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Roger Voisin, 89

Posted by Geoff Edgers  February 14, 2008 01:17 PM

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He was the youngest player ever in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, getting the gig at just 17.

And I spoke with Roger Voisin back in 2006 about this very subject.

He told me how his father, Rene, already a BSO trumpeter, didn't want Roger to take the job. "He said, 'you don't know anything.' He said no for about two of three days."

Did you argue with him?

"I had nothing to do with it. I just said, 'oui, papa.'"

Finally, one of the BSO players talked to the elder Voisin. "He said, 'Rene, don't punish him.'"

Did Voisin have any advice for Julianne Lee, the violinist who is now the BSO's youngest player?

"The conductor's always right. When you go home, you do what you want. But when you're in the orchestra, you do what the conductor wants you to do."

Here is Voisin's death notice:

Roger Louis Voisin, passed away on Feb 13, 2008 at Lasell House in Auburndale. He was 89. As one of the youngest musicians to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 17 in 1935, he was taught the trumpet by his father Rene, Marcelle LaFosse and George Mager all BSO members. Roger served in the US Navy, became Principal trumpet in 1952 and performed for 38 years with the BSO. He recorded solo trumpet music, edited trumpet solos, orchestral excerpts, and brass ensemble literature and had a great collaboration with Robert King Music Co. He taught at the NE Conservatory of Music for 30 years. In 1975 he became a full professor at Boston Univ, teaching trumpet and chairing the wind, percussion and harp department until his retirement in 1999. Since 1940, at the inception of the Tanglewood Music Center, Roger was very active each summer performing, teaching, coaching and instructing Solfege to young conductors and helping train the next generation of musicians. He loved photography, fishing, cooking and family. Son of the late Rene & Marie Voisin, Roger leaves behind his wife of over 59 years Martha H. Voisin, his son Peter G. Voisin of Hendersonville, NC, his daughter Anne M. Roy of West Stockbridge, MA, his grandchildren Christiane and Maria Voisin both of NC, Jennifer R.R. Hallock, Melissa A. Roy and Joseph E. Roy all of MA and his great granddaughters Mary & Caitlyn Alpert and Emma Seward and a loving extended family Pamela Voisin, Candace Bassett, Mary Voisin, Joseph G. Roy, Jr, James L. Hallock, Shannon & James Hallock and Stephen Seward. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Gifts in memory of Roger may be sent to for the Tanglewood Music Center Scholarship to Boston Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hall, 301 Mass Ave. Boson, MA 02115 ATTN: Stephanie Baker.

Arrangements by Eaton & Mackay Funeral Home, Newton Corner.


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About Exhibitionist Geoff Edgers covers arts news for The Boston Globe..

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