Celebratory Memorial Service:
Sunday April 28, 1-4pm
Grand Ballroom of Colonial Heritage Golf Club
6520 Arthur Hills Dr.
Williamsburg, VA 23188
A seminal force in the history of MCYO, Olivia W. Gutoff, Artistic Director Emerita of the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras and Philharmonic Conductor, passed away on Wednesday April 10. Her legacy lives on in the hundreds of musicians’ lives she has touched and in this organization, which she raised to great heights until retiring during the 2006-2007 season.
Having served the organization devotedly for 25 years, the last 12 as Artistic Director and Philharmonic Conductor, it was her leadership, vision and commitment that sparked tremendous growth in the entire MCYO organization and which brought MCYO into its new home, The Music Center at Strathmore, where it resides today, now as a program of Strathmore.
Mrs. Gutoff was regarded as one of Maryland’s premiere conductors of young instrumentalists. She was praised nationally for her devotion to music education, her standards of excellence, and her mentoring of young musicians and teachers. She served in many leadership positions in the field of music education, including the Maryland Orchestra Director’s Association, the Maryland Music Educators Association, the Maryland Band Director’s Association, and on the board of the Youth Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras.
An outstanding French Horn player and teacher, Mrs. Gutoff performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Opera Society Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Ballet and Show Orchestras, the National Gallery of Art Orchestra, the Wolf Trap Filene Center Orchestra, as well as the New York City Opera Orchestra, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and the American Ballet Orchestra and the National Philharmonic.
In her own words, upon the occasion of her farewell concert with MCYO, December 2006:
“The past twelve years as Artistic Director and Philharmonic Conductor have been rewarding. To be an educator, professional musician and music teacher, and be the conductor of the MCYO Philharmonic is having the best of all possible worlds.
The young musicians have touched my heart and our music making together has touched my soul. Their passion every week and at concerts is a joy to experience and I hope they will have lasting memories from our experiences together. I would say to them: follow your dreams;
continue seeking knowledge and try to master something; value truth and seek beauty in your life. In that creative part of life” don’t be afraid to be expressive!”
Truly a life-force, Mrs. Gutoff was an exceptional woman who impacted the lives of countless people and made her mark on this organization.