Honoring conductor Michael Morgan’s legacy at Oakland Symphony memorial event

Posted on: October 29, 2021

A poster of Michael Morgan at the Oakland Symphony’s memorial event for its longtime music director, October 19, 2021. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / San Francisco Chronicle

“Michael Morgan is gone, but the legacy he left behind feels almost unfathomably broad,” writes Joshua Kosman in Tuesday’s (10/27) San Francisco Chronicle. “When he died on Aug. 20, at 63, the obituaries and memorials all identified Morgan as the longtime music director of the Oakland Symphony, which is indeed what he was…. Yet to frame the matter that way obscures just how much diverse and far-reaching influence Morgan was able to pack into that title…. On Oct. 19, … the Oakland Symphony hosted a marathon memorial event for Morgan at the Paramount Theatre. (The memorial remains available for streaming at the orchestra’s website.) There was music [and] spoken testimony from a host of people…. Trumpeter Herbert Smith introduced reminiscences of Morgan’s time as music director of the Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, N.Y. … In the evening’s most moving tribute, violinist Danielle Taylor recalled [that] Morgan took her under his wing, encouraging her to keep at it as he shepherded her into the Oakland Youth Orchestra and to his own alma mater, the Oberlin Conservatory. Today, Taylor is a music teacher in the Oakland public school system…. The true impact of his life was almost incalculably vast and deep.”