I am sad to report that John Baer, who administered the Dallas International Organ Competition during its all-too-brief run and worked hard to cultivate support for the Dallas Symphony as a major fundraiser for the organization, died suddenly Tuesday night. Here is a brief note on his passing from Mark Melson, vice president of operations for the symphony (in the interest of full disclosure, he’s also my father):
John Baer, Senior Director of Endowment and Board Relations for the Dallas Symphony, died Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack at home.
Baer, a resident of Highland Park, joined the DSO in 1999 as manager of the Dallas Symphony’s International Organ Competition. When the DSO stopped sponsoring the competition in 2003, Baer took on responsibilities in the Development Department and became a successful fundraiser.
A native of New York City, Baer worked for many years in international banking, traveling often to Europe and Africa. He moved to Dallas in the 1980s. His many friends admired John for his sunny personality, his sense of humor, his passion for fine food and his enthusiasm for good music.
Baer is survived by his wife, Sherri, and daughters Alexandra and Abby.
On a personal note, I got to know John through my dad. I found him to be, as the above note mentioned, a true “liver of life” who had a deep knowledge of the arts, history and food, and could always be counted on for a good story. He worked hard to further the cause of classical music in the North Texas area.