RI Philharmonic suffers its second loss in a month

Larry Rachleff. Photo courtesy The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra reports the death of its former conductor and music director Larry Rachleff.

The popular and charismatic Rachleff conducted the orchestra from 1996, leaving in 2017 to return to Texas. Rice University, where he taught said he died Monday in Houston after a long battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 67 years old.

The news comes a month after the death of Rachleff’s successor at the RI Philharmonic, Bramwell Tovey. He died of cancer July 12 in Vancouver.

“For the second time in less than a month the RI Philharmonic family has been devastated by a loss,” said David Beauchesne, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School in a statement.

“Larry brought an intensity and vision that raised the Orchestra to new heights. His tireless focus on artistic quality, dedication to excellence, and advocacy for music education was embraced by orchestra, audience, and the greater Rhode Island community,” Beauchesne said.

According to a statement from Rice University, Rachleff is survived by his wife, Susan Lorette Dunn; their son, Sam, who will attend the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in the fall; his mother, Naomi; and a brother, Peter Rachleff.