Death of a Philadelphia conductor

The death has been announced of Luis Biava, a principal second violin of the Philadelphia Orchestra who was promoted to assistant conductor and in 1994 to conductor-in-residence.

He joined the National Symphony in Washington DC in 1963 and the Philadelphia five years later, remaining until his retirement in 2004.

In May 2009, he conducted three concerts with the Symphony Orchestra of Castilla & Leon in Valladolid, Spain, and inaugurated a new Concert Hall in the city of Avila.

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  • One of the kindest men who ever was. He was a fine musician wonderful conductor who will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.

  • Maestro Biava also conducted the Temple University Symphony Orchestra for a number of years. I remember many fine concerts they performed at the Haverford School in the Philadelphia suburbs.

  • That is sad to hear. He was so nice that when I told him I would like to audition him, he told me that he didn’t like people using him to get to Sawallisch. I told him, no, it’s you I want to audition for, because he had his own orchestra that I actually wanted to play with, but he didn’t believe me. I saw him several years later at a gathering and I didn’t recognize him by face, so he was shocked when I asked him his name. Served him right.

  • Philadelphia and the music world will miss Luis Biava greatly. Maestro Biava conducted my debut with the orchestra when I was 17 in the Academy of Music. An experience I’ll never forget especially when my e-string snapped. I still remember his quiet kindness and most supportive conducting. #RIP

  • So sorry to hear that Maestro Biava is no longer with us. I’m sure he is playing and singing and conducting in Heaven.

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