Saying Goodbye to Erich Kunzel
Ohio’s “River City” and the rest of the music world bade farewell to Erich Kunzel last Tuesday. Erich Kunzel was a man for whom music making was not a job, but a joy.
In a conversation I had with him in his office in Cincinnati’s Music Hall, his passion was evident in everything he said. His eyes danced from picture to picture on his wall as he pointed out those with whom he’d had the pleasure of working: Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Doc Severenson, and hundreds more.
Unlike many orchestras, the Cincinnati Pops had an ongoing contract with Telarc, driven as much by the maestro as by the music, so music lovers everywhere can continue to share in Erich Kunzel’s passion. Young musicians will also be able to take advantage of Kunzel’s foresight by studying at the new School for the Creative and Performing Arts being built adjacent to Music Hall in Cincinnati.
Maestro Kunzel was Chair of the Greater Cincinnati Arts and Education Center and was the driving force behind this project, scheduled for completion in 2010. There are so many ways to honor Erich Kunzel’s memory – the best is just to teach our children to love music.