Obituary: violist William Schoen, 94

Posted on: July 23, 2014

In Wednesday’s (7/23) Chicago Tribune (subscription required), Mark Caro reports the death of violist William Schoen in Chicago on Sunday at the age of 94. He had suffered a stroke. Schoen had “the resume of a life lived in music: 31 years as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s assistant principal violist and assistant principal emeritus, decades performing in the Chicago Arts Quartet and, before that, the Claremont String Quartet in New York, and 64 years married to Mona Reisman Schoen, herself a first violinist with the Lyric Opera for 23 years…. Born to Hungarian parents in Czechoslovakia and raised in Cleveland, Schoen received a bachelor’s degree in music from the Eastman School of Music and served as a member of the United States Marine Band and Orchestra during World War II, according to biographical information on the CSO’s website.” Prior to being named to his CSO post by Jean Martinon in 1964, Schoen served as principal violist in the Columbia Broadcasting System Orchestra and, for a year, as principal violist in the Philadelphia Orchestra. His musical life in Chicago included eight years as a professor at Roosevelt University, and the Chicago Viola Society granted him a lifetime achievement award in 1998.   

Posted July 23, 2014