Obituary: Richard Hayman, pops conductor, 93

Posted on: February 7, 2014

“Richard Hayman went from harmonica player to music arranger to pops conductor, all without any formal musical training,” writes Sarah Bryan Miller in Wednesday’s (2/5) St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Along the way, he arranged the music for Hollywood movies, earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, did arrangements for the Boston Pops for more than 50 years, and founded and ran the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s pops concerts for three decades, while drawing on a seemingly endless collection of sequined jackets. Mr. Hayman died Wednesday.” Among the orchestras with which Hayman was affiliated is the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, where he served as principal pops conductor from 1977 to 1985. He also served as pops conductor at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, and the Florida Sunshine Pops. At age 17, “he found a place with Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals … featuring 12 harmonica players and plenty of comedy. Hayman went to Hollywood to work at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in the early 1940s.… He met Arthur Fiedler in 1949 and started arranging for the Boston Pops. He was still doing that at the age of 90. ‘It’s beginning to look like a steady job,’ Mr. Hayman said in 2010.”

Posted February 7, 2014