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Violinist and Conductor James M. Orent has Died, Aged 67

He passed away of sudden heart failure after parachute jumping, one of his favorite hobbies 


A frequent guest conductor of the Boston Pops, Ohrent was often referred to as the ensemble's unofficial assistant conductor.

Pops conductor Keith Lockhart wrote that "Mr. Orent was “an invaluable resource to the Pops for over a quarter-century. He was visible to the audience through his many years in the violin section and as a favorite Pops guest conductor."

A graduate of Amherst College and Yale University, he performed on a 1790 Helmer violin that formerly belonged to Emanuel Fiedler — the father of late Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler.

His extensive conducting history includes leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Phillips Academy Andover Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He also served as musical director of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, the Newtown Symphony Orchestra, and more.

John Williams, who is a former Boston Pops composer and conductor, stated “the news of Jim Orent’s passing is shocking, sad and terribly painful at the same time.”

“He was a man of many brilliant accomplishments, and he possessed a particularly generous, loving, and kind soul and spirit. It is a very great loss, and he will be missed forever.

Our condolences to Mr. Orent’s family, friends, and colleagues.

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