Obituary: Dale Clevenger, longtime Chicago Symphony principal horn, 81

Posted on: January 7, 2022

“Dale Clevenger, the principal horn who for nearly half a century led the brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has died. He was 81,” writes Miriam Di Nunzio in Thursday’s (1/6) Chicago Sun-Times. “The renowned French horn player passed away in Italy on Jan. 5 from complications of Waldenstrom’s disease, a statement from his family said. ‘His life’s great work was playing principal horn with the Chicago Symphony from 1966-2013,’ … the statement read, in part…. Mr. Clevenger served as the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra’s music director from 1981-1995, and his career as a conductor boasted appearances with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, and the Roosevelt University Symphony Orchestra, among many others. Mr. Clevenger [joined] the CSO at the invitation of music director Jean Martinon in 1966, following positions with Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra and legendary Symphony of the Air, and the Kansas City Philharmonic.… He taught at Northwestern University, Roosevelt University and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.… Mr. Clevenger is survived by his second wife, Giovanna, four children and two granddaughters. His first wife, CSO stand partner for 25 years and a distinguished horn player, Alice Clevenger, passed away in 2011.”