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This profile was last updated on 10/13/02  and contains information from public web pages.

Michael Mickey Bookspan

Wrong Michael Mickey Bookspan?

Consummate Musician

Phone: (716) ***-****  HQ Phone
Local Address:  United States
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor
New York , New York 10016
United States

Company Description: BOOKSPAN is the parent company of Doubleday Entertainment (the leading marketer of book clubs and merchandise via direct mail and e-commerce in the U.S.) and Yes...   more

Employment History

  • Musician
Web References
The Saratogian, 13 Oct 2002 [cached]
Michael "Mickey" Bookspan, the Philadelphia Orchestra's principal percussionist and a member of that orchestra for 49 years, died suddenly Sept. 12 following emergency heart surgery.He died in Florida, just a few weeks after he performed throughout the orchestra's annual summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Bookspan had performed at SPAC since its founding 37 years ago, and was a well-known figure to local audiences.
Tall, white-haired and graceful, he moved with ease through the myriad instruments at the back of the orchestra, occasionally coming to front stage for solos, such as the magnificent snare drum part in Ravel's "Bolero."
Bookspan joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1953, the year he graduated from the Juilliard School, when Eugene Ormandy was conductor.
I didn't know Bookspan personally, but in the past weeks I've pieced together a portrait of an amazing person: a husband, father, friend, mentor and teacher who marked his time and space with a passionate energy, as well as with the rhythms of his sticks and mallets, cymbals and keyboards.
On the afternoon of his last performance at SPAC this past summer, Bookspan took the time to attend the final student concert of the New York Summer School of Orchestral Studies, watching and listening carefully as the teenage percussionists he had coached for several weeks displayed the techniques he had taught them.
Seen together nightly during orchestra intermissions, they appeared inseparable, leaving arm-in arm after Bookspan's performances.
Together, each morning, they swam across the river by his summer home in Luzerne, where he proposed to Shirley 12 years ago.The summer residence was an idyllic retreat he had built with his son from a previous marriage, Adam.
Adam's mother, Raquel, died shortly after Adam's birth in 1966.Bookspan also is survived by a daughter, Jolie, from a first marriage.
But it is apparent that Bookspan also found joy in his daily life, and particularly in his music.
"Going back to work (after his death) was a nightmare," said Tony Orlando, who began studying with Bookspan at the age of 18 at the Philadelphia Music Academy, and joined the orchestra's percussion section himself 30 years ago.
As a teacher, Bookspan adapted to the individual student, Orlando said.
Bookspan also taught since 1980 at the Curtis Institute of Music.His percussion students perform in orchestras in Pittsburgh, Toronto, Naples, Baltimore, Charlotte, Jacksonville, and in the New World Symphony, the Nexus Percussion Ensemble, the West Point Band, the Maggio Musicale (Italy) and in France and Spain.
One former student, Steve Weiss of Willow Grove, Pa., has established scholarships in memory of Michael Bookspan at both Juilliard and Curtis.
Owner of the best-known percussion supply business in the country, Weiss studied privately with Bookspan beginning in 1957.
His widow has received condolences from throughout the world, including one from Maestro Ricardo Muti, referring to Bookspan as "a consummate musician and humanist."
The Philadelphia Orchestra's associate concertmaster, violinist Michael Ludwig, was named after Bookspan.
Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/17/2002 | And the drumroll, please..., 17 Nov 2002 [cached]
Its previous holder, Michael "Mickey" Bookspan, 73, a dashing presence in the orchestra since 1953, died in September - unexpectedly, of a heart ailment - just a few days before he was set to play opening night of the orchestra's 2002-03 season.
Bookspan was the musician who personified the orchestra for many fans.Tall and dapper, he and his silvery crown were seen night after night bouncing from one instrument to the next in the back of the ensemble.
"Bookspan was arguably the principal percussionist in the greatest orchestra percussion section there ever was - he and Charlie [Charles E. Owen, Bookspan's predecessor]," said Oregon Symphony's DePonte."That job has a historical responsibility to it that you really can't say exists in many other orchestras."
He was "the Michael Jordan of percussionists," said Philadelphia Orchestra principal timpanist Don S. Liuzzi.
Bookspan is still listed as a member of the orchestra in its weekly program booklet, as he will be all season, as a memoriam.
Grief, yes.But also this:
"People probably opened up their e-mail and said: 'Oh my God, Mickey died.
welcome to, 14 Mar 2006 [cached]
Joe has studied with musicians of many genres, including jazz greats John Riley, Adam Nussbaum, Billy Hart, Joe Morello, Tony Moreno, Pete Magadini, Ed Shaughnessy, and percussionists James Petercsak, Michael Bookspan (Philadelphia Orchestra), Paul Hostetter (Julliard School), and Rick Barbour (Metropolitan Opera).
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