Christine Haff-Paluck, Former Ensembles Manager and Librarian, Dies at 65

May 28, 2020
Erich Burnett
Christine Haff-Paluck

Ardent music lover founded concert series in Cleveland.

A pure love of music—especially mentoring young musicians and presenting concerts that stoked their interest—fueled the work and the life of Christine Haff-Paluck for more than 40 years.

She served from 2003 to 2008 as ensembles manager and librarian at Oberlin Conservatory, a position through which she worked closely with students. She later transitioned to similar roles with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was director of performance and community programs. In 1991 she founded the nonprofit Arts Renaissance Tremont in the historic Cleveland neighborhood and continued to be a driving force in its presentation of free community concerts for almost 30 years.

Through it all, she inadvertently cultivated the reputation of a selfless promoter of music and musicians, shying away at every turn from attention for herself.

“Chris’ commitment to music in our community was extraordinary,” Darrett Adkins, an associate professor of cello at Oberlin, expressed in one of dozens of heartfelt tributes shared in honor of Haff-Paluck on Cleveland Classical. “She believed that music mattered, and that people wanted and needed it in and of their own community. She served music and all of us with her characteristic good humor and her unwavering belief in young people and in the arts as living and breathing right here and now. She reminded us every day how music can be made right in our backyard, with limited resources, some hard work, and a lot of goodwill.”

Haff-Paluck died April 25, 2020. She leaves her husband Gerald and many adoring family members and friends.

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