Obituary: former Pittsburgh Symphony violinist Wilbert Frisch, 95

Posted on: November 5, 2014

In Tuesday’s (11/4) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Elizabeth Bloom writes, “When Wilbert Frisch started playing the violin, at age 4, his first teacher was his father, a mail carrier.… In 1937, at the age of 16, he won a spot in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under music director Otto Klemperer. He played with the orchestra for 47 years—not including Army service during World War II—and with several other local groups…. Mr. Frisch of Mt. Lebanon [Pa.] died Saturday of natural causes. He was 95.” A native of Pittsburgh, he received early training in New York City. As an infantryman in World War II, “the multi-talented musician played clarinet in a band he led that provided entertainment to troops, as it did on Omaha Beach two days after the invasion of Normandy.” Following the war, Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Fritz Reiner “invited him to become the PSO’s assistant concertmaster, and he eventually became its associate concertmaster. At Mr. Reiner’s request, the violinist went back to school, graduating from Duquesne University with a degree in music education.” Frisch’s survivors include his wife of 69 years, the former Louise Stabile; their children Ron, Richard, Roger, and Rebecca; a sister, Dorothy; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Posted November 5, 2014