In Memoriam Vladimir Mendelssohn, Vicente Zarzo and Ron Ephrat

28 september 2021

The Classical Music Department lost three former Main Subject Teachers over the last several weeks. We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Vladimir Mendelssohn, Ron Ephrat and Vicente Zarzo.

Vladimir Mendelssohn, former Main Subject Teacher Classical Music Viola

Vladimir Mendelssohn (29 November 1949 – 13 August 2021) was a Romanian composer, violist, and professor. He had served as Director of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival since August 2005. Mendelssohn was born into a family of musicians and attended the National University of Music Bucharest. He taught at a number of conservatories, such as the Conservatoire de Paris, where he served as a professor of chamber music. He was also a professor at the Folkwang University of the Arts and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Mendelssohn composed a number of film scores, such as Darclee, which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 1961 and The Violin Player, shown at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. Mendelssohn gave master classes in Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, and France and served on the juries of several international competitions. He became Director of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in August 2005 and was part of the Enesco Quartet.Vladimir Mendelssohn died on 13 August 2021 at the age of 71.

Vicente Zarzo, former Main Subject Teacher Classical Music Horn

Vicente Zarzo Pitarch (6 May 1938 – 14 September 2021) was a Spanish horn player. He played as a soloist in several European and North American orchestras. He was also the author of several books on the history and technique of the horn. Zarzo was born in Benaguasil, in the Province of Valencia, and studied the horn at the Conservatorio Superior de Música Joaquín Rodrigo in Valencia. He later studied with Hans Noeth in Munich, Germany. For 25 years, Zarzo was principal horn of the Residentie Orkest and other orchestras. He also played as horn soloist for the Valencia Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavík, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra in Pittsburgh, and the National Orchestra of Mexico. Vicente Zarzo Pitarch died on 14 September 2021, age 83.

Ron Ephrat, former Main Subject Teacher Classical Music Viola

Viola player Ron Ephrat passed away on September 15th 2021. He was the former principal viola of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra from 1983 to 2011. The Israeli Ron Ephrat came to Europe in the 1970s and after playing with various orchestras, he ended up with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. There, he led the viola group for almost 30 years. The public got to know him as a colorful and passionate musician. In addition to his work with the orchestra, Ephrat also taught at the conservatories of Rotterdam and The Hague. He was also a popular guest at international festivals. He also played in various chamber music ensembles. Two weeks before his death, chief conductor Lahav Shani paid a visit to Ron Ephrat. There, Ephrat said that he kept thinking about the music of Johannes Brahms – especially his 2nd symphony, which was his favourite piece. Two days later, Ron Ephrat was driven to de Doelen, where the orchestra played Brahms's Second Symphony one last time for him. Read more here.