Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In memoriam: Victor Alpert

Back in my college days, I was the volunteer manager of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I also managed to wrangle a part-time office gopher job at the BSO. Between the two positions, I spent a lot of time hanging around Symphony Hall and got to know Victor Alpert, the orchestra's librarian.

Victor died recently, and his obituary was published today by the Boston Globe. Writer Walter Dawkins captures him perfectly, and I have little to add.

Just this. I was a nobody in the BSO organization, and Mr. Alpert always treated me like a respected colleague. I would drop by the library, and he would tell me stories and joke around, and we had a great time together. Whether at Symphony Hall or in the Tanglewood shed, he would give me a warm welcome. Walking out onto the stage to place the conductor's score on the podium, he would look up to the back row of the chorus and give me a wink and a wave.

I will miss this fixture of Boston cultural life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Paul, I had missed the obit, so this is the first I'd heard.

Victor Alpert was a mensch. No other way to put it. One of the most centered, straightforward people I've ever dealt with. And just one heck of a nice guy.

Jane S.