On the Passing of Principal Cellist Timothy Landauer

Center Club

Principal Cellist Timothy Landauer performs at a League Luncheon

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the passing of our beloved Timothy Landauer, Principal Cellist of Pacific Symphony.

As many of you probably know, Tim battled cancer over the last year with great determination and courage. Even as he was in discomfort, he managed to perform at the highest levels during his final appearances with Pacific Symphony. Tim has a teenage daughter who was just accepted to Boston University and his former wife Ana was a Pacific Symphony violinist and current member of the LA Opera orchestra. His mother has been a devoted supporter of and collaborative pianist with Tim, and we share our deepest condolences with all of them. It’s a heartbreaking time for them.

Tim’s family history is fascinating.  His grandfather was a German scientist who fled the Nazis before World War II because he was Jewish. He settled in China but wasn’t allowed to leave for the US. He eventually settled in Taiwan. This move created political difficulties for Tim’s parents, the most severe of which was being forced into slave labor during the Cultural Revolution.

Tim’s father was Associate Principal Cellist of the Shanghai Symphony and his mother was a pianist. Tim’s ability to emigrate from China to the US was expedited by virtue of his winning the Piatigorsky Competition in LA in 1983. He studied with Eleonore Schoenfeld at USC, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and also served for three years as an assistant to the great cellist Lynn Harrell, who joined Pacific Symphony as a soloist during its first international tour in 2006. Tim joined Pacific Symphony in 1995 and was one of Carl’s earliest principal musician appointments. They shared a deep personal bond which one could observe backstage or onstage. They collaborated many times including the Elgar Concerto and Tim’s signature solo work in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote. 

With Orli Shaham, he collaborated for 11 seasons, performing 28 concerts, 80 rehearsals and 51 pieces as part of the Café Ludwig series. These sold-out concerts were a lovefest between musicians and audience!

We all know that Tim was a beautiful musician, possessing extreme virtuosity, rich tone production, and he was an inspiring leader of his section. It’s hard to imagine life in the orchestra without Tim, but the soaring, soulful beauty of his performances and his delightful, self-deprecating, humble personality will never be forgotten. 


Warm regards,

John Forsyte, Pacific Symphony President

10 thoughts on “On the Passing of Principal Cellist Timothy Landauer

  1. I’m sure that many of my colleagues in Pacific Chorale feel the same sorrow and grief that I do over the loss of Timothy Landauer. He was an amazing musician and a gentle and sweet person.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very sad story and I send my condolences to you all.

    James Hutton 2nd violin Royal Liverpool philharmonic orchestra UK


  3. A terrible loss for the orchestral musicians and especially Carl. I am so glad I was able to hear his marvellous performance of Don Quixote two years ago. He will be mourned by many.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. His playing was mesmerizing. I remember his playing of Shostakovich in the Cafe Ludwig performance especially. This is just the saddest news. Condolences to his family.


  5. My husband and I noticed Tim’s performance many years ago and we’d look forward to seeing him perform during the many seasons we attended the Pacific Symphony concerts. Lately we noticed his absences, but were totally unaware of his struggles. So very saddened to hear this news and condolences to all his many loving friends and family. “May his memory endure as a blessing!”


  6. What a huge loss this is to the world of music. Timothy Landauer was a marvelous musician with a great presence. His solo work with Pacific Symphony was always outstanding. He will be deeply missed. Condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

    Liked by 1 person

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