Opera in shock at death of principal clarinet

Opera in shock at death of principal clarinet


norman lebrecht

August 18, 2015

Lawrence Renes, music director of Royal Swedish Opera, has notified us of the company’s shock at the death of principal clarinet, Lennart Jonsson.

Lawrence writes: ‘What should have been a joyful (season opening) was overshadowed by the very sudden death of one of our own just the evening before. Lennart Jonsson started to play in Hovkapellet in 1986 and he had literally seen and heard it all. He was as colourful in his playing as he was with his commentaries during rehearsals, and the occasional performance. And we all loved him for that. One of our colleagues said: ‘It is going to be very quiet in the woodwind section…’

Lennart, who was 60, learned on July 11 that he had cancer and died exactly a month later. He told no-one. He leaves a widow, Eva, and three children. A close family member says: ‘He was generous, warmhearted and very funny.’

Our sympathies to the family and colleagues.

lennart jonsson


  • Greg from SF says:

    Cancer is a bitch.
    My mother died from liver cancer less than a month after the first diagnosis. She was 63.
    My heartfelt sympathy goes to the family of Mr. Jonsson.