Gideon Toeplitz, former PSO head, dies in Israel

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In orchestra circles, Gideon Toeplitz had a reputation of a managing director whose toughness as a negotiator was matched by his gruff approach.

Yet friends and industry colleagues say he had the best interest of orchestras in mind, most prominently the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1987-2003. Highlights of his tenure include restructuring its finances and signing conductor Mariss Jansons as music director.

Mr. Toeplitz died in his sleep Sunday in Israel. The exact cause is not yet known, but he suffered from diabetes. He was 66.

Mr. Toeplitz is survived by daughters Ilana and Shira Ransom Toeplitz, of Boston and Washington, D.C., respectively; a brother, Yaron Toeplitz of Asseret, Israel, and a half-sister, Gabrielle Heichal of Jerusalem. Plans for a memorial in Pittsburgh and Boston will be announced later.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Andrew Druckenbrod: adruckenbrod@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1750.


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