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WHITTAKER, (LOUIS) HOWARD

WHITTAKER, (LOUIS) HOWARD

WHITTAKER, (LOUIS) HOWARD (19 Dec. 1922-30 May 1989) served as a catalyst in Cleveland cultural circles during his 36 years as director of the CLEVELAND MUSIC SCHOOL SETTLEMENT. A LAKEWOOD native, he studied at Lakewood High School and the CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC before taking a master's degree in composition from Oberlin College in 1947. He served as a chaplain's assistant during WORLD WAR II and married the former Donna Moorhead in 1945. Named acting director of the Music School Settlement in 1947, he became director the following year. Under his tenure (1948-84), the school grew from an enrollment of 400 to 3,000 students and its budget from $40,000 to more than $1 million a year. Whittaker was also a noted composer, having a piano concerto performed at the 1959 World's Fair in Brussels and 2 orchestral pieces played by the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA in Mexico in 1960. According to music critic Robert Finn, "He played the political and artistic bureaucracy the way Horowitz plays the piano keyboard." With Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Louis Lane, he founded the LAKE ERIE OPERA THEATER in 1964, serving as its producer from 1964-70. Prompted by the urban unrest of the 1960s, he established the Cleveland Summer Arts Festival in 1967 and directed it for 3 years. He also served as chairman of the Cleveland Society of Aesthetics and president of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. Among his many awards was a Cleveland Fine Arts Award in 1953. Besides his wife, he was survived by a daughter, Katherine, and 2 sons, Dwight and John.


Cleveland Music School Settlement Records, WRHS.