Death of a principal viola

Death of a principal viola


norman lebrecht

February 28, 2018

Friends are sharing news of the death of Rami Solomonow, former principal viola of the Lyric Opera and a founder of the Chicago String Quartet.

A graduate of the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv, Israel where his teacher was Oedoen Partos, he played in the Israel Chamber Orchestra until leaving for the US in 1973.

He taught at at DePaul University and played chamber music with practically all the big names who passed throught Chicago.

Olga Kaler writes: ‘An amazing musician, great teacher, an inspiration in all things, and one of the finest human beings one could ever dream to encounter.’

He was 68 years old.


  • Michael Klotz says:

    It’s hard for me to think of a kinder person than Rami. He was a wonderful father, musician, teacher – the definition of a “mensch.” I was privileged to know him, perform together and teach together at various festivals. My condolences to his two loving boys and he will always be in my heart.

  • Cecylia Arzewski says:

    I too am a student of Oedoen Partos and I am very saddened of this news!
    My condolences to his family.

  • Moshe Bukshpan says:

    I have known Rami for about 50 years. We shared lots of laughs and music, especially at the Colorado Music Festival. He will be greatly missed and always in my heart.

  • joe overmyer says:

    Rami was so kind to me when I lived in Chicago. Rest In Peace dear friend.

  • Arthur Lewis says:

    He was a fine person, musician, and stand partner.

  • Allyson Dawkins says:

    Rami was a sensitively artistic and beautiful violist. It was my privilege to share a stand with him at Colorado Music Festival. He will be deeply missed. Rest In Peace Rami.

  • Jennifer Cowell says:

    Rami is always in my heart. I met him in the late 80’s while Inwas a student at Rocky Ridge in CO. In 1993-97, I was a violin performance major at DePaul. Rami taught me how to be a chamber musician. He was one of the best coaches I have ever had the experience to work with. He was a compassionate, yet tough and articulate teacher. Rest In Peace.

  • william wolfram says:

    A wonderful man and musician……a devastating loss

  • Matthew Michelic says:

    We have lost a giant of the viola and a gentle, beautiful soul. Generous, humorous and supportive of colleagues. You will be missed and remembered well Rami!

  • Allan Dennis says:

    A great coach, wonderful musician, and a kind and gentle man but, most importantly of all, a dedicated husband and father. We were fortunate to have him as a role model for us all to live by.

  • laury franks says:

    Laury Franks says:
    I was heartbroken to hear of Rami’s death. I was close to this beautiful family years ago in Chicago, good friends with his wonderful wife Ronit, They both passed away much too young. He was a talented, loving and giving man who cherished his family and was so proud of his two wonderful sons. I would love to be in touch with them in the future and support them any way possible.

    • Deanne Basofin says:

      I am very saddened to learn this news. Rami took me on as a violin student who wanted to get back in shape after years of neglecting my violin. He was so patient, thoughtful and encouraging. With his excellent teaching, and his interest in working with me, I was able to get back to playing chamber music. I remember how he spoke of his wife and sons with such love and concern. And the good words he had for his talented students. He had a genuine interest in developing young musicians. And he had a lasting impact on my life.

  • Address Pedersen says:

    It was deeply saddening to hear of his passing – he was my most favorite violist and and gave the instrument an awesome beautiful lyrical sound like very few other violists!

  • Timothy Mah says:

    What a loss for the music community in the Chicago area. I had the privilege of performing chamber music with Rami about 10 years ago, and he was the consummate collaborator, sharing lots of musical ideas, yet always going about his business in a quiet and unassuming way without ever any hint of ego. Rest in peace, Rami – you will be missed by many.