In memory of Dan Stolper

Oboe professor remembered as warm, gracious, and brilliant.

It is with sadness that we share the news that Dan Stolper passed away on June 8 at the age of 85. Stolper, professor emeritus of oboe, served on the MSU faculty from 1965 to 2002.

In addition to his teaching, Stolper maintained an active career as a performer, holding principal positions with the Lansing Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and New Orleans Philharmonic. He was also a longtime oboe instructor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and served for many years as the oboe editor of The Double Reed. 

"Dan Stolper was one of the leading oboe teachers and performers of his generation," said James Forger, dean of the College of Music. "Michigan State University was so fortunate to have been the beneficiary of his time and talents for so many years. Over a long and productive career, he guided and mentored numerous young oboists who perform widely in many orchestras worldwide. He is remembered as a kind, generous, and elegant person who was devoted to his art, to his students, and to his friends."

His friend and colleague Elsa Verdehr, professor emeritus of clarinet, recalled how she met Stolper and the impact he had on so many lives.

“It seems as though I had known Dan forever,” Verdehr said. “We first met as members of the American Wind Symphony on a barge in Pittsburgh, and our friendship continued for many years thereafter at the Eastman School and at MSU.” 

Verdehr said the two performed together in the Richards Wind Quintet and Lansing Symphony, describing him as a wonderful in every sense of the word, both musically and personally.

“I’m very proud to have known Dan, proud of his many successes both as a teacher and performer, and lucky to have counted him a good friend,” Verdehr said. “He contributed so much to our profession and influenced so many young oboists over the years. His work and ideals will live on, and he will not be forgotten by his students or his friends.”

The College of Music sends sincere condolences to Dan Stolper’s family, friends, and colleagues. He is survived by his husband, David Kimball, sister-in-law, Bonnie Stolper, nephew, Brad Stolper, and nieces, Julie Stolper Dieckelman and Sherry Barrett.

One of Stolper’s former students and friend, Gretchen Morse, shared a heartfelt tribute to him following news of his passing. Click here to read her personal recollections.

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