Chicago Symphony mourns cellist, 61

Chicago Symphony mourns cellist, 61


norman lebrecht

March 31, 2022

The orchestra has announced the death of Jonathan Pegis, Jonathan Pegis, who played in the cello section from 1986 until 2018. A former student of Lynn Harrell, he died at home in Iowa of natural causes.

Riccardo Muti said: ‘I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jon Pegis, a very kind person and a wonderful player. I will remember him and his wonderful contribution to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.’

A career highlight was touring with the LaSalle Quartet and violist Donald McInnes and recording Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night with them for Deutsche Grammophon in 1982.

photo: Todd Rosenberg


  • Larry says:

    He is part of a very musical family. His brother Jolyon is a cellist with the Dallas Symphony, a sister, Monica, is a violinist as is a brother, Gabriel. RIP.

  • D. P. Horn says:

    I’m saddened to learn of Jon’s passing. I collaborated a number of times with him in recital and chamber music, and always enjoyed his artistry and friendship. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  • Max Raimi says:

    I frequently played chamber music with him, and he very generously performed a lot of my music. A wonderfully imaginative musician with a technique I could only envy, and a man of numerous intense enthusiasms. He could hold forth joyfully for hours on the “Titanic”, on chess, or sailboat racing. And as far as I can remember, I never beat him at table tennis, though we must have played backstage at the CSO hundreds of time at intermissions and rehearsal breaks.

  • Kelly says:

    Jon always made it a point to approach me and thank the stagehands for their work during difficult tours. He was very much appreciated. A good man.

  • John Craver says:

    Jon (Jay at the time) went to high school together and sailed on Irondequoit Bay. Sadly loosing touch a few tears after high school, I followed his career from afar, and am quite saddened to learn of his passing. He was a great friend and a wonderful person.