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A Tribute To Longtime Classical Music Announcer Mordecai Lipshutz

A tribute to Mordecai Lipshutz at Artisan Works
Randy Gorbman
A tribute to Mordecai Lipshutz at Artisan Works

Dozens of people stopped by a tribute at Artisan Works in Rochester on Sunday to remember a longtime WXXI classical music announcer.

It's been just over a week since Mordecai Lipshutz died. He passed away at the age of 64 after several months of illness. But it was his rich and vibrant life and personality that people were remembering in tribute at Artisan Works, a place that Lipshutz was well acquainted with, being a good friend of its founder, Louis Perticone.

Mordecai was a friend to many in this community, even if they didn't know him personally, they felt like they did know him after hearing him on Classical 91.5 WXXI for more than 30 years before he retired in 2008.

The community became his family since he didn't have a lot of relatives in this area. One of the few he did have, a cousin, Roger Levy came to Sunday's tribute, and remembers Mordecai having an interest in music at an early age.

"He had a couple of hundred recordings even when he was 12 years old , he already had a great interest in classical music, very little interest in the music that young people listened to, he seemed to be an adult at birth. "

Louis Perticone says Mordecai was a great classical music announcer, but he was more than that.

"Mordecai was definitely a special cat, no question, and his listeners are listeners !  I mean I was a listener before I was a friend, and you just listened and he pronounced the names right, and he knew more than anybody related to classical music. "

Perticone and others at the tribute also remembered Mordecai's love of fine food, wine and cigars, and the time he spent at the jazz festival's late night jam sessions. Lipshutz also sang in the closing moments of those daily jam sessions.  Mordecai Lipshutz was an announcer on Classical 91.5 for more than 30 years before retiring in 2008.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.