Fritz Jahoda,age 99, Conductor, Pianist, Professor and Chairman of the Music Dept. of the City College of New York (part of the CUNY) passed away at his residence on Saturday, December 20, 2008. He was the husband of Hedwig (Kramer) Jahoda who died in 1961.
Mr. Jahoda was born in Vienna, Austria on May 23, 1909 son of Karl and Betty (Probst) Jahoda.
His musical talent was first recognized when at age 3 he began playing songs on the piano in imitation of songs heard at home. Fritz's first musical appearance was a piano recital at the
age of 9. He studied piano and composition but opted to become a conductor of opera. At age 20 he accepted a position as a principal conductor in D�sseldorf, Germany where he remained until 1935 - during which time he also conducted opera in Cologne. From 1935 to 1937 he served as conductor at the Staatsoper in Graz, Austria.
In 1937 with political unrest increasing, he and his wife Hexl emigrated to London where
they spent two years working and learning English and where Fritz occasionally conducted
the London Philharmonic Orchestra, before coming to the United States having been sponsored
by Prof. Mark Brunswick of the City College of New York
His first position in the US was at Converse College, Spartanburg, SC where he filled in
for Prof. Ernest Bacon who was on sabbatical leave, conducted the orchestra and taught musical
performance. In 1940 he accepted a teaching position at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville,
New York and in 1946 he moved to the City College of New York (later the City University of
New York) where he taught opera courses, conducting, and where he conducted the orchestra
and chorus. In 1947 he returned to Austria to conduct in Vienna at the Vienna Staatsoper and
the Volksoper at the invitation of the Austrian government but he opted to return to the US and
to City College. He served as Chairman of the CCNY Music Department until his retirement in 1975. Throughout his teaching years, Fritz traveled extensively as a solo pianist and as a member
of the New York Trio and other chamber music groups. He accompanied singers and
instrumental soloists and especially enjoyed playing two piano music with friends.
In 1983, concerned about the future of his music collection, he and friends Mary Cheyney
Gould and Marcia Chapman established the Bagaduce Music Lending Library now located
in Blue Hill, Maine. From that point on his efforts were committed to the library and to its
growth and service.
In 1980 he moved to Concord where he enjoyed many happy times with his family. He enjoyed walking in West Concord in all kinds of weather and he frequently entertained friends and neighbors with his playing.
He is survived by his daughter, Eleanor Horwitz and her husband Paul of Concord MA, grandchildren Gregory Horwitz of Seattle, WA, Catherine Horwitz of Boston, MA, Laurie Coyle and her husband Adam of Waltham, MA.