Sudden death of US music director, 61

Sudden death of US music director, 61


norman lebrecht

August 21, 2020

The conductor Randall Fleischer was found dead in bed by his wife at their Sherman Oaks home, outside Los Angeles, yesterday. He was 61 and was in the throes of planning a virtual gala concert.

Fleischer was music director of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra in Ohio for the past 13 years. He also spent 20 weeks a year with the Anchorage Symphony in Alaska.





  • Cubs Fan says:

    This is awful. The worst news of the week for me. I played with Fleisher way back when he was conducting the Flagstaff Symphony. Wonderful guy, terrific musician. He will be missed.

  • Steven Honigberg says:

    Rest In Peace Randy. He remembers Rostropovich in the following.

  • Alank says:

    He was also assistant to Rostropovich of the NSO and we heard him accompany Slava in a wonderful performance of the Dvorak! Sad news

  • Larry says:

    Very sad indeed. He was also music director of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, in upstate New York.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Shocked and in disbelief. Randy was one of those guys who always maintained that youthful glow, youngish face and energy of positive force. He loved the classics, but also the present. He was never inaccessible, and always open to learning, growing and evolving. His spirit is his greatest legacy, inspiring all of us to continue his passion. I will never, ever forget how easy it was to gain his interest in new endeavors. He quickly brought his Anchorage Symphony Orchestra into Lowell Liebermann’s Third Piano Concerto commissioning project. He was all about others, not himself. I will miss his presence, enthusiasm and kindness. Well, perhaps his spirit will not be so far and very closely embracing all whose lives he touched gracefully.

  • Tom Varley says:

    Very sad and shocking news. I saw him lead the Hudson Valley Philharmonic a number of times in the late 1990s.
    The concerts were always memorable. He also lead them through a very difficult financial patch. I met him once when he came to speak to a service club in Middletown, NY, and I introduced him. Before his talk, we had a discussion about programming and I put in a word for Anthony Payne’s then recent completion of Elgar’s 3rd Symphony. He said that he really didn’t like to perform someone else’s completion of a composer’s work and included the various versions of the Mahler 10th that he would steer clear of. He was very gracious.


    Horrible news. Randy was indeed also the Music Director of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. I didn’t know him well, but he was a gracious colleague to me when he invited me to guest conduct that orchestra back in 2008. I am so sorry for his family. A true journeyman conductor of impeccable credentials, Randy was one of the quiet heroes of this business.