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Orchestra Conductor Charles Ansbacher, 67, Dies

CAMBRIDGE, MA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — After fighting a brain tumor for 13 months, Boston Landmarks Orchestra announced that its founder and conductor, Charles Ansbacher, died on Sunday evening at his home in Cambridge.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island on October 5, 1942, Ansbacher found his love for music at a young age, encouraged by his parents—noted Adlerian psychologists Drs. Heinz Ludwig and Rowena Ripin Ansbacher. He majored in physics at Brown University, but he switched to music after creating a successful chamber orchestra with his classmates. His musical studies also included the University of Cincinnati and the Mozarteum in Austria.

Ansbacher moved to Colorado, where he helped build the Colorado Springs Symphony and the Pikes Peak Performing Center. In 1976, Ansbacher went to Washington, D.C. as a White House Fellow. He was influential in pushing forward a bill allowing a percentage of federal funds for mass transit projects to be spent on arts.

After former President Clinton appointed Ansbacher's wife, Swanee Hunt, as U.S. Ambassador to Austria, he used the opportunity not only to conduct in Austria, but also to bring musical inspiration to states suffering from imploded economies and war. Former President Clinton once called Ansbacher "the unofficial ambassador of America's music."

Ansbacher has served on the boards of the World Affairs Council and Urban League in Colorado Springs, Public Education Coalition in Denver, GlobalPost, First Night, Commonwealth School, and International Institute of Boston.

For 25 years, he served as treasurer of Hunt Alternatives Fund, a private family foundation. His final foray into public policy and the arts was the creation of the Free for All Concert Fund, to raise a $20 million portfolio to support in perpetuity outdoor orchestral concerts accessible to families from every neighborhood in Boston.

Along with his wife, Ambassador Swanee Hunt, he is survived by his brothers: Max, Ted, and Ben; his children: Henry Ansbacher and Lillian Shuff of Denver, Colorado and Theodore Ansbacher-Hunt of North Adams, Massachusetts; and his grandchildren: Max, Alex, and Ella.

Charles Ansbacher's funeral services will be private for extended family only. A memorial service and concert will take place at a later date according to the press release. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers