The Chicago Symphony Orchestra family mourns the death of Edgar Muenzer, a member of the violin section from 1956 until 2003. He died July 22 in Park Ridge after a long illness. He was 88.
Appointed by Fritz Reiner, Mr. Muenzer served 47 years until his retirement. “I think he would have said it was the greatest experience of his life,” said his son Victor, in an obituary published in the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate. “I think he felt extraordinarily grateful to be there.”
Along with his CSO tenure, Mr. Muenzer co-founded the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra in 1994; he was its music director until he stepped down in 2012 and became music director emeritus. The 70-member ensemble received many honors, including the Governor’s Hometown Award in 1998, 10 awards from the Illinois Council of Orchestras (among them, Orchestra of the Year) and several mayoral proclamations from the city of Park Ridge. “Park Ridge Civic Orchestra was how Edgar wanted to give back to the community after a rewarding lifetime in professional music,” said Pam Benitez, president of the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra, in a statement. “He was a great-hearted visionary who never stopped sharing his talent and passion for great music.”
The Park Ridge Civic Orchestra plans to commemorate Mr. Muenzer’s legacy in its season-opening concert, scheduled for Oct. 26.
Among his survivors are his wife, Nancy; his sons Peter, James and Victor (who succeeded his father as Park Ridge music director), and two grandsons. Visitation is July 26, from 3 to 9 p.m. at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home, 120 S. Northwest Hwy. in Park Ridge. Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. July 27 at Park Ridge Community Church, 100 S. Courtland Ave., with the burial to follow at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles.