Obituary: James Arkatov, cellist and founder of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, 98

Posted on: May 17, 2019

“James Arkatov, who 51 years ago founded the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and became its first principal cellist, died on Saturday, May 12. He was 98,” writes Susan Elliott in Thursday’s (5/16) Musical America (subscription required). “Arkatov arrived from Russia in San Francisco at age five with his family. He began playing the cello at age nine and was considered a prodigy; among his early collaborators was … another Russian immigrant, Isaac Stern. After moving to Los Angeles, Arkatov became principal cellist with the NBC Orchestra…. During his career, he served as principal cellist with the Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco symphonies. He was among the honorees at LACO’s gala 50th-anniversary celebration last year…. ‘It will be a strange feeling to look across the audience at Royce Hall and no longer see Jim Arkatov basking in the music,’ said LACO Executive Director Scott Harrison…. Also a photographer, Arkatov published two photographic books, Masters of Music and Artists: The Creative Personality. The orchestra will honor his legacy in an event to be announced.”

Posted May 17, 2019