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Barry Socher, composer and longtime L.A. Philharmonic violinist, dies at 68

Barry Socher

Violinist Barry Socher acknowledges the applause a performance of his composition by the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015.

(Los Angeles Times)

Barry Socher, who played in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s first violin section for 35 years, has died. He was 68.

The orchestra said that the recently retired musician died Saturday after a battle with cancer. Musical director Gustavo Dudamel dedicated Sunday’s Walt Disney Concert Hall matinee to Socher.

In addition to playing with the Philharmonic, Socher had been concertmaster for the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic and the Ojai Festival and Oregon Bach Festival orchestras.

He also founded the Armadillo String Quartet, taught at Idyllwild School of Music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and served on the faculties of Pomona College and USC. 

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A successful composer as well, his “FinTango” was performed by the L.A. Phil at the Hollywood Bowl last year during Socher’s final concert with the orchestra. 


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