Passings: Violist Peter Rybar, Bassist Robert Gladstone



Peter Rybar, who the Guardian called "one of the last links with the musicians of pre-War Europe," died October 4. He was 89. The Vienna-born Rybar gained fame as a violinist, quartet leader, orchestra musician, and teacher. He studied under the famed Czech Quartet and Carl Flesch. In recent years, he became a cult figure following the reissue of his albums on CD format. Most recently, he served as concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva until 1980.

Robert Gladstone, who served for 36 years as the principal bassist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra died November 10 at University of Michigan Hospital. He was 74. Gladstone studied with influential New York bass teacher Fred Zimmermann, and enjoyed a reputation for his excellent sound and strict work ethic. Bassist and author Barry Green called Gladstone "a beacon of stability." He began his professional career at age 17 with the New Orleans Symphony. He later played in the Pittsburgh Symphony and New York Philharmonic and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1966. He leaves behind many fine recordings, including a landmark 1959 album of Gunther Schuller's Double Bass Quartet.

*This article appeared in Strings February/March 2003
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