Obituary: Robert Cronquist, conductor of many Ohio orchestras, 89

Posted on: November 7, 2018

“Northern Ohio lost a musical giant this fall with the passing of Robert Cronquist,” writes Zachary Lewis in Sunday’s (11/4) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “The conductor, 89, died at his home Sept. 11, with his wife, Joan Ferst, at his side…. ‘I just can’t express how much he was loved,’ said Kevin Sibbring, president of Lakeside Chautauqua, where Cronquist led a community orchestra for 47 years…. The conductor and former horn player [worked] with ensembles all over Ohio…. In addition to the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, Cronquist directed the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra at Severance Hall for 28 years, the Mansfield Symphony for 22 years, and, for a time, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic. In each place, he strove to maximize the group’s potential and enhance its visibility with high-level guests and ambitious projects, including operas and ballets…. When one group undertook an opera or ballet, he was not above putting his carpentry and painting skills to work making sets…. Before his death, Cronquist noted … highlights of his long career … with the Women’s Orchestra [including] the U.S. premiere in 2010 of a symphony by Dora Pejacevic … and a 2016 concert remembering the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.”

Posted November 6, 2018