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Gordon Wright, 72; conducted Arctic, Fairbanks orchestras

February 20, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Gordon Wright, 72, former conductor of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, was found dead Wednesday on the front porch of his cabin near Anchorage.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but foul play was not suspected, said Alaska State Troopers spokesman Justin Freeman.

A native of New York City, Wright attended the College of Wooster in Ohio and earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin.

He moved to Fairbanks in 1969 as music director of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and was conductor until his retirement in 1989. During his tenure, he founded the Arctic Chamber Orchestra and took the ensemble to some of the most remote areas in the region, including Barrow, north of the Arctic Circle, for performances.

Wright also taught music at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

After retiring to his cabin property, he occasionally worked as a guest conductor outside Alaska and sometimes led the Anchorage Civic Orchestra, most recently in April 2005.

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