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CHARLES "CJ" JAFFE

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JAFFE


CHARLES "CJ" passed away Tuesday August 16, 2011 at the age of 94 ¾. Husband of the late Thelma (Fein). Father of Elissa (husband - Len) Smiley and the late Susan Weitzer. G-father of Shara, Ellen, David, and Robyn. And friend to all at the Ann's Choice Retirement Community in Warminster. Mr. Jaffe's distinguished career began at the age of 5 ½ when he played solo violin with the Philadelphia Women's Symphony, at the Belleview Strafford Hotel in Center City Philadelphia. He became a student at the Curtis Institute and is the last surviving member of the illustrious Curtis String Quartet. At Curtis, his instrument was a famous Stradivarius…, which now resides in a private home in Michigan. Charlie was also a violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and until recently was its oldest surviving member. He moved to New York City in 1945 where he became a violinist under the baton of Arturo Toscanini in the NBC Symphony Orchestra. This inspired him to establish an orchestra of his own: The Long Island Symphony Orchestra. Charlie became conductor of the American Ballet Theater and took them on a tour to Japan and Australia. He did arrangements for the Metropolitan Opera and also recorded with Jan Peerce, Risa Stevens, Nat King Cole, Lena Horne and Ethel Merman. He rearranged many classical recordings as well. For many years, Charlie was the orchestra conductor on Broadway of the hits: My Fair Lady, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof. He also did summer stock with Jane Mansfield and Ray Milland as well as a host of other notables. This very modest man has said that he never had to look for a job in his difficult field but one was always being offered to him serendipitously when that phone rang in Flushing, New York. After his retirement in 1988, he moved with his wife to Newtown, PA where he authored a book of fiction and served on the Board of the Curtis Institute of Music. Services will be held Thursday, August 18, 2011, 1 P.M. at the Chapel at Ann's Choice - 30000 Ann's Choice Way, Warminster, PA 18974. Interment Montefiore Cemetery. The family will return to the home of Elissa and Len Smiley. The family will also receive visitors before sundown Friday from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. Contributions in Charlie's memory may be made to the charity of one's choice.
www.goldsteinsfuneral.com

Published on Philly.com on Aug. 17, 2011
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