Philip Blum, 77, Chicago Symphony Orchestra musician

Philip Blum, 77, a 54-year member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra died Aug. 30, 2009, at his Forest Park home after a 12-year battle with lymphoma. Born in Chicago in 1932, his devotion to music began as a child, playing the cello with his mother, father and brother, forming a four-string quartet.

He developed his passion playing cello for his high school orchestra at Lane Tech, then attended Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Well known and admired by fellow musicians during his time with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he was described as a team player who enjoyed being part of the cello section. He was also called approachable and generous. A fellow musician with the Symphony of Oak Park-River Forest recalled Blum offering his talents to play cello whenever other orchestras needed help. In addition to the OP-RF Symphony, where he was principal cellist, he also played for the Northwest Symphony Orchestra.

After being diagnosed with lymphoma, it was music that kept him going, his friend said. Despite chemotherapy treatment, “He was playing for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and played magnificently.”

Philip Blum is survived by his wife, Nancy Blum, a retired Oak Park symphony cellist with whom he shared a musical bond.

A memorial service will be held on the stage of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, on Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.

-Matthew Wilson