News

Dave Hermann (1955-2024)

 

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that violist Dave Hermann, one of the original members of Spectrum Chamber Music Society and its former longtime director, passed away on Monday at the age of 69.

We will link to the obituary when it is published, but we have been told that, in lieu of flowers, Dave’s wife, Miriam, will be requesting that donations be made to Spectrum in Dave’s name. We can’t think of a more appropriate way to celebrate the passion that Dave had for music in general, and Spectrum in particular. In fact, we plan to celebrate Dave’s huge contribution to the North Texas arts community this fall, but right now we would like to say a few words about what Dave meant to our chamber music ensemble.

As the director of Spectrum for over three decades, Dave fostered an environment true to the origins of the organization, that of friends creating beautiful music together. With no disrespect intended to the people who attend our concerts, the true joy of Spectrum under Dave’s leadership was the rehearsal process. It was as if the musicians got together and had fun working on the music…and then realized, “Oh, yeah, we also get to perform this for an audience!” It was a special feeling that could not be manufactured. It just came out as a reflection of Dave’s personality.

It is not an overstatement to say that Dave was the face of Spectrum. With the help of Miriam and a few other volunteers, he ran the concert series from top to bottom, not only participating as an outstanding performer, but also as producer, recruiter, host and stage crew (among other things). As if that wasn’t enough, he also made high-quality audio recordings of every program to share with the other performers. For Dave, running Spectrum was a true labor of love.

Simply put, Spectrum Chamber Music Society wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Dave’s steady leadership. Therefore, it will continue as his legacy, now and always.

We know many of you have things you’d like to say about Dave, so one of the reasons we have created this blog post is so you can leave tributes to him in the comments section. Miriam will be looking at the comments, and as we send our deepest condolences to her, we hope that she will be comforted by how many people Dave touched as a leader, as a colleague, and as a friend.

Here is a short interview about the origins of Spectrum featuring Dave and original Spectrum performer, cellist Debbie Brooks, created to pay tribute to another original Spectrum performer, violinist Janet Bond Sutter, who passed away in 2022. [Apologies for the low quality of the recording.]

 

14 Comments

  • Brinton Smith

    I always considered Dave, a close friend, as well as as a colleague and collaborator . Although I left Fort Worth more than two decades ago , with our shared musical passions, we were always in contact, always exchanging recordings. I learned a lot from Dave and thought of him often. The world is a lesser place without him in it, but his legacy is an example to all musicians about staying true to your beliefs and sharing what you are most passionate about. I’ll miss you Dave.

  • Rebecca Stern

    My very first experience with the Fort Worth Symphony was playing in a quartet with him during my audition. Over the next 20 years, he continued to be a musical pillar, and inspiration, a friend, and a legendary cat-sitter (I’m fairly sure our cats liked Dave more than they liked us.) The world…especially the musical world…is a much duller place with his passing. You will always be missed and loved, Dave.

  • Arthur Busby

    Dave was one of my favorites I ever gigged with, on any instrument. The way he’d play was just the right way whether it was a big project or a nothing gig, he always was at his best because someone, anyone was listening. And his presence was a gift all by itself.

    Rest in perfect peace Dave.

  • David Kempers

    Loved Dave. Good guy, easy to get along with, treated me very well as a newbie. Excellent musician, went to my school (Illinois). Loved going to his place to see/hear all the records. Remember his Hondas with 390K miles. Goodbye my friend.

  • wilson

    “Real Men Prefer Jazz”

    Loved Dave. One day me and Floyd were sitting outside of an elementary school gymnasium after we had set up the show and Dave was late to work. It was like a 10:30 a.m. start double show and he was about 5 minutes late. He just sat outside with me and Floyd for the first show cuz he couldn’t really jump in at that point. We grabbed him a chair, he sat down heavily with disappointment in himself for being late to a gig and said, “stupid classical music.”

  • Judith and Kenneth Wills

    We send you all our love and condolences, Miriam. You and Dave were a great team and made wonderful, beautiful music for those of us who were fortunate enough to have you for friends.

  • Elizabeth Morrow

    A true professional in every way. Such a kind, gentle soul – I deeply appreciated his generosity to include me in spectrum chamber music. I am so saddened to hear this news. My deepest condolences to Miriam.

  • Ron Spigelman

    I can’t believe it, I have so many great memories, especially going over to see his record collection, and all the performances, plus I’ll never forget his humor, once when Preston N Anne Thomas didn’t want to drop the tambourine on the floor in rehearsal for the end of Petrushka, Dave stands up and turns around says “here use my Viola!” It took us a while to recover!

  • Darren Woods

    In my 17 years as General Director of Fort Worth Opera, I worked closely with the FW Symphony. I loved orchestra rehearsals and really loved greeting the members of the orchestra. Dave was such an integral part of that experience. I am so saddened to hear of his passing. May the wonderful memories we all have of him be a blessing.

  • Daniel Fry

    I am a pianist/chamber musician who didn’t know Dave until his return to Quincy. In the few years I was there recently, we connected and collaborated a few times, and it was always a relaxed, positive experience, often followed up by Tex-Mex somewhere. I moved out of the area a year ago and knew he was ailing, and am so sad to see this news.

  • Kenneth & Judith Wills

    We were saddened when Dave and Miriam left Fort Worth to go to Quincy, and have missed them ever since. What a great musician, what a great organizer, what a great friend. But his early demise is devastating, and we can only imagine Miriam’s suffering. Our hearts go out to her, and we would be thrilled to give her hospitality if she could make a trip to Texas.

  • Debbie Brooks

    It has taken me a while to even try to collect my thoughts about Dave in the wake of his passing. We joined the FWSO within 4 months of each other and basically grew up together. So many others have written eloquently about his collection of rare recordings, reputation for taking every repeat that was ever written, and being generally meticulously in all things. It’s those things that remind us of the truly beautiful person and loyal friend that he was. My deepest condolences to Miriam and a host of friends who loved him dearly.

  • Stephen Nold

    Whenever Rebecca Stern and I were around Dave they would talk music, then he’d realize that I knew nothing about music, so he’d switch to the Model A, which I knew less about, but could fake it! He was always a gentleman and treated others respectfully. I’ll miss his humor, for sure.

  • Peggy Graff

    I am very sad to hear this about Dave. He did such great outreach work with the Spectrum Chamber Music Society and it was always a treat to see him at FUMC during those performances.
    He was a wonderful person with a great legacy. Requiescat in pace.

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