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  • LAPA
  • Barry Socher 1947-2016
  • Oct. 26, 2016
  • Barry Socher, a recently retired first violinist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, passed away on Saturday, October 22 following a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. Mr. Socher, born November 2, 1947, is survived by his loving wife, Jutta Thorne; three sons: Peter Thorne, Michael Thorne and Aron Socher; one daughter, Leslie Beattie, and four granddaughters.

    Socher was hired by Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Carlo Maria Giulini in 1981 and played in the orchestra's first violin section for 35 years. He performed frequently with the LA Phil's New Music Group and Chamber Music Society, as well as in recitals throughout Southern California.

    Throughout his illustrious career, Socher served as concertmaster for the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, Ojai Festival and Oregon Bach Festival Orchestras. Additionally, he was the founder and first violinist of the Armadillo String Quartet.

    Socher was also a successful composer, having written pieces performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Fresno Philharmonic and other ensembles throughout the United States and Europe. In September 2015, the LA Phil performed his composition FinTango at the Hollywood Bowl, in honor of his final concert as a member of the orchestra.  

    A Los Angeles native, Socher taught at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute for many summers, and also served on the faculties of Pomona College and the University of Southern California.  

    LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel dedicated the matinee performance on Sunday, October 23 at Walt Disney Concert Hall to Socher.

    There will be a celebration of his life sometime in the not too distant future.    


  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422