Charles Ansbacher, the founding conductor of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra who brought symphony to the inner city, died Sunday at home in Cambridge after a battle with brain cancer. He was 67.
Ansbacher founded the orchestra in 2001 after conducting ensembles from Azerbaijian to Bosnia, Croatia, South Africa, Moldova and Vietnam.
Upon moving to Boston, Ansbacher wondered: If he could bring music to Sarajevo, why couldn’t he do the same in Roxbury, Dorchester or Charlestown? For the past nine years, the Landmarks Orchestra has performed in spaces as unorthodox as the Charlestown Naval Yard and an MBTA station.
Ansbacher believed the relationship between Landmarks and music was key. "We try to find Landmark locations which are fun to be in and educational and those settings are enhanced by the music and also the music enhances the location," he said in a Radio Boston interview in July.
Ansbacher is survived by his wife, Ambassador Swanee Hunt of Cambridge; his brothers, Max, of New York, Ted, of White Plains, N.Y., and Ben of Burlington, N.C.; children, Henry Ansbacher and Lillian Shuff, of Denver, and Theodore Ansbacher-Hunt, of North Adams, and grandchildren Max, Alex and Ella, of Denver. The funeral is private but a memorial concert is planned.
This program aired on September 13, 2010.