TC BErich LeinsdorfConductorErich Leinsdorf, an orchestral...


September 12, 1993


Erich Leinsdorf


Erich Leinsdorf, an orchestral conductor whose abrasive intelligence and deep musical learning served as a conscience for two generations of conductors, died of cancer yesterday at a hospital in Zurich.

He was 81 and lived in Zurich, Sarasota, Fla., and, until recently, in New York City.

His long career continued until early this year, when his health deteriorated. After conducting the New York Philharmonic in January, he was forced to cancel performances the next month.

Mr. Leinsdorf moved to this country from Vienna in 1937. Helped by the recommendation of conductor Arturo Toscanini, whom he had been assisting at the Salzburg Festival, Mr. Leinsdorf made his conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera a year later with "Die Walkuere." He was 25 at the time. He continued at the Met until 1943.

After a tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra during World War II, Mr. Leinsdorf took over the Rochester Philharmonic and stayed for nine years. During that period, he and the orchestra made a series of admired low-budget recordings that brought Rochester the music world's attention.

Mr. Leinsdorf's last and most prestigious music directorship was at the Boston Symphony, where he replaced Charles Muench in 1962. Perhaps his principal achievements with the Boston Symphony were not in Boston but at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he presided over the orchestra's summer season in the Berkshires.

There Mr. Leinsdorf introduced 32 works, including Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," and began a Prokofiev cycle. He also worked closely with Tanglewood's conducting students.

Helen O'Connell

Big band singer

SAN DIEGO -- Helen O'Connell, a big band singer of the 1940s, died of cancer Thursday. She was 73.

Her career took off in 1939 when she recorded "Green Eyes" with Bob Eberly and with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. She also popularized such songs as "Tangerine," "Amapola," "Jim" and "I Remember You."

In the 1950s, she worked with Dave Garroway on NBC's "Today Show." For nine years she was hostess of the Miss Universe Pageant and for several years was a television spokeswoman for Polaroid cameras.

Lee Wagner

TV Guide founder

Lee Wagner, 83, founder and former editor of TV Guide, died of a stroke Sept. 7 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He founded TV Guide-New York in 1948 and later added regional editions for New England and the Baltimore-Washington area. He sold the editions to Triangle Publications in 1953, but remained the magazine's editor until 1955.


Whitey Harrison

Calif. surfing legend


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. -- Lorrin "Whitey" Harrison, the ukulele-playing surfer with a squinty smile and palm frond hat, died while vacationing in Hawaii. He was 80.

Mr. Harrison was a well-known fixture on Southern California and Hawaii beaches, but his fame spread beyond those coasts. He was interviewed on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," featured in Life magazine, and performed in commercials for Nike, the Gap and, most recently, Armor All.

* Vincent Dethier, 78, a biologist who wrote a series of popular science books about common backyard creatures including flies, tent caterpillars and katydids, died Wednesday after a heart attack in Amherst, Mass.

* Jean Scotto, 80, former Roman Catholic bishop of Constantine and opponent to French rule of Algeria, died Wednesday in Algiers, Algeria. He was ordained in 1936. He was named bishop of Constantine, Algeria's third-largest city, in 1970.

* Austin G. Cooley, 93, a telecommunications pioneer who helped develop the facsimile machine, died of a stroke Tuesday at his home in Sequim, Wash. He designed and engineered transmitters that would translate a photographic negative into electrical signals that could then be transmitted by radio or telephone, and later by satellite. Once received, the signals were electronically decoded and encrypted onto film.

* Bruce Teicholz, 89, a World War II resistance leader who worked with Raoul Wallenberg to save thousands of Hungarian and Polish Jews, died Tuesday in New York. In 1942, he escaped from his hometown of Lvov, Poland, and started an organization called the Schweitzler Aktion to save Jewish children. He became a hero of the Jewish underground in Budapest. His life story has been featured in books and movies.

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