Cellist and Conductor Yuli Turofsky has Died at Age 73

Cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky passed away on January 15, 2013 at the age of 73.(Photo: I Musici de Montreal)
Cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky passed away on January 15, 2013 at the age of 73.(Photo: I Musici de Montreal)

Cellist and conductor Yuli Turofsky died yesterday at the age of 73.  He was the founder and music director of the Canadian chamber orchestra, I Musici de Montreal. 

He founded that ensemble in 1983, and it went on to achieve great acclaim in the years following.  Turofsky had to leave his role as conductor in 2011 due to the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

My main appreciation for Turofsky’s musical legacy comes from the many wonderful recordings he made on the Chandos record label of music from the Baroque Era to modern works of the 20th Century. 

I have a particular affection for some of their earlier recordings from the 1980s and 90s in my younger days as a classical music host.  I loved the rich warm sound of this modern instrument group.  Their Mozart, Vivaldi, Boccherini, Tartini and Haydn are a delight, but my favorite is the recording they made of the six Concerti armonici of Unico Wilhelm Graf van Wassenaer, relatively obscure 18th century music that was long attributed to Giovanni Pergolesi.

The wide-ranging repertoire of I Musici de Montreal included Beethoven.  Here’s the opening movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for an example of  their warm sound in a concert setting:

And of course, the Columbus connection to all this is that the music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, is the most recent artistic director of I Musici de Montreal.  If you know French, here he is in his hometown talking about one of their programs last year. In case you don’t know French, click on the CC button within the video player, select the French (automatic captions) feature, then click on Translate Captions and finally select English from the list of captions.

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