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Subject: Rafael Druian, Violinist and Conductor

Sept. 6
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Date Posted: September 23, 2002 3:11:18 EDT

Rafael Druian, a violinist and conductor who served as the concertmaster for the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and other ensembles, died on Sept. 6 in Philadelphia. He was 80 and lived in Philadelphia.

Mr. Druian was born in Vologda, Russia, and grew up in Havana, where his family moved when he was an infant. At 8 he became a pupil of Amadeo Roldn, the conductor of the Havana Philharmonic. Two years later he went to Philadelphia to audition for Leopold Stokowski, who recommended him for a scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music.

After his graduation from Curtis in 1942, Mr. Druian served in the United States Army for four years, playing the mellophone in the Army band.

He was the concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony from 1947 to 1949 and the Minneapolis Symphony (now the Minnesota Orchestra) from 1949 to 1960. His longest tenure as a concertmaster was in Cleveland, where he played under George Szell from 1960 to 1969.

He appeared on many recordings with Szell, including an acclaimed Columbia recording of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante; with Szell at the piano, he also recorded Mozart's four violin sonatas.

After leaving the Cleveland Orchestra, he taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, and in 1971 became the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Boulez. He held the position until 1974, when he devoted himself to conducting and teaching, though he continued to make occasional appearances as a violin soloist.

He is survived by two sons, Peter, of Philadelphia, and Greg, of Portland, Ore.

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