Klarinet Archive - Posting 000043.txt from 1996/04
Subj: Chicago Tribune
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 17:14:58 -0500
(c) 1996 Chicago Tribune. All rts. reserv.
08594179 CLARINET PLAYER ROBERT MARCELLUS, 67 Chicago Tribune (CT) -
WEDNESDAY, April 3, 1996 By: John von Rhein, Tribune Music Critic. Edition:
NORTH SPORTS FINAL Section: METRO CHICAGO Page: 11 Word Count: 287
TEXT: As principal clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra for 20 years under
George Szell, Robert Marcellus was internationally renowned as a symphonic
musician, soloist, teacher and conductor. In later years, he served as a
member of the Northwestern University School of Music faculty.
Mr. Marcellus, 67, died Sunday at his home in Sister Bay, Wis., after a
A member of the NU faculty from 1974 to 1990, Mr. Marcellus continued to
teach and conduct despite the onset in 1984 of blindness caused by diabetes.
Born in Omaha, Mr. Marcellus landed his first job at age 17 as a member of
the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. The youngest clarinetist ever
hired by a major U.S. orchestra, he was named principal clarinet at 22.
He joined the Cleveland Orchestra at Szell's request in 1953, remaining
its principal clarinet for two decades, during which time Szell built that
ensemble into one of the world's greatest. Mr. Marcellus' 1961 recording of
Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, was
Diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy in the early 1970s, later suffering a
retinal hemorrhage, Mr. Marcellus quit the Cleveland Orchestra in 1973. After
his departure, the principal clarinet chair was endowed in his name.
He continued to teach and conduct at Northwestern despite several retinal
operations. From his retirement to his death he held the title of NU
As conductor, he directed the Cleveland Civic Orchestra; the Interlochen
(Mich.) Arts Academy Orchestra; the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County,
Wis.; and the Scotia Chamber Players in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He is survived by his wife, Marion.
Private services were held in Sister Bay. A memorial service and concert
will be held next fall at Northwestern.
Copyright Chicago Tribune 1996
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