Maestro dies, at 93

Maestro dies, at 93


norman lebrecht

March 20, 2018

Founder-conductor of the Florida Orchestra and long-serving head of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, Irwin Hoffman is no more, his wife has announced.

Tributes will be paid today in the national theatre of Costa Rica.

A Koussevitsky student at Tanglewood, Irwin Hoffman was music director of the Vancouver Symphony from 1952 to 1964 before heading further afield to lead orchestras in Colombia and Chile.

His son is the virtuoso cellist Gary Hoffman. His daughter Deborah was principal harp of the Metropolitan Opera until her early death in 2014.

He is survived also by his second wife, the Costa Rica violinist Lourdes Lobo.



  • Uzi Shalev says:

    RIP Maestro.

  • Ferenc Gabor says:

    And his other son, the viola player Toby Hoffman!

    RIP Maestro !

  • Kurt Loft says:

    Memories of Mr. Hoffman will be published later this week on the Florida Orchestra’s blog page.

  • SWYaness says:

    One should not forget his work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

  • Robert H Wilkins says:

    Nor should forget his years at the Grant Park Festival in Chicago!

    • Eden Elieff says:

      Indeed. I went to concerts of the Grant Park Orchestra all the time as a kid, and he was the conductor. I gasped when I saw that he’d died, as he was the first conductor I followed growing up. Thanks for noting this.

  • Roger Nierenberg says:

    Please don’t leave out mention of Irwin Hoffman’s oldest son, Joel Hoffman, the distinguished composer.

  • A great musician. His concerts with the Filarmónica de Cali are among my most cherished musical memoirs

  • Warren says:

    I heard him conduct Mahler 1 with the New Orleans Philharmonic and it was outstanding! I never heard of him before that concert, but it resonates in my memory, decades later.

  • Cynthia Katsarelis says:

    And don’t forget his first wife (I think first), Esther Glazer, a wonderful violinist, teacher, and extraordinary person.