Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in Oakland


July 7, 2006

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, then known as Lori Hunt, was a member of Oakland Youth Orchestra, then known as Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, from 1969 to 1972, under the batons of Robert Hughes and Denis deCoteau. She is a graduate of Berkeley High School.

Her experiences with the orchestra, her successes, both as violist and as a vocal soloist no doubt contributed to her later career trajectory. The friends she made during those years, especially those with whom she toured in 1972, many of them now successful conductors and instrumentalists, were heartened by one another’s successes, warmed by the many strong and amusing personalities among them, and absolutely devastated by her untimely loss. The institution of the youth orchestra is still the delight and savior of many a talented teenager, and current and past members of Oakland Youth Orchestra can take pride in this community as we mourn the passing of one of our own.

Barbara Stack
Executive Director
Oakland Youth Orchestra


Oakland Tribune, Monday. April 17, 1972
Charles Shere, Tribune Music Critic

review of a concert conducted by Denis deCoteau:

The Oakland Youth orchestra showed its stuff last night in an almost frightening display of competence and musicianship. At many points along the tiring two-hour-plus concert the sound was thoroughly professional.

After Miss Jacob took her place next to the principal cellist, the assistant principal violist, Lorrie Hunt, came forward to sing “My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice,” from Saint-Saens’ “Samson and Delilah.” It’s not fanciful to suggest an affinity between her instrument and her voice, which is sweet, honey-dark and full, and seems to be produced with great ease. She simply stood there and sang, hardly even opening her mouth, with an even range, secure high notes, and marvelous control of dynamics in the swells, before the famous descending line of the aria. There was even some smolder to this sixteen-year-old’s delivery of the seductress’ aria.