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Dr. Carl Eberl

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Dr. Carl Eberl Obituary

Composer, Conductor, Viola/Violinist, Teacher, World War II Veteran, Army Air Corps February 3, 1925 -- March 21, 2012 Dr. Carl Eberl's life was music and the people he loved. Born in Reading, Pa., in 1925, to Joseph and Anna Eberl, he began playing the violin at the age of 9. In 1941, inspired by Glenn Miller, and the 1941 movie, "Sun Valley Serenade," the 16-year-old concertmaster of the Reading High School Orchestra began the path that would lead to his founding the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho in 1985. Now the largest free-admission symphony in the Intermountain West, the 100-piece orchestra celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2009 with the performance of Dr. Eberl's Viola Concerto and his arrangement of "It Happened in Sun Valley" from the film that inspired him 68 years prior. He was designated Conductor Laureate of this festival and was selected Citizen of the Year in 1994 by the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber of Commerce.

His path included 27 years in New York City, from 1953 to 1980, as Professor Emeritus of Queens College of the City University of New York, where he directed the Queens College Orchestra and the Queens Choral Society. Two of his conducting students at that concert, David Stahl and Joann Falletta, went on to distinguished conducting careers, and have often acknowledged his influence in the lives.

Whether touring with Frank Sinatra or Leonard Bernstein, his love of music covered all genres.

He received his Ph.D. in Composition from the Eastman School of Music, and at the invitation of his conducting mentor, Dr. Paul White, then conductor of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Dr. Eberl came to the Adirondacks in 1960; he spent many of the happiest years of his life there. He was principal viola of the Sinfonietta until 1972, when Dr. White appointed Carl as his successor to the then 70-year-old orchestra. He directed it from 1972 to 1984.

In 1980, he became the conductor and music director of the Idaho Falls Symphony. While there he began collaborations with the Idaho Falls Opera Theatre, the music faculty at Idaho State University and Ricks College, the Boise Opera and the American Festival Ballet. Concerts included guest appearances by Burl Ives, Doc Severinsen, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Sharon Isbin, James Vandermark and many others.

During his tenure, he received funding from the Community Foundation to build the outdoor shell in Freeman Park, actually digging the foundation for the structure with pickaxes and shovels with volunteers from the community. Through the efforts of his dear friend, Dr. Debu Majumdar and the Idaho Falls Cultural Council, the Idaho Falls Symphony received a grant for the purchase of a new Steinway piano and upgrades for the Civic Auditorium, and Carl conducted area pianists as soloists in that dedication.

During this creative time, he made lifelong friends, who participated in the founding of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony -- Jerry and Rickie Brady, Marian Brady, Timothy and Anne Hopkins and Carol and Bill Evans.

In 1989, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He and Julianne moved from San Francisco to Portland, Maine, in 1996 to be closer to family and friends.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 35 years, Julianne; his sister, Louise McCutcheon of Warwick, New York; nieces and nephews, Nancy Warner, Susan Irwin and Brian Engelhardt; seven brothers and sisters-in-law; 12 nieces and nephews and 12 grandnieces and grandnephews, and three great-grandnephews and nieces, as well as many friends and colleagues around the country.

He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Anna Eberl; his sister, Elizabeth Engelhardt; and his niece, Julia Engelhardt McAfee.

Visiting hours will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at Hobbs Funeral Home in South Portland. A memorial service at The Cedars will be held at a later date. Funeral Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church and burial will take place in Lake Placid at a later date.

Dr. Eberl will also be honored at events, to be announced, at Queens College and in Sun Valley, Idaho.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Carl Eberl to The Cedars, 630 Ocean Ave., Portland, Maine, 04103.

Family Tribute

Published in Post Register on Mar. 24, 2012
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