Banat  Musician & Kapellmeister

Huss, Hugo Jan

Memorial Website

A life remembered:
Conductor brought symphony
to a new level
By Terry Rindfleisch
La Crosse Tribune



Hugo Jan Huss, born Jan. 26, 1934 to Ioan and Clara Husz in Timisoara, Romania. Died Feb. 21, 2006 at the age of 72.

Obituary contributed by June Abt.
Mr. Huss's obituary originally ran in the La Crosse Tribune,
Date: Sunday, February 26, 2006.
Obit reproduced with permission of La Crosse Tribune / Chris Zobin.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006, this world lost a great mentor and friend whose presence had touched the lives of many and whose life was the stuff of legend.

Hugo Husz was born to Ioan and Clara Husz on Jan. 26, 1934, in Timisoara, Romania, the second of three sons. He began studying violin already at the age of 5 and attended the Timisoara Conservatory of Music, later transferring to the Bucharest Conservatory of Music and becoming the favorite student of world-renowned symphony orchestra conductor Constantin Silvestri, who was teaching there at the time. When Silvestri fled the country, he left all of his musical belongings toHusz, having said of his musical talent that he was "a rare flower."
Husz won the George Enescu National Scholarship Stipendium in Bucharest in 1956 and finished his degree of Diplomat in Arts with a speciality in Symphony Orchestra Conducting from the Bucharest Conservatory of Music in 1958. He held his debut concert on April 7, 1958, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest.  Shortly thereafter, he took on the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Arad Symphony in Romania, where he conducted under the stage name of Jan Hugo Husz until 1968. In that year, he was awarded the Cultured Merits Medal by the Romanian Government, personally presented by the President. After his tenure in Arad, Husz transferred to the Targu-Mures Symphony, where he conducted for just a short time before he was granted permission by Romania's communist government to attend a music festival in Paris. Husz never returned.

From Paris, Husz found his way to Munich, Germany, where he spent two years trying to organize his immigration to the United States, a life-long dream. While in Munich, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Gunthe Symphony. Finally, early in 1970, he arrived in Chicago. Once there, Husz sought out an old acquaintance from Arad, Mirella Regis.  Romance blossomed and the two were married on Aug. 1, 1970; one daughter, Nicole, was born in 1974.

Having seen that the implications of a career in music are quite different in America than in Europe, Husz decided to go back to school.  He earned his master of business administration at the Roosevelt University of Chicago in 1977 and had the insight to also take supplementary courses in computer technology.

Music, however, remained his first love, and in 1979 the family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, when he was offered the position of Titular Director and Principal Conductor of the Guadalajara Symphony Orchestra.  There, he adopted his final stage name, Hugo Jan Huss. Among the highlights of his tenure in Guadalajara was a televised performance of Tosca with Placido Domingo.

Due to a threat of a drop in the Mexican economy, Huss felt pressured to leave and returned to the United States with his family in 1982. After short stays in Houston, Texas, and Chicago, Ill., he was offered the position of Music Director of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and the family settled in La Crosse.

Huss's relationship with the City of La Crosse had already begun several years earlier, in 1977, when he had won 1st place at the National Adult Symphony Orchestra Conducting Competition during La Crosse's Great River Festival of Arts. This prize had led to an invitation by Maestro Frank Italiano of La Crosse to conduct several seasons with the Symphony School of America, a summer camp for talented young musicians.

Huss served as Music Director of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra until 1993 and was awarded the title of "Conductor Emeritus" by the institution in 1999.

In La Crosse, Huss had also found an opportunity to exploit his technical education working as Data Processing Manager at Mathy Construction Co. (Onalaska), a position which he held from 1982 until his retirement in 2000. Too restless for retirement, though, Huss opened his own company, Unlimited Internet Business LLC, shortly thereafter. He provided PC services to private parties and businesses in and around La Crosse up until just weeks before his death.

During Huss's long musical career he had also guest conducted in cities such as Cape Town, South Africa; Tbilisi, Russia; Cracow, Poland; Brno, Czechoslovakia; Aue, East Germany; Sarajevo, Yugoslavia; Veracruz, Mexico; Grand Rapids, Michigan and Huntsville, Alabama. Radio broadcasts of his work include performances with the La Crosse Symphony, with the Louisville Symphony in Kentucky (Radio Louisville), and with the Alabama Symphony (Radio Birmingham).

In 1995, Huss was invited to guest conduct the Symphony Orchestra in Aguascalientes, Mexico. In 1997, he opened the Constantin Silvestri International Festival with a concert in Targu-Mures, Romania, and also guest conducted a concert with the Arad Symphony Orchestra shortly thereafter. His last concert was in October 2003, when he was again invited to guest conduct the Arad Symphony Orchestra and led a breathtaking, ovationary performance of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."

Huss was a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League and the American Philatelic Society; he was an avid stamp collector and adventurer to such exotic places as the Amazon and the Andes.

Huss's cancer diagnosis in September 2005 came as a great shock to both himself and his family. He is survived and will be deeply missed by his wife, Mirella of La Crosse; by his daughter, Nicole with husband Dr. Christian Sachs, residing in Germany; by his older brother, Stefan Husz with wife Maria, residing in Romania; by his nephew, Michael Harrison with wife, So Young, residing in Chicago; by his grand-nieces Michelle and Monique Harrison; and by his younger brother, Cornel with wife, Gabi, residing in Romania.

He was preceded in death by his parents and by his mother-in-law, Emilia Regis of La Crosse.

Visitation services will be held at Dickinson Funeral Home, 1425 Jackson St., La Crosse on Thursday, March 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. Following this, his family will be honoring Huss's last wish and will be transporting his remains to Arad, Romania, where a second, public visitation will also take place at the Concert Hall ("Cultural Palace"). Funeral services will be held thereafter, and Huss will find his final resting place in the family cemetery plot in Arad.







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