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Marvin Rabin, 97, Founding Music Director Of Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra

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Marvin Rabin and students. (Courtesy)

Marvin Rabin and students. (Courtesy)

BOSTON — Marvin Rabin, founding music director of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, died last week at the age of 97.

Rabin helped form the BYSO in 1958; today it’s a top youth orchestra.

The music director led his young players at the White House for President and Mrs. Kennedy.

Executive Director Catherine Weiskel says he believed music should play a part in everyone’s life.

“It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to go on and be a professional musician,” she said of Rabin’s view, “but as long as you have that love of music all your life, it makes you just a richer and more interesting person.”

At the end of his life Rabin was blind and deaf but still attended concerts in Wisconsin, where he died.

Rabin also taught music for years at Boston University.

The BYSO will dedicate its January 19 performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” to Rabin’s memory.

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