Obituary: Luis Biava, Philadelphia Orchestra conductor and violinist and Temple University pedagogue, 85

Posted on: March 28, 2019

“Luis Biava joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1968 as a violinist and ended up staying more than three decades, but he never had a title that fully captured everything he meant to the ensemble and the organization,” writes Peter Dobrin in Wednesday’s (3/27) Philadelphia Inquirer. “He was a respected conductor and, sitting among the first-stand players near the podium, was ready to be called upon to lead a concert at the last minute…. Mr. Biava, 85 … died Monday evening, March 25…. Born in Caracas, raised in Colombia … the violinist was known for his gentlemanly mien and a calm warmth that belied how busy he was. He founded a string quartet, played chamber music, was music director of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, and was heavily involved in Temple University’s music school for decades…. He joined the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington in 1963, moved to the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1968 as section first violinist, returned to Colombia in 1983, and rejoined the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1984-85 season as principal second violinist. He retired from that spot in 2000.… He was an influential teacher, becoming artistic director and conductor of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra in 1986, the same year he founded and became music director of Temple Music Preparatory Division’s Youth Chamber Orchestra.” 

Posted March 28, 2019