Obituary: Lorne Munroe, principal cellist of Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, 95

Posted on: May 11, 2020

“Lorne Munroe, principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1951 to 1964 and of the New York Philharmonic from 1964 to 1996, has died. He was 95,” reads an unsigned Tuesday (5/5) obituary in The Strad (U.K). “Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Munroe started learning the cello when he was three years old. [He attended] the Royal College of Music in London in 1937–39, continuing his studies in Philadelphia at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was a student of cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and Orlando Cole, and where he met his future wife: Janée Gilbert of Portland, Oregon, who was studying viola with William Primrose…. In 1943, Munroe enlisted in the infantry, while Janée joined an all-girl USO orchestra; they were married, in 1945, by an Army chaplain … and went on to have 10 sons and one daughter. After leaving the Army, Munroe joined the Cleveland Orchestra, under George Szell, and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra under Antal Dorati. In 1951 he was appointed principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, a position he held until 1964, when he was invited by Leonard Bernstein to become the principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic…. He also taught at the Juilliard School.”