A memorial tribute to Omus Hirshbein will take place on October 4, 2012 at 5 p.m., at
The Juilliard School’s Paul Hall.
The program features a number of artists who figured prominently in Mr. Hirshbein’s
long career as one of New York City’s leading classical music impresarios. A onetime
Juilliard student, Mr. Hirshbein was the director of the Hunter College Concert Bureau,
where he presented artists such as Joan Sutherland, Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten,
Alicia de Larrocha, Victoria de los Angeles and Shura Cherkassky. Following a brief
administrative stint at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Hirshbein became performing art director of the
92nd Street YM-YWHA. He was responsible for re-igniting the Y’s long-moribund
classical music program. He established Chamber Music at the Y, under the artistic
direction of Jaime Laredo. He also founded the Y Chamber Symphony, with Gerard
Schwarz as artistic director and principal conductor. Other ventures at the Y included the
popular recital program, the Distinguished Artists Series, and a lieder series,
Mastersingers at the Y. He also co-produced Vienna 1900, a 1986 festival of fin-de-siecle
art and music presented in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art. He was the
guiding force behind the Schubertiade, the Y’s multi-season traversal of the complete
works of Franz Schubert.
In later years, Mr. Hirshbein served as director of the music program of the National
Endowment for the Arts and managed the New York Chamber Symphony during its stint
at Lincoln Center. His last major project was Free for All at Town Hall, a series of free
concerts produced with Jacqueline Taylor.
Mr. Hirshbein’s October 4 memorial will feature performances by pianists Richard
Goode and Joseph Kalichstein, violinists Jaime Laredo and Pamela Frank, violist Steve
Tenenbom, cellists Sharon Robinson and Peter Wiley, and soprano Lauren Flanigan.
The Juilliard School is located at 155 West 65 Street. The family of Omus Hirshbein
has established a scholarship in his memory at The Juilliard School. The Omus Hirshbein
Scholarship will be awarded to Juilliard’s Pre-College Division students, ages eight
through eighteen. To make a donation, please make a check payable to The Juilliard
School, with a note that it is for the Omus Hirshbein Scholarship. Or give online:
Juilliard.edu/giving. For information or to RVSP for the event, please call Jacqueline
Taylor at 917-846-7875. You must RSVP in order to be admitted to the memorial.