Lorne Munroe won the only Naumburg Award granted in 1949 and as a result made his formal New York recital debut 16 November at Town Hall, playing works of Haydn, Weber, Dvořák, and Fauré. He was a member 1949-50 of the Cleveland Orchestra and principal cello 1950-1 of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra before joining the Philadelphia Orchestra as principal cello in 1951. While with the latter he was director of a 15-player ensemble drawn from it, the Amerita String Orchestra, which performed in the USA and Europe under the sponsorship of the American-Italy Society of Philadelphia. Munroe became principal cello of the New York Philharmonic on the invitation of Leonard Bernstein in 1964 and continued in that position in 1991, appearing frequently as soloist with the orchestra in the concertos of Saint-Saëns, Elgar, Dvořák, Kabalevsky, Britten, etc. He has taught at Temple U, and at the Musical Academy in Philadelphia, and beginning in 1964 at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1991 he continued to teach at Juilliard, and also taught at the Manhatten School of Music. He has performed as concerto soloist or recitalist in Toronto (Dvořák Concerto, TS, 1 May 1970), Ottawa, Winnipeg (Schumann Concerto, 17 Nov 1978), and Vancouver and in major cities of Europe, Israel, and Japan.
After Munroe's performance in Strauss' Don Quixote, 20 Jan 1951 in Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Pierre Monteux, Virgil Thomson wrote in the Herald Tribune: 'Lorne Munroe, the cellist, impressed ... with his fine, sombre tone and his extraordinary ability to play in tune. I don't remember ever hearing this work read so enchantingly'; and Olin Downes, in the New York Times, wrote: 'Most prominent and commanding, of course, was Mr. Munroe. He has a noble, sonorous tone, with every possible gradation in it, and there was every characterization and sensitivity in his performance.'
Author Ronald Gibson, Kenneth Winters
Corelli Concerto Grosso, Opus 6, no. 8. Philadelphia O, Ormandy conductor. (1959). Col ML-5402
Falla Concerto for harpsichord and five instruments. Kipnis harpsichord, Brook fl, Gomberg oboe, Drucker clarinet, Chap violin, Boulez conductor. (1977). Col M-33970
First Chair Encores: Fauré Élégie, Opus 24. Philadelphia O, Ormandy conductor. (1965-7). Col MS-6791
Haydn Sinfonia Concertante, Opus 84. Philadelphia O, Ormandy conductor. (1959). Col MS-6061
d'Indy Trio, Opus 29 - Fauré Après un reve. Russo clarinet, Ignacio piano. (1978). Orion ORS-78326
Music from Spain: Casals Song of the Birds. M. Niska soprano, orch, Kostelanetz conductor. (1950s). 2-Col MG-32455
Play Cello With Me! 1984. Ficker Records unnumbered cass
Russo - Debussy - Saint-Saëns. Ignacio piano. (1981). Contemporary CRS-8116
Strauss Don Quixote. New York Phil O, Bernstein conductor. (1970). Col M-30067
- Don Quixote. Philadelphia O, Ormandy conductor. (1963). Col MS-6515
- Don Quixote. Philadelphia O, Ormandy conductor. (1958). Col ML-5292
Weber-Piatigorsky Adagio and Rondo. Philadelphia O, Ormandy conductor. no date. Col ML-4629
Thompson, Leslie. 'First chair takes talent and stamina,' Music, Oct 1980
Links to Other Sites
Listen to audio clips from a recording featuring Lorne Munroe, former Principal Cello of the New York Philharmonic. From Cala Records.