Today, my great mentor, teacher, and colleague, Orlando Cole died peacefully after saying to his nurse, “Well, I’m ready.” “God will come for you in His time,” said his nurse to whom Landy softly replied, “Well, tell Him to hurry.”
Lucid to the end with family by his side they listened to Schubert’s Cello Quintet. He was, even in the end, an inspiration to us all; as human beings, as musicians, and as vibrant spirits.
In my own life, I never met anyone so understanding, generous, and vitally connected to his love of music, family, friends, and his students. I am deeply indebted to his quality as an artist as well as his awe of the great works that we are privileged to play and hear. He was one of a kind and over the course of his wonderfully long and full life; he witnessed so much change since starting out as a young cellist in the late 1920’s.
He had opinions of the changes that have taken place, but he had a flexibility of musical perspective that was very rare for any generation, but especially so for the particular generation that grew up with Casals , Feuermann, Piatigorsky, and later, Rose, Du Pre, and Yo Yo Ma. His mission with his students was more aimed to ignite the passion and reverence that he felt so keenly about the great composers. When the discussion would gravitate around the short lifespan of a Mozart or Schubert, Landy would simply point out that Schubert, one of seven children only two of which survived infancy, was lucky to have survived at all. This put us all into a realm of true astonishment of the gift that a man like Schubert had given us.
A man who never once tired of the great works and their challenge to us, esthetically, emotionally, and technically, and who would always find a positive and inspiring way to reach out to his students.
I do, and will, miss him greatly.