Obituary: Samuel H. Hollingsworth, Pittsburgh Symphony principal bass, 95

Posted on: December 1, 2017

“Partway through a Broadway production of ‘Porgy and Bess’ at New York City’s Majestic Theater in 1942, Samuel H. Hollingsworth looked out from the orchestra pit to find actress Judy Garland in the front row, nodding and admiring the singularly expressive way he played the upright bass,” writes Molly Born in Monday’s (11/27) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The moment was thrilling—and lasting. When he died last week, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ played at his funeral. Mr. Hollingsworth, the versatile longtime principal bassist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra who also played in ensembles in Dallas, Nashville and Indianapolis, died Wednesday…. The Birmingham, Ala., native … briefly sold insurance before moving to Nashville to begin his career at the Grand Ole Opry…. [At] Juilliard … he studied under the New York Philharmonic’s Frederick Zimmermann [who] later described a recording of his former student as ‘the most beautiful playing I have ever heard in my life.’ … From 1946 to 1965, he played in the Nashville Symphony.” He played in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for 25 years, first as assistant principal bass, then principal bass. “After he retired in 1995 Mr. Hollingsworth continued to play guitar.… Mr. Hollingsworth is survived by his daughter, Priscilla Hollingsworth.”

Posted December 1, 2017