President of Quaker Chemical
Former Chairman ,Board of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Board member ,The Philadelphia Orchestra
Anthony, I am profoundly honored to talk about you, a much admired artist, a greatly loved teacher and, for me, a wonderful friend. All of us know of your virtuosity, your world-renowned reputation as a musician and teacher. I need not elaborate on this as it is so well known to everyone present. So, I will speak from a very personal perspective.
I first knew you when I was an adolescent, in love with symphonic music and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In those days, the principals of the woodwind section were William Kincaid, flute, Marcel Tabuteau, oboe, Sol Schoenbach, bassoon, and you, Anthony, on clarinet. In my world, you were demigods – and played that way. Later, as a young man, I remember some marvelous performances by the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet, of which you were a member. I was in awe. Perhaps, you could call it “hero worship.”
In my more mature years, you and Sol Schoenbach became very dear and much admired friends. I was struck not only by your great musicianship but your fierce pride in the Philadelphia Orchestra. There was never any doubt in your mind that it was the greatest orchestra in the world. It still is!
Anthony, perhaps your greatest achievement that certainly was at the level of your virtuosity and, I suspect, a little beyond was your humanness – as a father, a teacher, a colleague and a friend. You were totally without pretense, vanity or any hint of self-aggrandizement. You were always yourself – totally approachable, welcoming, warm, and friendly. I hope you won’t mind if I share something with those gathered today that speaks volumes about you as a human being, a musician and a friend.
Several years back, you were invited by the Chairman of the Women’s Committees to give a little talk and recital at their annual meeting. After accepting, you called me to suggest that we play together. I was overawed, and immediately demurred at the prospect of playing with a musician of your known virtuosity and reputation. I was immensely flattered (too much hubris on my part) and tempted in like degree to accept. Of course, your intuitive faculties were in top form, and you said the appropriate words of encouragement that led me to accept. You made it easy as you said, “Let’s give it a whirl. If it doesn’t come together don’t worry about it.” At any rate, with much trepidation, I came to your home, where we spent an hour, at first reading and then rehearsing a few pieces. You treated me as a peer, you never made me feel inadequate, you never said that I played something incorrectly. Quite the contrary, your comments went something like this: “Not bad.” “Why don’t we try it again?” “Perhaps you might want to try it like this…”
These were the kind of comments you offered in a continuous stream that made playing with you so very enjoyable, instructive and, in the end, musically satisfying. In your remarks to the Women’s Committees that day, you referred to me as a fellow musician. Wow! I wasn’t good enough to arrange your music.
Anthony, you have left your mark as a great virtuoso of your instrument, and you leave behind a legacy of great musicians who were your pupils. You also leave behind countless admirers and friends who love you. I am fortunate enough to be one of them! Godspeed, as you now make music with the angels!
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