Erich Kunzel Dies Of Cancer

September 2nd, 2009 - 6:36 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
2009_0901_kunzelErich Kunzel, the National Symphony Orchestra conductor and American showman died in a hospital in Bar Harbor, Maine near his Swan Island home, on September 1st. He was 74. The cause of his demise was colon, pancreatic and liver cancer. He is well remembered for having performed a concert in the U.S. Capitol with Aretha Franklin for the July 4th celebrations.

Known as the “Prince Of Pops”, Kunzel was responsible to have taken the repute of the 1977 founded Cincinnati Pops Orchestra to an international platform. He had been with Cincinnati Pops for several years. He had sold more than 10 million records, and was a seasoned artist and director taking the credit of national Memorial Day and July Fourth soundtracks and giving some heart-rendering performances in the Capitol Lawn concerts.

Talking to the Washington Post in 1979, he had stated that each year witnessed an increased number of people drawn to musical concerts which had a lot of money in it. Erich Kunzel had commenced as an assistant under Max Rudolf in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He later took Cincinnati Pops to modern venues and outdoor stages to perform and connect to his audience in more innovative energies, playing movie soundtracks to classical music and even jazz.

In 2006 , Erich was honored with the National Medal Of Arts in a White House Ceremony. He was living a joyful, colorful but hectic schedule, directing and co-coordinating more than 100 concerts annually. He was an enigmatic showman with his bright big grin and omnipresent Star and Stripes bow tie. His name had been inducted this year into the American Classical Music Hall Of Fame.

He leaves behind a 44 year old wife Brunhilde.

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