- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 18, 2004

Frederik Prausnitz, 84, orchestra conductor

LEWES, Del. (AP) — Frederik Prausnitz, a conductor who promoted contemporary classical music, died Nov. 12 of cancer at his home in Lewes. He was 84.

Mr. Prausnitz worked with several American and European orchestras and served on the faculties of New York’s Juilliard School, Boston’s New England Conservatory and the Peabody Institute’s conservatory in Baltimore.

Born in Cologne, Germany, he went to Philadelphia in the 1930s to avoid service in the Nazi army. His family soon followed.

Mr. Prausnitz attended Juilliard from 1941 to 1945 and worked at the school until 1961.

In the early 1970s, he had a contentious tenure as music director the Syracuse (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra.

“His work at Syracuse gained him great critical acclaim, but his uncompromising zeal in presenting his new and difficult music ultimately lost him local financial support and his position,” said Jon Newsom, head of music at the Library of Congress in Washington.

Mr. Prausnitz led the Peabody Symphony Orchestra from 1976 to 1980 and then directed Peabody Conservatory’s orchestral conducting program until 1998.

His marriages to Evelyn Prausnitz and Marion Prausnitz ended in divorce. Margaret Britten Prausnitz, whom he married in 1961, died in 1999.

Survivors include two children from his third marriage, F. Sebastian Prausnitz of Baltimore and M. Maja Prausnitz of London; and a brother, Walther Prausnitz of Moorhead, Minn.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. George’s Chapel in Dagsboro, Del.

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