Joel Revzen, a staff conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for the past 20 years, died Monday due to complications from COVID-19. He was 74.
Although he had an accomplished career at the Met, many Classical MPR listeners remember Revzen from his 10 years leading the Minnesota Chorale. He also spent 12 years leading the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, five years as assistant conductor at the Saint Paul Chamcber Orchestra and 10 years at Arizona Opera.
When he was diagnosed with COVID-19 a month ago, Kathy Romey, director of the Minnesota Chorale, posted an appreciation of Revzen on Facebook.
"I am extremely grateful to Joel for his generous mentorship and friendship during the early years of my career and also for his modeling of what it means to be a consummate professional and servant leader in the arts," she wrote.
Romey later added a tribute on the Minnesota Chorale's website.
Classical music industry observer Norman Lebrecht has an obituary on his website, Slipped Disc.
One of our favorite recordings by Revzen is of Haydn's The Seasons with the Minnesota Chorale and SPCO.
Here's an interview that Revzen did a few years ago to talk about another one of his musical pursuits, Classical Tahoe.
Condolences to his many Minnesota friends.