Steven Witser, Principal Trombone of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack in Pasadena last night. Mr. Witser, who was 48, is survived by his wife, Marta Jasberg, his parents, Robert and Sharon Witser of Oakland, and his brother Kenneth Witser.
Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, said: “The shock of Steve’s sudden and unexpected death has robbed us of one of our most beloved and respected musicians. Steve had been with the LA Philharmonic for just under two years and had made a tremendous impact on all of us in that time. He was not only a wonderful player, but a great friend and colleague and very active in the organization. He will be deeply missed.”
Steven Witser joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Principal Trombone in September 2007. Formerly Assistant Principal Trombone and acting Principal Trombone of The Cleveland Orchestra, Steven Witser also served as that orchestra's Assistant Personnel Manager. He was also a member of the highly acclaimed Center City Brass Quintet.
A native of Oakland, California, Mr. Witser received his Bachelor of Music degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He was a prizewinner in the Munich International Solo Competition and won second prize in the Geneva International Competition for Musical Performers.
Steven Witser had also served as Principal Trombone with the Music of the Baroque ensemble in Chicago, the Honolulu Symphony, the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and the Phoenix Symphony. He was a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music and had served on the faculty at the Eastman School of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory.
A highly regarded musician and colleague, he can be heard on recordings including his solo CD, Among Friends, and with the High Anxiety Bones Trombone Quartet and the Center City Brass Quintet.
The concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Thursday, April 30, will be dedicated to Steven’s memory and the orchestra will perform a short opening piece in his honor. Funeral arrangements are still to be announced.
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