Making Sense of One Death Among 100,000

Maestro Joel Revzen, 1946–2020.

Lisa spent one night hanging with a close composer friend, who ended up getting very sick. At the benefit dinner, they sat together. The person to the left of them is currently hospitalized on a respirator from the virus. But neither I, who was sitting next to Lisa (and subsequently quarantined with her for weeks), nor anyone else at our table got sick.

Obituary: Metropolitan Opera Conductor Joel Revzen Dies of COVID-19-Related Causes Maestro Joel Revzen has died at the age of 74 due to causes related to COVID-19

Maestro Joel Revzen was an award-winning conductor who led symphony and opera performances throughout North America and Europe. His active recording career included two releases with the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as critically acclaimed recordings with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Grammy-award winning The Art of Arleen Auger on which he was both pianist and conductor.

On the conducting staff of the Metropolitan Opera from 1999 until his passing, Joel made his MET debut in 2017 with two performances of Eugene Onegin starring Anna Netrebko and Peter Mattei. In 2018/19 he was Assistant Conductor for productions of La Fanciulla de West, Mephistophile, Rigoletto, and La Clemenza di Tito. In the 2019/20 season he will work on productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutte, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Maestro Revzen held the position of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for Classical Tahoe starting with the festival’s inaugural season in 2012. Prior to that, he had a decade-long tenure with the Arizona Opera as Artistic Director/Principal Conductor, after 14 years as Artistic Director/Conductor of the Berkshire Opera.

As Guest Conductor, Maestro Revzen appeared all over the world. Recent world-wide performances included his debut with the Havana Chamber Orchestra (Cuba), leading a sold-out performance in Moscow (Russia) with star soprano Hibla Gerzmava, as well as engagements in Theater Erfurt, Germany conducting Carmen, and symphonic works and a concert of Gershwin’s music from Porgy and Bess for Festival Napa Valley.

Revzen was invited by Pinchas Zukerman to serve as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, a post he held for five years, and was a conducting faculty member for nine summers at the Aspen Music Festival.

May Joel Revzen’s memory be a blessing.



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Wynn Hausser

Professional Communicator, Change Agent & Nonprofit Specialist. “COVID CHRONICLES” documents life under pandemic. Also write on sports, politics and life.