"Mr. Maestro": Dino Anagnost and company.
Photo © The Little Orchestra Society.
Conductor Dino Anagnost, who made a major contribution to the musical education of young New Yorkers with the Little Orchestra Society has died. The cause was cancer. According to an obituary in today's New York times, he was 67.
Dr. Anagnost took over leadership of the Little Orchestra Society in 1979. During his tenure, the New Hampshire native promoted all kinds of music for small ensembles, from the Renaissance-era works of Vivaldi to the 20th century compositions of Aaron Copland and Giancarlo Menotti. The orchestra regularly gave its concerts at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, as a pocket-sized alternative to grandiose events at Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall.
Among his contributions to the New York classical scene were the "Lolli-Pops™" concerts (for children ages 3-5) and the Happy Concerts for Young People, aimed at slightly older kids. Both series were a popular means for New York parents to introduce classical music to children at a very early age. At one concert, Dr. Anagnost brought in tennis star Billie Jean King, to demonstrate the sound of timpani by bouncing tennis balls off the drum-heads.
Dean "Dino" Anagnost was born in Manchester, NH. He studied music at Boston University, and obtained masters and doctorate degrees from Juilliard and Columbia University's Teacher's College. He is survived by his partner, a brother, and a sister.
In an announcement on their website, the orchestra has asked for contributions to be made in memory of Dr. Anagnost.