Bert Bial
Share Bert's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Bert Bial

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.
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
May 26, 2020
Cluster of 20 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Lia Jones
May 24, 2020
Bert was a good neighbor, a good man, and a good friend. Our children grew up together and our families have all remained friends for many years. Berts death is a loss for us all. Our deepest sympathy for Claudia and her children and grandchildren.
Herb and Lynda Gomberg
Herb and Lynda Gomberg
May 23, 2020
Your obvious incredible devotion to each other must make his loss that much more difficult. Please accept my most heartfelt
Martha Schaeffer
May 22, 2020
Bert was a loyal colleague and a delightful friend in the Pittsburgh Symphony in the early fifties. I send heartfelt condolences to his loving family.
Eddie Myers
May 22, 2020
Bert Bial was one of my oldest friends in the New York Philharmonic. We met at the Music Academy of the West in 1952, and he already had a strong interest in photography. His friendship made my joining our orchestra easier, and his constant work on committees within our orchestra spoke to his concern for bettering the working conditions.
I treasure his book of photos of the New York Philharmonic, which gave a kind of immortality to all our colleagues. My deepest condolences to Claudia and all his family. With respectful and affectionate sympathy,
Orin OBrien (double bass)
Orin OBrien
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences