University News

Teaching associate in music dies at age 62

R.I. Philharmonic, of which Sherba was concertmaster, will dedicate concert to him

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Teaching Associate in Music Charles Sherba died Saturday morning, according to a statement on the Department of Music’s website written by Paul Phillips, director of orchestras and chamber music. Sherba had battled cancer for two years.

Sherba, 62, began his time at Brown as a teaching associate in 1986 and served as concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic for 27 seasons. This lengthy career “had a large impact on the whole musical community of Providence,” Phillips told The Herald.

His wife, Consuelo Sherba, is also a teaching associate in the music department, and together they founded the ensemble Aurea in 2004, according to the statement. “That was a totally original group — there’s nothing like it in the world,” Phillips said. “He was widely considered the best violinist in Rhode Island … and wide beyond.”

Sherba’s humble, gentle and caring nature reflected characteristics unique “for a violinist who played at the level that Chuck did,” he added.

Sherba was dedicated to the department’s beginner violinists, Phillips said. “He rejoiced in their progress, which is really a remarkable characteristic for someone at his level.”

“It is so early that it’s really hard to say” how the department is going to move forward without Sherba, Phillips said, noting that his leadership of the search for a successor may be difficult since he is on sabbatical. Phillips said he would speak with faculty members and “solicit their thoughts on how we should proceed.”

“All of us at Brown who had the good fortune to know Chuck will miss him terribly,” Phillips wrote in the statement, adding that the department will “explore ways to honor his tremendous musical legacy and the great love of music that he shared throughout his life.”

The Rhode Island Philharmonic’s May 10 concert — the last of the season — will be dedicated to Sherba, the Providence Journal reported Monday.

“We will miss Chuck terribly. His great legacy to our orchestra and music school speaks volumes to the love of music he shared with all of us and is one that will be remembered and honored for years to come,” the Philharmonic wrote in a statement.

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