It is with great sorrow to hear of the death of Mary Whitaker who died in Chautaqua on 21 August in tragic circumstances.
Mary was a talented violinist and close friend of Marin Alsop and her family. She was a member of the Westchester Philharmonic and Chautauqua Symphony and over the past three decades has been associated with many of the major freelance orchestras in New York. She toured regularly with the New York City Opera Touring Company and toured with Barbra Streisand during the 2006-07 North American and International Tour. She has performed with numerous chamber groups and orchestras including String Fever and Concordia, where she got to know Marin.
She became a dear friend to Marin for many years, often visiting the family in Baltimore and performed at the memorial concert of Marin’s parents in New York back in April. On hearing the tragic and shocking news Marin said: “We are heartbroken to imagine our lives without our dear Mary. Mary played with me in our swing band, String. Fever and in my first orchestra, Concordia, for over twenty years. She was the best friend anyone could ask for: completely present, dependable, generous, calm, level headed, funny, intuitive, insightful, respectful, genuine and always quick to laugh. She loved music and justice and was strong in her support of both. There is no doubt that Mary made this world a much better place. We will all try to hold her close and emulate her kindness and strength.”