Charles Ansbacher

Charles Ansbacher

American conductor
Date of Birth: 05.10.1942
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Charles Ansbacher
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Career and Achievements
  4. Personal Life and Legacy

Biography of Charles Ansbacher

Charles Ansbacher was an American conductor and music director of the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra from 1970 to 1989. He founded the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in 2000, which provided free classical music concerts in the Boston area.

Charles Ansbacher

Early Life and Education

Charles Ansbacher was born on October 5, 1942, in Providence, Rhode Island, to renowned psychologists Heinz Ansbacher and Rowena Ripin Ansbacher. At a young age, Charles learned to play the cello and became a conductor for his school orchestra, performing excerpts from Mahler's works in Burlington, Vermont. His parents encouraged his musical talents and sent him to the Greenwood Music Camp and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Charles Ansbacher

Ansbacher initially studied physics at Brown University but later switched to music after co-founding a successful chamber orchestra with his classmates. He earned a master's degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati in 1968 and a doctorate in music in 1979.

Career and Achievements

Ansbacher had successful performances with orchestras in Boston, Moscow, Bishkek, and Sarajevo. One of his notable performances includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the same piece with American and Russian soloists in Belgrade. In 2008, Charles became the first American conductor to perform with the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra, and he was invited to collaborate with them again in 2009.

However, one of the highlights of Ansbacher's life was the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, which he founded in 2000. In the mid-1990s, Ansbacher, who was residing in Vienna, conducted several Austrian ensembles, including musicians from the Vienna State Opera, Innsbruck Philharmonic, and Vienna Chamber Orchestra. His concerts with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra at various venues, including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, were recorded on nine CDs.

Each year, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra presents new works for younger audiences, and six of their pieces, including "The Journey of Phillis Wheatley," are available on CD. For adults, Ansbacher participated in the recordings of Beethoven's Concerto No. 4 and his "Heroic Symphony."

Outside the music world, Ansbacher had a serious interest in design and architecture. Denver Mayor Federico Pena appointed him to the Blue Ribbon Committee to develop the design for the new Denver International Airport. In the political arena, Ansbacher was appointed by former Colorado Governor Roy Romer as the Chairman of the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities.

Personal Life and Legacy

Charles Ansbacher and his spouse, ambassador Swanee Hunt, had three children together: Lillian Shuff, Theodore Ansbacher-Hunt, and Henry Ansbacher, an Academy and Emmy Award-nominated film director.

Charles Ansbacher passed away on September 12, 2010, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He dedicated nearly twenty years to the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra, which named him Conductor Laureate after his retirement in 1989.