Klarinet Archive - Posting 000179.txt from 1996/04
From: Bruce Currie <BCurrie101@-----.COM>
Subj: R. Marcellus
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 1996 14:41:15 -0400
For Your Information
>From the April 5, 1996 edition of the Door County Advocate:
The musical legacy of Robert C. Marcellus will be felt throughout
Marcellus, who died March 31 in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, was a
world-renowned clarinetist and conductor who had students from all
over the United States and many other nations.
Born June 1, 1928, in Omaha, Nebraska, to J.D. Donald and Louise
Schavland Marcellus, he showed his musical artistry early in life.
One year after graduating from Washburn High School in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, in 1944 he joined the Natiional Symphony in Washington,
>From 1946 to 1949 he was in the U.S. Air Force Band, rejoining the
National Symphony in 1950, where he became principal clarinetist.
>From 1953 to 1973 he was principal clarinetist with the Cleveland
Orchestra, appearing as soloist under conductors George Szell,
Pierre Boulez, Erich Leinsdorf, Istvan Kertesz, Lorin Maazel,
Robert Shaw and Louis Lane. In 1979 the principal clarinet's chair
in the orchestra was endowed in his name.
He was a soloist at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico from 1959 to
1964; soloist at the inaugural concet of Alice Tully Hall in
Lincoln Center, New York City, and also with the Lincoln Center
Chamber Music Society at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
An early member of the Peninsula Music Festival (Door County,
Wisconsin), which began in 1953, he conducted the orchestra on
several occasions. He also guest conducted the Detroit Symphony,
Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Victoria Symphony, the
orchestra of the National Arts Center in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada),
and the World Youth Orchestra of the Interlochen Arts Academy in
He was music director and conductor of the Cleveland Philharmonic
from 1971 to 1977 and musical advisor to the Canton, Ohio, Symphony
1975-76. He was music director and conductor of the Interlochen
orchestra from 1977 to 1984.
>From 1959 to 1973 he was head of the department of clarinet studies
at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was also head of wind
chamber music studies at the Blossom Festival School of Kent State
University and and the Cleveland Orchestra from 1968 to 1973.
>From 1974-94 Marcellus was associated with Northwestern University,
conducting the orchestra and serving as professor of clarinet. He
was succeeded as conductor by Victor Yampolsky, present music
director and conductor of the Peninsula festival.
In 1988 Marcellus, now blind because of diabetes, was featured on
Charles Kuralt's CBS Sunday Morning national television program.
In 1990 Marcellus received an honorary doctor of laws degree from
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he developed the
Scotia Music Festival. It was at that festival that he met
Yampolsky, who was conducting there.
Marcellus received official recognition from Puerto Rico and from
the premier of New Brunswick.
Lawrence University Awarded Marcellus an honorary doctor of fine
arts degree in 1991.
Marcellus had a passion for golf and, although he could not become
a private pilot for medical reasons, he enjoyed flying with others.
An amateur radio operator and member of the Door County Radio Club,
his call letters were AA9CA.
He was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda music fraternity.
He and his wife Marion were longtime summer residents of Sister
Bay, Wisconsin. They moved here to become permanent residents in
He served on the board of the Peninsula Music Festival.
In 1953 he married Marion Salb in Washington, D.C. She survives,
with one sister, Ruth Biel, Costa Mesa, California; one niece; two
nephews; many dear friends, dovoted students and colleagues.
Services were held Monday at the Episcopal Church of the Holy
Nativity, Jacksonport, Wisconsin, with the Rev. Joseph Mazza
A memorial service will be held here this summer.