18. May 2011 · 11 comments · Categories: Losses

There have been some losses recently, but this one hits much closer to home and hurts my heart greatly.

A dear friend of ours — and the one who actually got Dan and me together — has died. Phil was a great guy. He played bass trombone in the San Jose Symphony and then in Symphony Silicon Valley. He was probably the most cheerful man I’ve ever met. Even when he told me he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma he was upbeat and positive. When his symptoms got worse he still somehow managed to smile and joke around. I will miss him.

Ah, dear dear Phil. You will be missed. (If I find a large photo I’ll put that up. For now this will have to do.)

My heart goes out to his family. How difficult to lose this man, and far too soon, too.


  1. Rest in Peace, Phil!

  2. patti with an i

    I miss him already. Phil was so kind and welcoming to me when I was a newbie. Heart of gold; I know it’s a cliche, but it was true of him. Huge loss for us all.

  3. Brenda LaCosse

    Phil helped me get back into playing the piano after some 40-plus years away from it. He put up with my clunk-clunk-clunking, and made the lessons and practices a joy. Our talks of music spread to talks on life ~~ and his peaceful, positive attitude was uplifting and inspiring. I always left my time with him filled with a deep sense of joy. I will miss him very very much.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this here, Brenda.

  5. Phil was my trombone teacher (sorry, not an oboe player, found this website from a Google search). I always looked forward to the lessons for his optimism, kindness, patience, and ability to really improve my playing. He was a fantastic trombonist, teacher, and person, and he will be greatly missed. His strong human spirit was truly inspiring – even when in pain, he always had a smile, a sharp mind, and a fierce desire to help others. Rest in peace, Phil.

  6. Thank you for commenting, David. You are most definitely describing the Phil I know, too. He was a very wonderful man.

  7. I didn’t know Phil Zahorsky, but my son was introduced to him by Don Cardoza in March for a school project. Mr. Zahorsky spent more than an hour being interviewed on the phone by a very enthusiastic high school student, and I think he gave my son a lot of great insights about working in music. We knew he was fighting cancer, but did not realize how far along he was. I found your blog when I searched for his obituary, thanks for posting about him. I really appreciate the time he spent talking to my son. R.I.P.

  8. Thank you for this, Bruce.

    Phil was a very wonderful man. He is missed sorely by all who knew him. Even when he was in pain he would always have a smile when I saw him. I’m so glad your son was able to spend time with him on the phone.

  9. I took a piano class with Phil and from the very first meeting, I could feel his passion for music. He was a very gifted teacher and a wonderful colleague.

  10. Thank you for sharing this, Inga! I appreciate it. Today we celebrate Phil’s life at a memorial. I look forward to seeing all the lives he touched, as I know there are SO many!

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