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Joseph Plon, 73, World-Traveled Concert Pianist and Music Professor

March 20, 2008
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Joseph Plon, 73, a concert pianist and professor of music, died Feb. 24 at his home in Miami Beach, Fla. He was formerly of Philadelphia.

A childhood virtuoso, Plon debuted at the age of 10 with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1944. He received his musical train-ing at the Philadelphia Musical Academy, Mannes College of Music in New York and the Fontainebleau Fine Arts & Music School in France. His international music career spanned more than 60 years.

Plon earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1956. That same year, he won the Leschetizky Association International Piano Competition and made his New York debut at Town Hall. Later that year, he was offered an opportunity to study with Vladimir Horowitz, but was drafted into military service, during which he served as music director of WFDH, Fort Dix Army Hospital Radio Station.

In 1962, Plon moved to Vienna, Austria, and launched a solo piano concert career and performed as guest soloist throughout Europe and Africa. He recorded works for many of the major East and West European broadcasting systems, as well as Voice of America.

He was a featured artist at European music festivals, and also accompanied numerous American singers and instrumentalists in lieder, opera and chamber-music concerts throughout Europe.

In 1979, Plon became a faculty member of the Conservatory of the City of Vienna, Konservatorium der Stadt Wien. Three years later, he moved to Asia and became professor of music at Mokwon University in Taejon, Korea, where he designed a curriculum for the graduate and undergraduate music programs. During this time, he continued to perform solo and chamber music concerts throughout Asia.

In addition to winning many American awards for his virtuosity, Plon garnered several of Europe's most distinguished awards and prizes, including the Prix d'Excellence at the Fontainebleau Fine Arts and Music School in France and the Gold Medal for the International Viotti Competition in Vercelli, Italy.

Plon is survived by daughter Ruth Dedole; son William Plon; brother Abram Plon; and a granddaughter.

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