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  • Dale Clevenger

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday that principal horn Dale Clevenger has decided to retire after 47 years with the CSO. He’ll leave the orchestra at the end of June.

This was obviously a difficult decision, and also a welcome one, as critics and colleagues alike have been aware for a few years now that Clevenger’s extraordinary musical gifts had noticeably frayed. But Clevenger did not concede he was well past his prime, and his stature as an icon of the orchestra presented the CSO’s players and leaders with an agonizing dilemma they did not know how to address. I wrote a column about the situation last December.