Joyful Philadelphia Orchestra Violinist From Swarthmore Dies at 101

Jerome Wigler.
Image via the Wigler family.
Jerome Wigler.

Violinist Jerome Wigler, 101, formerly of Swarthmore, was the longest-serving musician in the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He died July 21 at his California home, writes Rita Giordano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mr. Wigler’s played with the orchestra for 60 years, performing for maestros Arturo Toscanini, Eugene Ormandy, Igor Stravinsky, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sergei Rachmaninoff and others.

He also played with Frank Siniatra and Nat King Cole.

Mr. Wigler helped create the Delaware County Youth Orchestra.

“In the many years I knew him, there was just this joy in making music. He just loved the violin so much,” said Davyd Booth, who plays violin and keyboard with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He was a World War II medic, earning a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars at the Battle of the Bulge and on D-Day in Normandy.  

Mr. Wigler was born in Detroit. He gave his first concert at age 10 with the Detroit Symphony and graduated the Julliard School of Music in 1941.

He met his wife in Belgium and they settled in Swarthmore, raising two sons.

He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as second violin in 1951 and remained with the orchestra until retiring in 2011.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about Jerome Wigler.

Jerome Wigler recalls his life during his 100th birthday celebration.

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