Principal cellist of Boston Symphony Orchestra dies at 85

BOSTON (AP) — The principal cellist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for more than half a century has died after a long struggle with cancer. Jules Eskin was 85.

An orchestra spokeswoman says Eskin died Tuesday at his home in Brookline.

Eskin began his tenure as the orchestra’s principal cellist in 1964. He played for five music directors and participated in the orchestra’s many tours, including its historic 1979 tour to China.

Eskin also was a founding member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and toured the world, including the Soviet Union for a series of concerts in 1967.

Before joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra he spent three years as principal cellist with the Cleveland Orchestra and seven years with New York City Opera.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma calls Eskin a “role model” and a “consummate musician.”