David Katz (conductor)

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David Katz (born June 28, 1924, Mishawaka, Indiana, United States – 1987), graduated from the Juilliard School of Music and moved to Forest Hills, Queens with his wife Jeanne. David is the son of Charles and Martha Katz. They started the Queens Symphony Orchestra (QSO) in 1953,[1] which he conducted until he died of cancer in 1987.


During the 1970s, the orchestra joined the union and became the first and only professional orchestra in Queens. At this time, QSO was affiliated with the American Symphony Orchestra League and Forest Hills Community Center. David Katz was discovered by Leopold Stokowski, who he joined as associate conductor of The American Symphony Orchestra (ASO). Katz conducted the ASO at Carnegie Hall from 1961 till 1970. He also conducted the Oratorio Society of Queens from 1968 to 1969, succeeding Lawrence Rasmussen.[2] and later conducted the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in 1971.[3]

By QSO's second season, children's concerts were added to the schedule, leading to David and Jeannie starting the Music BAG Program (Music for Boys and Girls). This program was designed to get kids involved with making music with the orchestra, and learning the history and theory of music. By the 1970s, the BAG Program was reaching over 17,000 school children annually throughout Queens.[4]

In 1969, Katz and his wife Jeanne Dale Katz founded Long Lake Camp, a summer camp in Long Lake, New York. The camp focuses on the fine and performing arts. Today, David Katz's son, Marc Katz and Susan Katz operate the camp.[5]

David Katz and Jeannie Katz had sons Michael Katz, Matthew Katz, Marc Katz and daughter Melinda Katz, Melinda Katz is the Borough President of Queens NY


David and Jeanne had four children: Mathew, Michael, Marc and Melinda. Jeannie Katz also founded the Queens Council on the Arts in 1966, which helps promote and develop the arts in the county of Queens, New York.[6] "In recognition of his work with the orchestra, David Katz received the Mayor's Award of Honor for Arts and Culture from Mayor Ed Koch in 1982. 'David Katz contributed greatly to the cultural life and vitality of the borough.' Said Borough President Claire Shulman of Queens (from 1986 - 2002)."[1]


  1. ^ a b MICHAEL KIMMELMANPublished: May 22, 1987 (1987-05-22). "DAVID KATZ, 62, A CONDUCTOR; FOUNDED QUEENS SYMPHONY - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  2. ^ "OSQ | History". Queensoratorio.org. 1927-05-12. Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  3. ^ "David Katz". Colorkatz.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  4. ^ "Queens Symphony". Queens Symphony. 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  5. ^ "Performing Arts and Fine Arts Camp | Long Lake Performing Arts Camps". Longlakecamp.com. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  6. ^ "Queens Council on the Arts | About". Queenscouncilarts.org. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-17.