July 6, 2020

Sol Joseph and Tomoko

When Tomoko was a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she studied music theory including composition analysis, harmony, and counterpoint with Sol Joseph.

Sol Joseph was born in 1912 in Chicago, and was a Phi Beta Kappa music scholar at the University of Chicago. At the age of 24, Sol Joseph married Belle Rosenstein, and they had two sons. During World War II Sol served in the U.S. Army.

Mr. Joseph’s connection with the Conservatory started in 1948 after he and his family moved to California. Local classical musicians encouraged him to apply, and he became a professor of music There he taught music form and analysis counterpoint, harmony, and music literature for almost thirty years. Sol Joseph also conducted the Conservatory orchestra for a while. 

Sol Joseph’s teaching venues also included the University of California Extension an San Francisco’s Community Music School. In addition, Sol served as Congregation Sherith Israel’s organist and as the Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco’s pianist and later their conductor. Over the years Sol also conducted the San Francisco chorus and the Berkeley/Richmond Jewish Community Center Yiddish Folk Chorus. 

Sol Joseph died at age 90 in 2002, and Tomoko remembers him and his teaching to this day.

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