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  • Musician and professor Edward Preodor dies at 88
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    Musician and professor Edward Preodor dies at 88

    By AMY ABBOTT

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published September 11, 2001


    TAMPA -- Edward C. Preodor, former concertmaster of the Florida Orchestra's forerunners, died Sunday (Sept. 8, 2001) at Bethany Terrace Nursing Centre in Morton Grove, Ill. He was 88.

    Born in Chicago in 1913, he grew up in the small town of Evelith, Minn., and studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

    Shortly after earning a master's degree, he moved to California,where he became co-concertmaster for the MGM Symphony at MGM Studios. While there, he played violin on the original score of the Wizard of Oz.

    Later, he moved back to Chicago and was married. He went to work at Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill., and taught violin there until World War II, when he went into the Army. After the war, he returned to Wesleyan until 1947, when he moved his family to Gainesville.

    "I remember him complaining about the cold growing up in Minnesota and Chicago," said daughter, Wing Barfoot. "He always wanted to move someplace warm and he wanted to work for a university."

    At the University of Florida at Gainesville, he gained full professorship and became director of the University Orchestra. Mr. Preodor also performed with several smaller quartets.

    In 1960, he came to the University of South Florida at Tampa as part of the university's charter faculty.

    "He wanted to continue teaching and he was lured by the Tampa Philharmonic Orchestra," said Barfoot.

    The orchestra was one of the first incarnations of what was to become the present-day Florida Orchestra. Mr. Preodor was hired to be the concertmaster of the assembly through its next name change, the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony. During this time, he was also the director of the Faculty Chamber Players and the first violinist for the Faculty String Quartet. He later became the contractor and concertmaster for the San Carlo Opera Company of Tampa.

    Mr. Preodor was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth. He is survived by his son, Dr. Michael Preodor, Chicago; three daughters, Nicole Smith, Chicago, Starr Hein, Phoenix, and Wing Barfoot, Brandon; and two grandchildren. Visitation will be at Haben Funeral Home in Skokie, Ill.

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