Dick Waller Obituary, Death –┬áCincinnati has lost a musician who made important contributions to the cultural life of our community. Richard “Dick” Waller passed away yesterday. His daughter, Margy Waller, reported that he died while listening to Dvorak’s “Romance in F Minor.” He’d just celebrated his 93rd birthday with cake and Graeter’s Ice Cream a few days before.

“”I’m grateful,” she added. “I’ve told him several times in the last few days that he has a fantastic legacy of music, art, and community, as well as a beautiful family.” “He taught us to believe in miracles, to be grateful and optimistic, and to always look for the best in everything and everyone.” That’s a lofty aim, and he inspires us to go toward it.”

Waller, a former lead clarinetist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, launched the Linton Music Series. His mantra has been “music making among friends” since the group’s formation in 1978. It all started with a small chamber music event for “friends” in Avondale’s historic First Unitarian Church on Linton Street, and it’s flourished since then. The stained glass windows in the church proved to have outstanding acoustics. The first show evolved into a second. Mr. Waller then had an insight. World-renowned soloists played with the Cincinnati Symphony, where he worked, every week. Why not ask the orchestra’s then-general manager, Judith Arron, whether the musicians may stay in town for an extra day to play chamber music? Arron agreed.

In the altered arrangement, his first performers were concert pianist Andre-Michel Schub and Peter Wiley, then the CSO’s main cellist. “There used to be a pay phone at Music Hall, and I’d sprint to the pay phone during intermission to make Linton calls,” he told me a few years ago. The CSO still employs this formula today. Mr. Waller paid his soloists very little, but he was a wonderful host, and they thoroughly loved their travels to Cincinnati. According to legend, dinners at the Maisonette are followed by poker games.