In Memoriam: Steve Rauch

It is with much sadness we note the passing of Steve Rauch, a passionate innovator and leader in the field of classical music publishing. After a distinguished and respected career working at Warner Brothers Music, JW Pepper, and serving as a vice president at the Hal Leonard Corporation, Rauch retired and began his own business ventures. His vision included creating CD Sheet Music and The Orchestra Musician’s Library, music resources which were innovative and industry-changing at the time of their launch and continue to remain popular with musicians.

Stephen Culbertson, Subito’s own Founder and President, reflects on working with his friend and colleague of many years. “I first met Steve in 1987 when he was VP/Sales Manager at Hal Leonard (HL). I think it was my first day at G. Schirmer (as an employee; I’d had been free-lancing there for years), and he was the most impressive, smart, honest guy I’ve met in the music publishing biz. He completely turned around the Schirmer print operation…We had our heated discussions when he was with HL and I was with Schirmer; but, we always worked it out. He told me that he read the HL/Schirmer agreement (25+ pages) at least once a year. So I did the same and it was a very important business lesson. After he retired from HL and I left Schirmer to start Subito, we continued our friendship which led to various business ventures, notably CD Sheet Music/Orchestra Musician’s Library. The discs were quite revolutionary at the time (to say the least), and are still kicking after 20+ years!”

Steve Rauch loved music — of all kinds — and approached different genres with enthusiasm and respect. He played a vital role in launching Big Bells Inc., a music publishing company funded by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Paul Simon. For a glimpse into Steve’s wisdom and humor, take a look at a clip of him chatting for NAMM’s Oral History Archives (National Association of Music Merchants). View here.