RANDALL CRAIG FLEISCHER (1958 – 2020)

The Bardavon/HVP was shocked and saddened to learn that Randall Craig Fleischer, Maestro of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, passed away suddenly on August 19 at his home in Los Angeles. He was much loved by all who knew him and were fortunate enough to create music with him. He was the heart and soul of the HVP and we send deepest condolences to his family and to all those in this community who, like all at the Bardavon/HVP, are devastated by this loss.

Fleischer became music director of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic in 1992 and was a leading force in the classical music scene all over the United States. His charismatic personality and contagious love of music ignited orchestral brilliance in every concert he conducted.

He was an active guest conducting career with many major orchestras in the United States and internationally including repeat engagements with the Israel Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Boston Pops, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Houston Symphony and others.

Additionally, he was also music director of the Anchorage Symphony and Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

Active as a composer, Mr. Fleischer was also a national leader in the area of symphonic rock and world music fusion. Pioneering these new and growing genres for more than 20 years, he had worked with artists such as John Densmore (The Doors), Natalie Merchant, Blondie, Ani DiFranco, John Cale (Velvet Underground), Garth Hudson (The Band) and Kenny Rogers. Mr. Fleischer’s arrangements and orchestral works have been performed by major orchestras worldwide.

He also composed several new works focusing on the interrelationship of Native American music and culture and the symphonic realm. He collaborated with artists R. Carlos Nakai, Burning Sky, The Hawk Project and The Benaly Family. Mr. Fleischer’s work “Triumph” premiered in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2005. His work “Echoes” premiered in Washington, D.C. in November of 2008 at the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian). Fleischer’s most recent work entitled “Symphony in Step” features the dance ensemble “Step Afrika” and is the first and only orchestral work featuring the African American dance tradition of “stepping.”

Mr. Fleischer first came to international attention when, while serving his first of five years as assistant and then associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), he conducted Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich as soloist during the NSO’s 1990 tour of Japan and the U.S.S.R. Mr. Fleischer again had the honor of being chosen to accompany Maestro Rostropovich, once more conducting the NSO, this time in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in a performance of Prokofiev’s “Sinfonia Concertante” in celebration of the composer’s birth. In December of 1992, he conducted an ensemble of over 70 cellists, including Yo-Yo Ma, and a 190-voice chorus in the Kennedy Center Awards tribute to Rostropovich, televised nationally on CBS, with President and Mrs. Bush presiding.

Mr. Fleischer studied with Leonard Bernstein as a conducting fellow at Tanglewood in 1989. He served as the assistant conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra from 1986 to 1989. While working toward his master of music at the Indiana University School of Music, he served as chorus master of the I.U. Opera Theater program from 1983 – 1985. Fleischer received his bachelor of music education from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has studied conducting privately with Otto Werner Mueller and in master class with Seiji Ozawa, Ricardo Muti, Gustav Meier and others.

Sign Randy's Guestbook

Sign Randy's Guestbook

 
 
 
 
 
Fields marked with * are required.
Your E-mail address won't be published.
It's possible that your entry will only be visible in the guestbook after we reviewed it.
We reserve the right to edit, delete, or not publish entries.
86 entries.
Jill obrig wrote on September 17, 2020 at 3:24 pm:
When my husband and I first saw Randall it was 1992, he brought an amazing energy and spirit to the HVP. We have been subscribers ever since, our daughter had the privilege to have him as a guest teacher in her violin class. He was amusing, down to earth and so connected with the students in the class. My daughter is now a doctor and still plays the violin. Her other violin teacher was Emily Faxon , Carol Cowan also... Read more
When my husband and I first saw Randall it was 1992, he brought an amazing energy and spirit to the HVP. We have been subscribers ever since, our daughter had the privilege to have him as a guest teacher in her violin class. He was amusing, down to earth and so connected with the students in the class. My daughter is now a doctor and still plays the violin. Her other violin teacher was Emily Faxon , Carol Cowan also had her in the Youth symphony. We were connected for over two decades with Randall and his spirit will live on in all the fantastic musical, comical and personal ways he treated all. Love and great music is what we all need to lift ourselves up to understand, we have been touched by genius and ultimate generosity , may these wonderful gifts leave his spirit with you always. Love to you.
Kathleen Bosman wrote on September 17, 2020 at 12:17 pm:
I was knocked over at hearing of Randy's death in August - it was, and remains inconceivable, as his vitality, cheerfulness, relentless positivity and indefatigable spirit seemed invincible. It was an honor and a privilege to have played under his stick so many times - each and every concert a gift of inspiration, insight, passion, and artistry. My deepest condolences to his family for their unfathomable loss. Randy, may you continue to spread your bright light into our world, and... Read more
I was knocked over at hearing of Randy's death in August - it was, and remains inconceivable, as his vitality, cheerfulness, relentless positivity and indefatigable spirit seemed invincible. It was an honor and a privilege to have played under his stick so many times - each and every concert a gift of inspiration, insight, passion, and artistry. My deepest condolences to his family for their unfathomable loss. Randy, may you continue to spread your bright light into our world, and the universe beyond, and may you rest in peace. Love to all.
Marcia Gates wrote on September 16, 2020 at 3:07 pm:
To lose Randy from our Hudson Valley Philharmonic family, from the world, is so heartbreaking. Randy brought forth so many powerful and inspiring performances over the past 28 years to our Hudson Valley community, and we will be forever grateful for the many wonderful musical moments we shared with him. He was a gentleman, humorous, energetic, inspiring, always a pleasure to make music with! We loved him from his first week auditioning for the role of Music Director with the... Read more
To lose Randy from our Hudson Valley Philharmonic family, from the world, is so heartbreaking. Randy brought forth so many powerful and inspiring performances over the past 28 years to our Hudson Valley community, and we will be forever grateful for the many wonderful musical moments we shared with him. He was a gentleman, humorous, energetic, inspiring, always a pleasure to make music with! We loved him from his first week auditioning for the role of Music Director with the HVP, and have loved him ever since. Randy will live in our hearts forever. Marcia Gates, HVP Principal Flutist, HVP Personnel Manager
Karen Smythe wrote on September 15, 2020 at 10:04 am:
Words fail at a time like this. We have been so blessed with Randy's joy in conducting and all the beautiful music he brought to the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Sending prayers and love to Randy's family. He has left an indelible mark. May he Rest in Peace.
Words fail at a time like this. We have been so blessed with Randy's joy in conducting and all the beautiful music he brought to the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Sending prayers and love to Randy's family. He has left an indelible mark. May he Rest in Peace.
Kinan azmeh wrote on September 11, 2020 at 5:04 am:
I had the honor of working alongside Randy and HVP last year. A wonderful artist, conductor and human being. May his soul Rest In Peace and may his memory live long with all who loved him. He will be missed .
I had the honor of working alongside Randy and HVP last year. A wonderful artist, conductor and human being. May his soul Rest In Peace and may his memory live long with all who loved him. He will be missed .
KARYN Hurley wrote on September 5, 2020 at 4:26 pm:
I first saw Randy shortly after he joined HVP and it was an amazing experience. His friendliness, energy and obvious passion for his work was inspiring and his way of describing performances so everyone had an understanding of the works, the composer and, well, anything else pertinent I thought was brilliant. I am saddened to hear of the world's loss of such a great maestro.
I first saw Randy shortly after he joined HVP and it was an amazing experience. His friendliness, energy and obvious passion for his work was inspiring and his way of describing performances so everyone had an understanding of the works, the composer and, well, anything else pertinent I thought was brilliant. I am saddened to hear of the world's loss of such a great maestro.
Theo Zimmerman wrote on September 1, 2020 at 5:18 pm:
It was always a privilege and a delight to make music with Randy and the HVP. As classical musicians, we learn from our teachers and then from our colleagues. Randy had some of the best teachers in the business and he embodied that teaching as a wonderful collaborator who helped the orchestra to sound its best. As a cellist, I very much appreciated that Randy was a living link to one of the greatest cellists and musicians of the 20th... Read more
It was always a privilege and a delight to make music with Randy and the HVP. As classical musicians, we learn from our teachers and then from our colleagues. Randy had some of the best teachers in the business and he embodied that teaching as a wonderful collaborator who helped the orchestra to sound its best. As a cellist, I very much appreciated that Randy was a living link to one of the greatest cellists and musicians of the 20th century, Mstislav Rostropovich. I mourn his passing and send deepest condolences to his family and friends.
RHONNI HALLMAN wrote on September 1, 2020 at 8:26 am:
It has taken me a while to feel I could write cohesively. I will miss our chats and his warm sparkling smile. He was very supportive of me when I was a newcomer to the orchestra as a player and working as the librarian for our orchestra, always treating me with respect and the feeling of working together for the good of the group. I will sorely miss him and send condolences to his wife and daughter. I’m writing this... Read more
It has taken me a while to feel I could write cohesively. I will miss our chats and his warm sparkling smile. He was very supportive of me when I was a newcomer to the orchestra as a player and working as the librarian for our orchestra, always treating me with respect and the feeling of working together for the good of the group. I will sorely miss him and send condolences to his wife and daughter. I’m writing this on a grey day, exactly as I feel .
Linda Beyer wrote on August 31, 2020 at 4:01 pm:
Randy will be deeply missed by so many of us admirers of the HVP. Fond memories of wonderful concerts and of Randy’s personal connection to our community will stay with us forever. Linda & Klaus Beyer
Randy will be deeply missed by so many of us admirers of the HVP. Fond memories of wonderful concerts and of Randy’s personal connection to our community will stay with us forever. Linda & Klaus Beyer
Rick Soedler wrote on August 31, 2020 at 10:15 am:
I worked at the Bardavon from 1996 till 2006. It was a great pleasure to have worked with Maestro Fleischer whenever he came into town to conduct a performance. He always had a smile on his face was willing to make conversation and was the consummate professional in everything that he did. RIP Randy, my condolences to his friends and family, and peace and love to my Bardavon family.
I worked at the Bardavon from 1996 till 2006. It was a great pleasure to have worked with Maestro Fleischer whenever he came into town to conduct a performance. He always had a smile on his face was willing to make conversation and was the consummate professional in everything that he did. RIP Randy, my condolences to his friends and family, and peace and love to my Bardavon family.
Kathy Maxcy wrote on August 31, 2020 at 8:47 am:
It was always a thrill to sing with Randy and the HVP. At Cappella Festiva, we looked forward to our collaborations. What a joy to see such a talented musician so enthusiastic at rehearsals. Taking time to make us always feel welcomed. His excitement while conducting and yes, the jumping up and down & taking tempo faster just made it all the more rewarding & exciting. Randy will truly be missed. Thanks for the joy, the beautiful music, and taking... Read more
It was always a thrill to sing with Randy and the HVP. At Cappella Festiva, we looked forward to our collaborations. What a joy to see such a talented musician so enthusiastic at rehearsals. Taking time to make us always feel welcomed. His excitement while conducting and yes, the jumping up and down & taking tempo faster just made it all the more rewarding & exciting. Randy will truly be missed. Thanks for the joy, the beautiful music, and taking the time to thank our choir for a job well done. Thanks for inspiring us before each performance! My condolences to your family and to everyone at the HVP and all the orchestras & choruses you worked with.
Sharon Slocum wrote on August 29, 2020 at 6:36 pm:
Years ago, when I was much younger and only into hard rock music, my father asked me to attend a Bardavon concert. I only went because the new conductor was handsome with long hair. He won that young person over and barely missed a concert since those days.Thats a man who can inspire people of all ages.
Years ago, when I was much younger and only into hard rock music, my father asked me to attend a Bardavon concert. I only went because the new conductor was handsome with long hair. He won that young person over and barely missed a concert since those days.Thats a man who can inspire people of all ages.
Roseann Quist wrote on August 29, 2020 at 7:59 am:
So sorry for your great loss! Thoughts and prayers are sent your way at this extremely sad time. ♥️
So sorry for your great loss! Thoughts and prayers are sent your way at this extremely sad time. ♥️
Paul LeNci wrote on August 28, 2020 at 8:24 am:
You gave us so many good memories leading HVP. Rest In Peace.
You gave us so many good memories leading HVP. Rest In Peace.
Tom and Judy Ellis wrote on August 27, 2020 at 10:20 pm:
Very shocking and sad news about a man who made the world a more beautiful place with his talent, charm, grace, polish, energy and smile. RCF will be very busy conducting in Heaven because the place is filled with beautiful music.
Very shocking and sad news about a man who made the world a more beautiful place with his talent, charm, grace, polish, energy and smile. RCF will be very busy conducting in Heaven because the place is filled with beautiful music.
Susan E. MacDonald wrote on August 27, 2020 at 2:28 am:
To Maestro Fleischer's Family, My deepest condolences to you on your profound loss. While a student at DCC "somewhere in the '70's" :-7 I was a member of the late Helen Baldwin's DCC Chorus & we would perform 3 concerts with the HVP: One at DCC, another at The Bardavon, and the Third at the former Hudson River PsYchiatric Ctr. As a community srvce. For the patients. That said, fast forward into the '90's when Maestro Fleischer was hired by... Read more
To Maestro Fleischer's Family, My deepest condolences to you on your profound loss. While a student at DCC "somewhere in the '70's" :-7 I was a member of the late Helen Baldwin's DCC Chorus & we would perform 3 concerts with the HVP: One at DCC, another at The Bardavon, and the Third at the former Hudson River PsYchiatric Ctr. As a community srvce. For the patients. That said, fast forward into the '90's when Maestro Fleischer was hired by the HVP. He definitely brought it back to life with his innovative (contemporary) visions. I attended more than a few terrific HVP performances at thE Bardavon. One that stands out for me was the occasion of my Friend Composer Joe Bertolozzi's premier of his commissioned Work "SuitE Poughkeepsie" with the Hvp. For the younger age groups (elementary & Jr. & sr. High schools) thanks to Maestro Fleischer's invigorating ideas orchestrA & band became "cool" again at a Juncture when it was becoming a little challenging to attract broader audiences. He absolutely was the energizing catylyst to make that happen! As many have already statEd previously, Maestro Fleischer will be sorely missed now & always----he has left some large shoes to be filled, to be sure. My thoughts & prayers are with you All. . . . Sincerely, Susan E. MacDonald
Debbie Heath and Kevin Kelley wrote on August 26, 2020 at 9:27 pm:
We send our deepest condolences to Heidi and Michaela and to the HVP and Bardavon families. We are stunned and saddened at Randy's passing. We always enjoyed the humor Randy interjected into his pre-concert talks and his concerts were always vibrant. We will miss him dearly.  
We send our deepest condolences to Heidi and Michaela and to the HVP and Bardavon families. We are stunned and saddened at Randy's passing. We always enjoyed the humor Randy interjected into his pre-concert talks and his concerts were always vibrant. We will miss him dearly.  
Daniel Whitehead wrote on August 26, 2020 at 9:46 am:
This remarkable man was an integral part of the Mid Hudson Valley concert circuit and he will be missed, 🙏
This remarkable man was an integral part of the Mid Hudson Valley concert circuit and he will be missed, 🙏
Patricia Barassi wrote on August 25, 2020 at 8:27 pm:
Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Randy and his smile and the incredible music and singing of the Philharmonic always put us in a great mood. I like to think he's still directing us from above.
Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Randy and his smile and the incredible music and singing of the Philharmonic always put us in a great mood. I like to think he's still directing us from above.
roberta Brodie wrote on August 25, 2020 at 4:05 pm:
News of Randy’s passing had the same effect on me that the sudden loss of a family member would. As an HVP subscriber for many years, I’ve seen how he stretched our appreciation for all kinds of music and performance. He was always so well prepared in his pre-concert talks. I will miss his exuberance, his humor, and his talent. Thank you for sharing him with us.
News of Randy’s passing had the same effect on me that the sudden loss of a family member would. As an HVP subscriber for many years, I’ve seen how he stretched our appreciation for all kinds of music and performance. He was always so well prepared in his pre-concert talks. I will miss his exuberance, his humor, and his talent. Thank you for sharing him with us.