Dr. Richard Frederick Balsam, 83, passed away Sunday, January 9, 2022, at his home surrounded by loving family. Born in Port Chester, N.Y. on March 8, 1938 to Paul Balsam and Bertha Jacobs, Richard was educated at Port Chester High, Union College and Albany Medical College and practiced Internal Medicine and Cardiology in the Albany area for 45 years.
Richard served as a Captain in the US Army Medical Corps from 1967 to 1973. He served patients across the Capital District region and was known for his caring bedside manner, a trait recognized by the nurses and other doctors with which he interacted. He shared his medical knowledge generously with other health care providers including acting as a mentor to student nurse practitioners within the Family Practice field. He established enduring knowledge exchanges with leading academic physicians at premiere US medical schools.
Richard was passionate about music. In his youth, he played piano and played in jazz bands in high school and college. He continued his love of music by creating Renaissance Musical Arts as a local event programming and educational fund-raising platform for classical music. Through Renaissance, he staged recitals and chamber music concerts for Albany-area classical music lovers which featured exceptionally talented performing artists and international stars the likes of Gil Shaham, Yuja Wang, and Nadine Sierra, and seasoned orchestral musicians from America’s top 5 orchestras including Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. He funneled ticket proceeds from these events directly into scholarships which enabled Capital District young artists to attend Empire State Youth Orchestra and Boston University Tanglewood Institute winter and summer programs, respectively.
Richard channeled his passion for competitive sports both on and off the playing field. He organized and competed in tennis competitions, coached his sons towards a Suburban Council varsity golf championship for Bethlehem High, and expressed his zeal for live collegiate and professional sports—hockey, football and baseball—with routine family expeditions to the RPI Field House, The Montreal Forum, Boston Garden, Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and the Meadowlands.
Richard is survived by his wife, Nanette Cance Balsam and her three children, Julien, David and Rebecca Burliuk; and his two sons, Loren (Edyie) and Daniel Balsam and their mother. He is survived by three grandchildren. He is predeceased by his brother, Malcolm Balsam.
Donations to support other young music students in their pursuit of excellence can be made to the Empire State Youth Orchestra, at Proctors, 432 State St. Schenectady, NY, 12305.
Funeral services will be private.
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