Joseph Koch Koplin, 75, of Center City, a gifted musician and tax accountant, died Friday, March 27, of complications from prostate cancer at his home.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Koplin was a child prodigy on the trumpet. At age 10, he performed solos on Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue, a TV variety show. At 11, he played for the Philadelphia Orchestra at children's concerts. Later, he studied and played at musical festivals worldwide.

He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in music, and while there, he played first trumpet in the Rochester Philharmonic and assistant first trumpet in the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He was the first Rochester student to play and study at the Eastman School of Music.

He took accounting courses at night from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and did graduate work in taxation at Drexel University.

He served in the Army from 1962 to 1964. Based at Fort Myer, Va., he played trumpet in the U.S. Army Band, including at the White House in the Kennedy administration.

After the president was assassinated, Mr. Koplin played at Kennedy's funeral and a day later over the president's grave at Arlington National Cemetery during a visit by Frederika, Queen Mother of Greece.

Mr. Koplin performed with Leopold Stokowski's American Symphony Orchestra in the mid-1960s and for the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia from 1966 to 1968.

After he made 16 recordings, Mr. Koplin was voted a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. At age 30, though, he left the music world to become a CPA. Not long after joining the accounting firm of Goldenberg, Rosenthal L.L.P., he narrowed his focus to personal and fiduciary income taxes.

Mr. Koplin worked for Fidelity Bank Trust Department, Philadelphia National Bank Trust Department, and Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads L.L.P., before resigning to form his own practice, now known as Koplin & Bilardo L.L.P. He never retired.

He and his wife, Bernice Berzof, traveled to 80 countries, many of them in search of rare birds. His favorite bird was the Jabiru stork (Jabiru mycteria), a tall black and white bird found in South and Central America. The bird has a signature red, inflatable pouch at the base of its neck.

"We saw the Jabiru stork in the Pantanal in Brazil," said his wife. "We've seen a lot of good birds, but that was his favorite."

Besides his wife of 42 years, he is survived by sons Jonathan and Joshua and a grandson.

Services were Sunday, March 29.

Donations may be made to the Building Fund c/o Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St., Philadelphia Pa. 19123.

bcook@phillynews.com

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