In Thursday’s Chicago Sun-Times, Larry Finley writes about longtime Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Joseph “Sam” Sciacchitano, who “died of complications from pneumonia on May 22 at Advocate Illinois Masonic Health Center” at age 96. “He played for the CSO from 1961 until he retired in 1983. He also taught at DePaul University and the American Conservatory of Music. … Mr. Sciacchitano was born in Chicago in 1913 and studied music as a small child. While at Lane Tech High School, his music teacher suggested he switch from the violin to the cello … ‘When Sam was at Lane Tech, he was a copy boy for the Chicago Daily News,’ his wife [Barbara] said. ‘The Daily News organized some outings to Symphony Hall and the opera. They had sports teams. Sam was in all of that in the late 1920s.’ He spent two years with the Civic Orchestra (the CSO’s training orchestra) before going to the Indianapolis Symphony in 1937 through 1943. He played for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1943. Then he went to the WGN Symphony Orchestra, the NBC Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony. He returned to the CSO in 1961, where he played out his career.”

Posted May 29, 2009