Chautauqua Symphony mourns violinist Mary Whitaker

Posted on: August 29, 2014

“The woman shot and killed inside her home in Westfield, Chautauqua County, this week was an accomplished and well-respected violinist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra,” writes Kevin Jolly in Saturday’s (8/23) Buffalo Time Warner Cable News. “For eight weeks every summer, Mary Whitaker, 61, would come to the Chautauqua Institute to play violin with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Whitaker was a regular for the past 36 years. ‘This kind of tragedy is something that one grieves tremendously. One is in shock because you can’t believe it’s actually happened,’ said Marty Merkley, vice president and director of programming for Chautauqua Institute. … Whitaker’s body was found Wednesday inside her Titus Road home, about 20 miles from Chautauqua Institution. She had been shot twice. Friday, authorities announced the arrest of two men in Erie, Pennsylvania, in connection with the homicide. … Merkley said the orchestra is made up of 74 of the best musicians in the world. They all bring their own style and personality to the orchestra, but Whitaker, who also played with the Westchester Philharmonic, had the special something. … Merkley said most of the orchestra members have left for the summer, but condolences continue to pour in.”

Posted August 29, 2014