most,’ said Christopher Rex, principal cello for the ASO.” When he took up the bass at 17 “it was a life changing experience, his wife [ASO Associate Principal Bass Gloria Jones] said. Born in Decatur, Ill., Jones came from a meager background.… His teacher, Henry Loew, who was the principal bass with the St. Louis Symphony, told Jones not to worry about the money. The only thing Loew asked was that Jones returned the favor to other young people once he was able. Jones not only taught a number of students, but he helped young people acquire instruments.” 

Posted October 17, 2013