When he was only 6 years old, Philip J. Teibel was given an adult-size violin by his father, Herman.
The older Teibel, a tailor who operated a clothing store on William Street, didn't realize that little boys should play little violins. Apparently, neither did Philip.
He took to the instrument immediately and began lessons that launched him on a life-long love affair with the violin and a career as a full-time musician. That career ended earlier this year when failing health forced him to retire from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra after nearly 50 years.
Teibel died Monday (Dec. 23, 1996) at the Weinberg Campus, Amherst, after a long illness. He was 68.
When he retired at the end of the orchestra's 1995-1996 season, Teibel had the longest tenure of any Philharmonic musician.
He studied violin locally under Ivan Shapiro and Isabel Workman Evans and then attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.
Even before joining the Philharmonic as a full-time member in 1946, he had been featured as a teen-age soloist with the orchestra on several occasions.
In addition to the Philharmonic, Teibel was a member of the Metropolitan String Quartet, a group of orchestra musicians who performed a "Young Audiences" concert series throughout the area.
Also a composer, his "Rondo in D" was performed by the Philharmonic at a pops concert and was played recently at a youth concert.
In addition, Teibel taught privately.
Teibel was a Buffalo native and graduate of Hutchinson Central High School. He had lived in Williamsville for about 35 years.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, the former Eda Jean Gerstman; two sons, Howard of Boston, Mass., and Jeffrey of Rochester; a daughter, Julie Gurian of Chicago; a brother, Irving of Austin, Texas; and five grandchildren.
A service was to be held at 1 p.m. today in Delaware Park Memorial Chapel, 2141 Delaware Ave.