Philadelphia Orchestra Violinist Jerome Wigler has Died, Aged 101

The violinist was a member of the orchestra for 60 years, making him the longest-serving musician in the orchestra’s history

(Photo credit: April Saul)


American violinist Jerome Wigler served as a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra until his retirement in 2011. 

News of the beloved musician’s passing spread across social media, including a Twitter statement from the Philadelphia Orchestra:

It is with a heavy heart that we’ve learned of the passing of former violinist Jerome Wigler. As the longest-serving musician in the Philadelphia Orchestra history, he was an integral part of the famous Philadelphia Sound. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Jerry’s family and friends.” 

A graduate of The Juilliard School, Wigler worked briefly in the Minneapolis Symphony before he was drafted to serve as a medical technician in World War II. This led him across the UK, France, and eventually to the front lines at the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded by a mortar shell.

He later returned to America, decorated with a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars, and joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1951. In addition to his career as an orchestral musician, he gave lessons and recitals, was active in music and civic organizations, and, in 1973, co-founded the Delaware County Youth Symphony.

Our condolences to Mr. Wigler's family, friends, and colleagues.