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Long-time Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra conductor dies

Raymond Leppard led ISO from 1987-2001
Posted at 3:15 PM, Oct 22, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—Raymond Leppard, who led the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 14-years, died Tuesday at the age of 92.

Leppard was conductor and music director of the ISO from 1987 to 2001.

"The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is heartbroken by the loss of our dear friend and Conductor Laureate Raymond Leppard," said ISO Chief Executive Officer James Johnson. "While his tenure as music director will be remembered for raising the artistic profile of the orchestra through international tours, recordings and broadcasts, his influences on the ISO continues to this day. By making Indianapolis his permanent home, Maestro Leppard was able to serve as a champion of classical music in this city, conducting concerts, teaching and inspiring others to cherish the music he loved."

According to the ISO, Leppard led eight recordings and initiated Indianapolis On-The-Air, a syndicated radio broadcast of performances. He will also be remembered for establishing the popular Yuletide Celebration concerts during the holidays.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of our Conductor Laureate, Maestro Raymond Leppard," said current Music Director Krzysztof Urbanski. "He uplifted the ISO with striking music insight and inspiration, and touched so many people through his love and stewardship of classical music. He will be profoundly missed, but his legacy will live on through his writings, his recordings, his compositions and arrangements, and most especially in the musicians whose lives were remarkably influenced by his artistry.

Besides the ISO, Leppard had a long association with the English Chamber Orchestra. He also conducted the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic , Pittsburgh Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony.

Leppard also had a 25-year association with the University of Indianapolis where he was artist-in-residence.

"Raymond Leppard was a kind and generous artist who used his remarkable talent to bring world-class musical experiences to students, faculty and staff, as well as to communities throughout the Indianapolis region," said Robert Manual, University of Indianapolis President. "Through his legacy, the University of Indianapolis celebrates the shared values of artistic exploration, professional growth and a dedication to creating unique learning environments that prepare students for a lifetime of success."

Born in London, Leppard became a U.S. citizen in 2003.

On June 7, 1987, RTV6 did the following story on Leppar:

1987: Raymond Leppard in Indianapolis