Philip H. Albright, ISB member and professor emeritus of double bass at Ball State University, died November 30, 2010. He was 83 years old. Phil graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1949. He later earned a Master’s degree from Washington University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Eastman. From 1949 to 1958 he played in the National Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony. In 1959 he joined the faculty of Ball State Teacher’s College (later Ball State University) in Muncie, Indiana. For 41 years, he played with the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, a summer chamber orchestra in Lake Placid, NY. The Adirondack Mountains were his second home and after retiring from Ball State in 1992, he moved to Lake Placid where he was a well-loved member of the community. During more than 33 years of teaching “Doc Albright” or “Dr. Pha,” as he was known by his students, influenced the careers of many musicians who now perform in symphony orchestras and teach at schools, colleges and universities across the country. Memorial donations can be made to the Philip Albright Chair for Double Bass, c/o The Lake Placid Sinfonietta, PO Box 1303, Lake Placid, NY 12946.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra announced in a joint statement with the Vienna State Opera on that double bassist Georg Straka died November 3rd in while hiking on Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. He was 41 years old. There were no details provided about the circumstances; the Vienna Philharmonic was on tour in Japan at the time of his death. Georg Straka, who was from Moedling, Austria, joined the Vienna Philharmonic in 1999 and had been a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra since 1996.