Norman O. Scribner, 79, founder and artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, one of the region's preeminent symphonic choirs, died Sunday at his home in Washington.

The cause was a heart attack, said a son, Matthew Scribner.

The late Washington Post music critic Paul Hume once called Mr. Scribner "one of Washington's finest musicians and one of the most gifted choral conductors in the country."

A skilled pianist, organist, and composer, he spent nearly five decades at the helm of the Choral Arts Society. There, he coached and conducted thousands of singers in concerts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and other venues in the United States and abroad.

- Washington Post