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Curtis Mourns the Loss of Faculty Member William Stokking (Cello '49)

(December 29, 2014) Curtis mourns the loss of cherished faculty member William Stokking (Cello '49), who passed away on December 14.  He was a member of the Curtis faculty since 2000, teaching orchestral repertoire. He also enjoyed an illustrious career, serving as principal cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra for thirty-two years and appearing as soloist with the orchestras in Philadelphia; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore.

"Bill was not only a tremendous artist, but a wonderful colleague and a gentleman," said Roberto Díaz, president of the Curtis Institute of Music, and principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1996 to 2006. "His quiet, yet incredibly strong leadership made him one of the greats of his time in the Philadelphia Orchestra."

Read the Philadelphia Inquirer's tribute.

Mr. Stokking was a student of Gregor Piatigorsky at the Curtis Institute of Music, and of Felix Salmond and Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. At the outbreak of the Korean War, he enlisted in the Navy and became solo cello with the Navy Band and Orchestra in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, he was in the master's/doctoral program at Catholic University.

In addition to his position at the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Stokking served as principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia and was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. During his time in Cleveland he was a member of the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Mr. Stokking is survived by his wife, Nancy Stokking, and sons Carl and Kristoffer; his first wife, Nancy Perry-Stokking, and their daughters, Lisa Lutwyche, Laura, and Lynn; and four grandchildren. A memorial service will likely be held next year. Further information and condolences may be left at Donations in his memory can be made to the Philadelphia Orchestra or Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, 6 Sawmill Rd., Medford, NJ 08055. 

Mr. Stokking will be remembered with gratitude and respect by everyone in the Curtis community. The Curtis Institute of Music extends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and students.


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