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Irving Bush dies at 78; trumpeter played with big bands, L.A. Philharmonic
Irving Bush, a trumpeter with a broad range of musical interests, including jazz and classical, who later in life served as personnel manager for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has died. He was 78.
Bush died Jan. 8 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from multiple myeloma, according to Kazue McGregor, the Philharmonic librarian.
Bush started his career playing with many top-name big bands, including ones led by Harry James and Nelson Riddle. He also worked in the studio orchestras at 20th Century Fox, MGM, Columbia, Paramount and Warner Bros., and he played on recordings by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Sarah Vaughan and Nat King Cole. For several years, according to his family, he was the trumpet player Cole would call on first for a recording or engagement.
But in the early 1960s, Bush branched out into classical music and auditioned for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, joining the orchestra for the 1962-63 season.
He recorded with the Columbia Broadcasting Symphony under the baton of Igor Stravinsky and participated in recordings for the Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Andre Previn and Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.
In 1982, Bush moved from his post as the Philharmonic's associate principal trumpeter to personnel manager.
In that role, he monitored the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and arranged auditions for players seeking to join the orchestra. He also helped facilitate communication between management and the musicians and was charged with making sure the correct number of musicians were on stage during rehearsals and performances. If a player called in sick or was otherwise indisposed, it was Bush's responsibility to find a replacement. In addition to filling the chairs, he made sure performances and rehearsals started and ended on time.
After retiring from the Philharmonic in 1995, he remained active in the musicians union, serving on the board of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 47.
Bush was born in Los Angeles on April 7, 1930. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Cal State L.A.
In addition to his playing, Bush taught at USC and Cal State L.A. He also wrote many pieces of music for brass as well as the book "Artistic Trumpet Technique and Study."
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; a daughter, Nicole; a granddaughter, Annaleah; and his sister, Karol Freudenberg.