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Joseph Schor


1920 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Joseph Schor Obituary
Joseph Schor

1920-2015 NORTH BENNINGTON Joseph Schor, 95, died at his home in North Bennington Wednesday evening September 23rd, following a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. At his side were his wife Cathy, and his four children. For many years Joe brought the beauty of his violin playing and musicianship to the Bennington area both as first violinist of the Bennington String Quartet and also as soloist and concertmaster of the Sage City Symphony. Joe was born April 4, 1920 in Newark New Jersey, then moved to Irvington, New Jersey where he lived until he was drafted into the Army in 1942, where he served until 1946. He began studying the violin at age nine, eventually becoming a pupil of the renowned teacher Raphael Bronstein. After the war, he played the in the National Symphony, then toured with the Ballet Russe as associate concertmaster. In the early 1950's he moved to New York City where he became a member of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and from which he was fired (proudly) for organizing a musicians' strike. He was also a member of several State Department tours to Russia, the Far East and South America. He became principal second violin with the Casals Festival Orchestra in the early 1960's, a position he held for many years. He later became principal second violin in Alexander Schneider's Brandenburg Ensemble. In the late 1950's he joined the coaching staff of the Chamber Music Conference and Composer's Forum of the East taking place every summer at Bennington College. During this time he performed regularly as a founding member of the Silvermine String Quartet. For a period in the 1990's he was the Conference's Music Director and continued on the faculty into his 90's. In 1967 he became concertmaster of the New York City Opera and began a 30 + year association with the New York City Ballet Orchestra. In 1968 he joined the faculty of Windham College in Putney, Vermont, a position he held for nine years, including a one year sabbatical in 1971 to serve as concertmaster of the Denver Symphony. In 1977 he returned to New York City where he rejoined the New York City Opera, and continued performing with the Ballet. He was also a member of the America Composers Orchestra, Clarion Ensemble, Music Aeterna, and many, many other organizations. In 1979 he met his wife Catharine Hall, violist, while they were on tour to Japan with the New York Philharmonic. They married in 1984 and moved to North Bennington in 1990 while continuing to perform in New York City. Together they founded the Bennington String Quartet and the North Bennington Graded School String Program, which still continues. His first devotion was to his children and his wife, his second was to his music. He was loved by many, and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Cathy, three sons from his first marriage to violinist Ernestine Breismeister: Saul of Haverhill, MA, Peter of Dummerston, VT and Michael of Hatfield, MA., and his daughter Joanna of North Bennington. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Aisha, Jesse, and Maia. A Funeral Service will be held Monday, September 28, at 1pm, at the Park McCullough House Carriage Barn in North Bennington. It will be followed by burial at the Park Lawn Jewish Cemetery on South Street, Bennington. This will be followed by a reception at Park McCullough Carriage Barn at 4:30. If friends desire contributions in memory of Joseph Schor may be made to the Sage City Symphony through the office of E.P. Mahar & Son Funeral Home 628 Main Street Bennington, Vermont 05201. Guest book condolences may be made at www maharandsonfuneralhome.net.
Published in Bennington Banner on Sept. 25, 2015
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