Bert Bial, retired contra-bassoonist and bassoonist for the New York Philharmonic, died on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. He was 93.
Bert was the youngest of four siblings and grew up during the Great Depression. He took up the bassoon his senior year in high school and was accepted to the Juilliard School of Music just one year later. Bert went on to play contra-bassoon and bassoon for the New York Philharmonic for 38 years. He also served as the Philharmonic's official photographer and the Orchestra published a book of his photographs called Focus on the Philharmonic, in honor of its 150th anniversary.
His friends and family knew Bert to be a creative, funny, generous and loving person. He was smart, intuitive and an attentive listener. Bert was so proud of his family and leaves behind a treasured trove of memories for them.
Bert is survived by his beautiful wife, Claudia, of 57 years, his adoring daughters Alexandra and Deborah, his wonderful granddaughters Erica and Naya and his devoted son-in-law Bob.
Published in The Record/Herald News from May 20 to May 21, 2020.