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Efrain Guigui, 81; Vermont orchestra conductor

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Efrain Guigui, 81, a former conductor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, died Monday in Los Angeles from complications of cancer, said his son, Martin.

Mr. Guigui led the orchestra from 1974 to 1989, notably taking the orchestra on a tour of all of Vermont's 251 towns to celebrate the group's 50th anniversary.

During his tenure, Mr. Guigui, a clarinetist, was honored with the Alice Ditson award from Columbia University, which is considered to be the conductors' equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

In 1989, the Vermont Council on the Arts presented him with the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Mr. Guigui was born in Panama and raised in Argentina. He moved to Middlebury in 1974 to lead the orchestra.

After leaving Vermont, Mr. Guigui did guest conducting in South America and started a youth orchestra in Mexico, his son said. He was invited to conduct in many places, including the Juilliard School in New York.