27. August 2015 · 2 comments · Categories: Losses

It is with deep, deep sorrow that I say goodbye to Maestro George Cleve. He passed away this morning. I will miss him greatly. My heart aches.

George was the conductor of San Jose Symphony when I was first admitted to the orchestra. He was fiery. He scared some people. He angered others. I had played under a fiery conductor for my four years of high school, so I was used to that and, to be honest, just assumed that was the norm. For me he was wonderful. He taught me so much about music … not about the written notes, but about what is beyond that. He taught me music. He and I had our “moments” and certainly not all was peace and joy, but I loved him, and was able, some years ago, to tell him that.

I’m so very sad. I’m so very grateful. And I’m still in a bit of shock, even while we all knew he was in poor health.

I love you, George. Thank you.

Here are a few videos, including one where he is just speaking … so good to be able to hear his voice!


  1. Thanks for a little insight into the old George. By the time I met him the fiery was just a looming reputation which I never experienced first hand. I did see the way people loved and doted on him and that just spoke to the great impact he had on so many. He will be missed.

  2. I know I’m crazy, Beth (everyone knows that, right?!) but I miss a bit of “fiery” with some conductors. I don’t want abuse, but I DO want demanding conductors. I want energy and passion. I want to be told I can do better. (As long as the person also gives me the idea that I am ABLE to do better: I certainly don’t want him/her to give up on me.)