One of New York's movers and shakers has gone to his Maker (will the Times ever notice?)

Omus Hirshbein, who died yesterday aged 77, was an impresario who turned the 92nd Street Y into a musical powerhouse and talent nursery.

Among the names he launched there were Dawn Upshaw and Yo Yo Ma. He co-founded the New York Chamber Symphony and ran one of the city’s busiest jazz programs – all on a shoestring, often on impulse.

Several of today’s leading arts administrators owe him their careers. After the Y, he worked for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Never one for self-promotion, Omus was last mentioned in the village rag in 1994. Will the Times cuttings file yield enough material for an obituary? Doesn’t look like it. Some poor intern is going to have to phone around.

The funeral is tomorrow. Here’s a memorial page.

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  • I also knew Omus quite well. During the 18 years I lived in NY, he always called me to alert about an artist not to be missed. His series at the 92 St Y were wonderful!

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