I’m in shock, as I didn’t even know she was ill, but I just read this, from Delmar Williams, on a Facebook group:

Her performance of Rite of Spring begins at 1h 9m. She speaks at 21m10s briefly @ 2m HERE.
Julie Giacobassi, English horn San Francisco Symphony from 1981 to 2006 and Honorary Member IDRS, has died after a long illness. Our most sincere condolences to her husband, Zach, relatives including her sister-in-law Beth Giacobassi, bassoon/contrabassoon Milwaukee Symphony and members of the San Francisco Symphony. I’ll you know if I see an obituary.

Update: I have since read that she suffered from ALS.


  1. Robert A Hubbard

    O. M. G. ! That is a shocker! I am so sorry to hear it!

  2. I was shocked as well, Bob. I had no idea she was dealing with ALS. Looks like it was diagnosed sometime in 2020.

  3. I’m shocked as well. She was far, far too young to pass. Julie and I were classmates in college and she played for 10 years or so with me in the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, as well as in a woodwind quintet. We all will miss her dearly and cherish our memories of her.
    As an aside, another colleague of Julie and me, Jeff Johnson, a terrify horn player, just recently passed away from ALS. His diagnosis came in 2020 as well, they both attended UMicigan, and both were from Muskegon, Michigan. Strange!

  4. Oh I’m sorry to read about your other colleague, Robert, and yes, it’s so strange that both had the same horrendous disease.