Bernie Piltch

Bernie (Bernard David) Piltch. Saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, b Montreal 12 Aug 1927, d Toronto 7 Apr 1983. He took clarinet lessons from Herbert Pye at the TCM (RCMT) in the 1940s and was a composition pupil of Gordon Delamont in the 1950s. Piltch began playing in the Toronto dance band of Jack Evans in 1943 and was later a member of bands led by Bobby Gimby, Benny Louis, Bert Niosi, and Art Hallman. Playing in the bebop style, he was a soloist during the 1950s in the jazz groups of Rob McConnell and Norman Symonds and worked until the mid-1960s with Ron Collier.

A leading Toronto studio musician by the late 1950s, Piltch played regularly in CBC radio and TV orchestras and was the saxophonist as required 1968-75 with the TS. In 1970 he was the soloist in the orchestra's performance of Symonds' The Nameless Hour and (with Dave Young) in its premiere of Harry Freedman'sScenario. John Wyre'sBernie, for bass clarinet solo, choir, and percussion group, is dedicated to Piltch, who premiered it 13 Nov 1976 with Nexus and the Festival Singers. His recordings included jazz LPs (as an alto saxophonist) with Collier and Paul Hoffert, and albums as a member of orchestras led by Guido Basso, Johnny Burt, and Jerry Toth.

Piltch's comfort in jazz, studio, theatre, symphony, and chamber orchestra settings established a pattern of adaptability that has been sustained by his sons in their careers in jazz and pop music. The three musicians performed together on occasion in Toronto jazz clubs in the late 1970s.

See also Rob Piltch and David Piltch (his sons).