Cleveland Orchestra conductor has died

Cleveland Orchestra conductor has died


norman lebrecht

February 16, 2016

Louis Lane, assistant conductor to George Szell and later resident conductor of the Cleveland Orch, has died at the great age of 92.

Louis went on to become music director in Akron, and later with South African Radio in Johannesburg.

He was artistic advisor and conductor at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1982 to 2004.




  • Ppellay says:

    He actually died at the even greater age of 92 – he was born on Christmas Day 1923. He also had a long association with the Atlanta Symphony, with which he made a number of well-regarded recordings.

  • Tom Chambers says:

    He was the conductor of maybe the 2nd or 3rd concert I ever attended, probably 1971, subbing for an indisposed Leinsdorf in Cleveland. I remember being amazed at how the orchestra played after the beat instead of on it. I only saw a couple other concerts of his, but I was saddened when he left the orchestra. He (not Szell) led the first Cleveland performances of Mahler 7 & 8, and possibly 3 also. Somehow I missed them all.

    Somewhere (maybe in Lawrence Angell’s ‘Tales from the Locker Room’?) a Cleveland Orchestra member mentioned how the players always stepped up their game whenever Lane came back to guest-conduct.

  • Francis Crociata says:

    He also had an association with the Dallas Symphony–and held the Akron post concurrently with his service in Cleveland. He was a wonderful musician and a warm, generous human being who musicians loved to play for. In Cleveland, he was treated with great respect–not always the fate of an assistant conductor–and he happened to excel in repertory that didn’t interest Dr. Szell–like that Mahler 7th that I did hear. I’ll never forget the finest rendering of Rachmaninoff’s The Bells I’ve ever heard–with the legendary Chinese bass Yi-Kwei Sze chilling in the final funerary movement.

  • FreddyNYC says:

    His recording of the Mozart Divertimento in D – which can be downloaded on Tunes btw – features some of the finest ensemble playing (especially violins) ever put on disc. We will never hear that kind of string playing ever in our lifetime. RIP Maestro….

  • Tom Bacchetti says:

    Louis spent years with the Atlanta Symphony collaborating with Robert Shaw. In many ways Louis was essential in constructing seasons of programming. As a conductor he was always precise and, as I recall, the musicians enjoyed working with him. He had a wonderfully dry wit and was a pleasure to work with.

  • Darrell Edwards says:

    One of the most intellectual conductors I have ever had the pleasure
    of meeting and knowing! R.I.P.

  • David McGuire says:

    During his tenure with the Akron Symphony, Louis personally paid to double the salary of principal players.

  • Marc says:

    Yes, he was great and rather unappreciated. I think he was bitter about this.

  • Elizabeth Askren says:

    Louis Lane also taught at the Oberlin Conservatory for some years. I was privileged to learn from him and assist him on an opera production, as were several of my student colleagues at the time. He was a wonderful mentor, with a singular combination of wit, knowledge, and grace. He will be missed by the OC community.

  • Amos says:

    A number of Mr. Lane’s Columbia/Epic recordings with the Cleveland Orchestra were available on CD from Lani Spahr’s label “Locked In The Vault”. There is also an interesting piece of video of Mr. Lane in which he asks George Szell’s opinion regarding the use of the original or much later composed movement in the Mendelssohn 1st Symphony. As I recall it was from a Bell Telephone sponsored TV program featuring the Szell era. Does anyone know why he opted to stay in Cleveland as the Assistant/Associate conductor for > 20 years?

  • gkeast says:

    Here’s the full obituary from the local Cleveland classical music writer.