Steven Witser, L.A. Philharmonic principal trombonist, dies suddenly

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Culture Monster is saddened to learn that Steven Witser, the principal trombonist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, died of a heart attack Monday night. He was 48.

Witser was scheduled to perform in tonight’s Chamber Music concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert will go forward, but the orchestra will not perform the final piece, Stravinsky’s ‘Octet,’ in which Witser was scheduled to play.

The orchestra will dedicate Thursday’s concert in memory of Witser, according to a spokeswoman for the Philharmonic. A short opening piece (still to be determined) will be performed in his honor.

Witser joined the L.A. Phil as principal trombonist at the beginning of the 2007-2008 season. He had previously served as acting principal trombonist of the Cleveland Orchestra, which he joined in 1989.


The Oakland, Calif., native has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and other institutions. He was also a member of Center City Brass Quintet.

--David Ng

Read The Times’ obituary.