Vladimir Mendelssohn died

On Friday, Aug. 13, Vladimir Mendelssohn died at the age of 71. He was solo altoist of the Residentie Orkest The Hague from 1979 to 1990.

Romanian-born Mendelssohn grew up in a family with a rich musical tradition. After studying viola and composition at the conservatory in Bucharest, he moved to The Hague in 1979. He participated in numerous chamber music formations, such as the Enesco Quartet, with which he performed at many international chamber music festivals. He also taught at the conservatories of The Hague, Paris, Essen and Bologna, among others.

According to Sven Arne Tepl, general and artistic director of the Residentie Orkest, with Vladi's passing, the international music world has lost an icon. "He was an artist of the highest caliber, a teacher who attracted students worldwide, an inspired composer and one of the warmest people one could come across. He inspired students and colleagues all over the world. We were "traveling companions" as professors at the Folkwanghochschule in Germany and countless times musical partners at festivals at home and abroad. But above all, Vladi was a dear friend from whom I was able to learn an awful lot about what the meaning of being human and empathizing with each other is. I think especially now of his wife Marika and his son David. I close my eyes and think back with melancholy to the beautiful bars from the Dumka from Dvorák's String Sextet that we had the opportunity to celebrate many times side by side on stage. Unique moments with a unique man!"

Janet Krause, Principal second violins at the Residentie Orkest, also reflects on the passing of Vladimir Mendelssohn: "It has been a tremendous enrichment of my life to have known Vladi. We met at the Residentie Orkest in 1980 and that is where our friendship began. The Residentie Orkest was the beginning of his musical life outside Romania. From there he developed a huge international reputation as a viola player, composer, educator and also later as artistic director. Vladi had a tremendous gift for devising wonderful programs. This was very inspiring to others, and also to me. I will greatly miss our conversations about music but just as much his vision and insight into life. He was an extraordinary musician and a loving man. I cannot think how hard it will be for Marika and David without Vladi. I miss a special person and a great friend."

We wish his family and loved ones much strength with this loss.