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Question about Detroit Symphony new concertmaster hire

Edited: July 30, 2022, 2:10 AM · The story on the front page is a new Concertmaster being hired by the Detroit Symphony.

Bear in mind I don't have any awareness of how things work in the symphonic world. Is it correct that the Concertmaster is the 1st chair first violin? As an outsider my first thought is why isn't the assistant Concertmaster who's been filling in as interim Concertmaster just moved into the position? She surely must possess an extremely high level of skill - what does the Concertmaster do that the assistant they have simply isn't adequate for?

Replies (68)

July 30, 2022, 4:57 AM · Assistant concertmaster, and concertmaster, are simply two different positions, so there is no automatism to move the assistant concertmaster to the concertmaster position. There will be an audition to fill the vacant concertmaster position, and of course the person who is currently assistant concertmaster will be free to participate in it. Certainly the assistant concertmaster will also have the chops to act as concertmaster (actually, the news article mentions that the assistant concertmaster acted as acting concertmaster for a period of time), but this is irrelevant to your question, as, like I said, we are talking about two distinct positions. Presumably other people in the orchestra are also equally "good" as the newly hired concertmaster (can't tell, but it is not impossible), but, they simply do not have the position, and they didn't participate, or didn't win, the audition. It's as simple as that, I suppose!
Edited: July 30, 2022, 5:04 AM · Assistant concertmaster, and concertmaster, are simply two different positions

How so?

July 30, 2022, 8:12 AM · concertmaster in a good orchestra is much more than a player- they're a large part in the face of the orchestra, help shape the sound of the entire orchestra, hopefully have a name and reputation to help with fundraising, do a lot of pr work, play at functions for major donors, etc. Orchestra will look at these factors and more in selecting cm.
July 30, 2022, 8:19 AM · I believe this is true across symphony positions. Otherwise, the third part trumpet would eventually become principal trumpet, etc. Inside hiring is dangerous, and I would imagine it's also important to orchestras to recruit the best person they can at any time.
Edited: July 30, 2022, 8:22 AM · Any time there is an opening in a professional orchestra, it will be filled by national audition. There is no such thing as automatically moving into a vacant position, except on a temporary (“acting”) basis until the audition is held and the position filled. This implies no disrespect to the musicians already in the orchestra, who are free to take the audition if they so desire.

Concertmaster, associate concertmaster, assistant concertmaster are, as already noted, separate jobs.

July 30, 2022, 8:32 AM · In many cases, a new music director will want to choose someone new for some of the key positions. This certainly happened with the NSO when Slatkin came in.
July 30, 2022, 8:33 AM · Well, they’re two different positions…but not. It’s not that simple. An assistant still might have to fill in and do just as good of a job at a moment’s notice, including a big solo. And we see in many orchestras that an assistant might actually move into the CM position for an extended time—even for more than a season—until Mr. or Ms. Perfect comes along. It’s like the dating app principle: keep swiping; there’s got to be someone better.

It’s not that different from the corporate world (or even orchestra management): a CEO leaves, and a lieutenant takes over during a replacement search, even if the interim leader is perfectly good at the job.

What about academia? Let’s say you’ve been an adjunct at a college for 10 years. You’ve taught every course and got glowing reviews. A tenure-track position in your field opens up at your school. Are you going to automatically get the job? Certainly not. Sure, they may be polite and graciously allow you to apply (your application will immediately be safely stored in the circular file), but you will probably not be considered. For one thing, the school is required to conduct a national search, and for another, there’s usually a bias against a local person. There’s ALWAYS someone better “out there.” Why settle?

Orchestras work the same way. They will conduct a national, or even international search. Especially for that big bump in salary. They aren’t just hiring a fiddler, but a public face of the orchestra, someone who can list competitions won, recordings made, tours, and other big jobs in their bio in the program or website. There’s a marketing element to it, just like hiring a music director. It’s not just about chops.

July 30, 2022, 9:04 AM · Adding to what Scott said: And sometimes assistant or associate concertmasters leave for a CM job elsewhere, usually at an orchestra that's down a tier in reputation. That seems to be far more common than them moving up in the orchestra they're already in.
July 30, 2022, 12:21 PM · Emanuel Borok moved from 2nd chair in Boston to 1st in Dallas, I believe. An assistant principal violist now is principal in Atlanta.

But it works both ways. Joseph Silverstein bounced around some good provincial orchestras before joining the back of the seconds in Boston. A few promotions later, and he was the obvious pick for concertmaster. Others migrate to be with family or some other reason. There are a number of people with more than one 1st chair job in some pretty snazzy groups.

July 30, 2022, 3:34 PM · Because the position has prestige, higher pay, and often has some solo performance opportunities, and because the entire orchestral ecosystem is one where job openings are rare, orchestras can reasonably hold open auditions and expect very high-level players from across the country to compete to win the position, so it's kind of a no-brainer to try and get the best player you can.
Edited: July 30, 2022, 6:24 PM · Typically there is only a small advantage for current orchestra members trying to move up to a titled chair: they automatically pass the resume screen and any prescreen recording requirement (if there is one), and in some orchestras they may bypass the first round of auditions. But even if they get to bypass the first round, for a major orchestra they would have to survive at least two more rounds of auditions competing with outstanding candidates from a global pool.
July 31, 2022, 7:13 AM · Assistant, Associate and Concertmaster - as I understand it they do have different responsibilities but isn't it going a bit far to say they are 'different jobs'? Can one define what an 'Associate Concertmaster' is - can you study its requirements and make that a career track? The real difference it seems is which one can you with your skills, aptitudes and attractive qualities get? Its not like you need another university course for each...

Bit of a semantic detail I guess but does anyone actually have a career path to be an Assistant Concertmaster?

July 31, 2022, 8:32 AM · We've met Robyn briefly. She seems a remarkable person, combining her obvious talent with outgoing friendliness and kindness. Detroit is lucky to have her on board!
July 31, 2022, 8:33 AM · There is a story in Justin Locke's "Real Men Don't Practice". His first concert with the Boston Pops was in the second chair, even though he was the newest guy in the section. Turns out there was a specific reason.
The normal assistant principal had been the best student of the principal bass, and thought he was the keeper of the flame.

When his teacher retired, he figured that the first chair was going to be his. But there were auditions, and the verdict had just come out. When it became clear that someone else got the #1 spot, the #2 man went home and shot himself.

That left an unexpected vacancy, which Justin had to fill until they sorted it out.

July 31, 2022, 8:36 AM · @Elise - Although I know what the Concertmaster does, the difference between Assistant and Associate (if there is one) eludes me. I think the NSO only has an Assistant, and as far as I know, that person subs for the CM when she is not there. But, I could be wrong. Anyhow, if anyone can elucidate this, I would be interested.
July 31, 2022, 8:40 AM · That is usually it, although you never know if there are specific rights or responsibilities dumped on the second- (or third-) chair holder. The rest is probably creating a title with a bit of extra pay attached.
July 31, 2022, 8:51 AM · When there is both an associate and assistant, the associate is second chair and the assistant is third. When the concertmaster takes off, the assistant sits with the associate. When both players on the first stand take off, the assistant is concertmaster.
Edited: July 31, 2022, 9:47 AM · Stephen, that’s a terribly sad story of the waste of a considerable talent, a tale built upon arrogance, overconfidence, hubris and a lack of sophrosyne: balance, perspective and modesty. One thing I didn’t fully understand was the role of the principal bass: could you perhaps expand on that? Is it the story of a concertmaster-hopeful, or a section principal?
July 31, 2022, 9:48 AM · I'd assume it is the same as with any other principal string player. Play the solos, take responsibility for section bowing, be the one who leads.
July 31, 2022, 10:17 AM · I've noticed in both academia and the corporate world, people sometimes want to bring in new hires who will have some loyalty to them. They may well have loyalty among existing professors/employees, but they want to increase the size of the faction on their side. Hiring someone new is sometimes a way to do that. Perhaps the politics of orchestras are such that conductors/other principals(?) view hiring a new concertmaster from outside the orchestra similarly? Particularly if existing politics feel very toxic to the people with decision-making power?
July 31, 2022, 11:18 AM · @Mary Ellen, @Stephen - so, if I understand correctly, the Associate and Assistant just sit in for the CM when she is not playing and have other corollary duties associated with that role (e.g., making last minute changes to bowing suggested by the conductor). Neither has any larger role in the orchestra comparable to anything the CM does normally. Am I understanding this? Thanks.
Edited: July 31, 2022, 11:52 AM · So is the concertmaster/leader simply one of a number of section principals? I’ve always strongly felt that the role is much greater. First of all, it includes responsibility for the tuning of the orchestra as a whole. Then too, there is the requirement to check that the strings’ bowing matches across the five sections, though admittedly, the basses have slightly different instruments and techniques. Also, the concertmaster seems to be the only member of the orchestra who can initiate dialogue with the conductor during normal rehearsal conditions.
July 31, 2022, 11:56 AM · https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concertmaster
Edited: July 31, 2022, 12:52 PM · I think these days the concertmaster's role of tuning the orchestra is largely ceremonial. However, it is always possible for some musician's pre-concert tuning to have slipped up** so perhaps we should consider it to be "quality control." (*** For example, suppose the tuning oboe player had set "their" electronic tuner at 441 Hz instead of 440 backstage - that happened once in my orchestra and I tuned to him from my seat among the violas and said - "I think you are sharp, maybe 441" and he checked his tuner and said -"Wow, you're good!" to which I replied (honestly), "Not at all, I just tuned to 440!"

This morning Laurie posted this link to a recording by Robyn Bollinger:

https://www.amazon.com/Ciaccona-Bass-Time-Robyn-Bollinger/dp/B074ZYWHPL?&linkCode=sl1&tag=statistieverywri&linkId=fd3bed91a8c5b631781641e5df07398d&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl

July 31, 2022, 12:48 PM · The CM's role is extramusical as well. CMs are generally expected to go to the fundraisers, shake people's hands, schmooze. They are expected to have some charisma. They usually get solo opportunities and are expected to be able to draw an audience. Their required community involvement tends to be much more significant.
July 31, 2022, 12:51 PM · Lydia...a good point, though the handshaking and schmoozing responsibility is much greater in the US than in Europe.
July 31, 2022, 7:19 PM · @Lydia - that's certainly correct. The CM is really a public figure in way the Assistant and Associate are not. Almost everyone interested in music in DC knows that Nurit Bar-Josef is the NSO CM. I suspect a lot of them would not be able to name the Assistant.
Edited: August 1, 2022, 2:52 AM · The differences and petty politics surrounding these positions even infects community orchestras. In the UK the concertmaster/leader is usually the only player who gets paid. This automatically sets them apart from the rest of us and makes them the conductor's (only?) friend. The deputy or associate leader is unpaid but often suffers from a. palpable delusions of importance and/or b. the envy and resentment of other members of the section.

When the deputy is required to substitute for the leader they can have problems making the transition from "us" to "them". Being too bossy can compromise your standing in both camps!

August 1, 2022, 4:16 AM · In the old days, there were two people who could run a concert. The conductor (sitting at the keyboard) and the concertmaster (British term is still the "leader").
Ever since the conductor decided to stand up, the leader's role has been diminished, but he/she is still something of the conductor's first officer, and ambassador from the orchestra to the conductor.
August 1, 2022, 8:37 AM · Don’t forget that conductors often have favorites they try to bring in.

I think I remember a few years ago that the conductor of Pittsburgh would only take the gig if they hired Andres Cardenas as CM as well?
I’m spacing on the conductor—was it Loren Maazel?

Edited: August 1, 2022, 12:12 PM · Rodzinski sacked about a third of the NY Philharmonic, including legendary concertmaster Mishel Piastro, when he took over the musical directorship. After much prayer, and word from above to "fire the bastards".

Interesting that Maazel would have done that. Cardenes is quite special, and Maazel was also a professional-quality violinist, so would have known the difference. But somehow I don't think of the two of them as peas in a pod.

August 1, 2022, 3:10 PM · It’s worth noting that Rodzinski took over the New York Philharmonic in 1943, and this sort of behavior is exactly why the Union (American Federation of Musicians) now has strict and stringent requirements regarding tenure, non-renewal of contracts, and so on. No music director could take such action these days nor has it been possible for a very long time.

Concertmasters can be different as orchestras vary on whether the concertmaster is part of the bargaining unit or not. If the concertmaster is not part of the bargaining unit, then there are no union protections for that job.

August 1, 2022, 3:12 PM · That I did not know. Most interesting! Do you know, among top US orchestras, how the split between bargaining/non-bargaining goes for concertmasters? Are there any other orchestra positions where one cannot take that for granted?
August 1, 2022, 4:00 PM · Steve if it's that bad, why play?

My guess is that in a unionized orchestra, if the CM gets tapped to perform a solo, there should be additional compensation attached to that, right? And they can say no? I guess it depends what it is ... for example if the task is to play several high "E" harmonics in Scheherezade, maybe they can't say no. But if the orchestra is hoping to save money by tapping the CM to perform the Beethoven Concerto, that's different.

Edited: August 1, 2022, 4:19 PM · Paul, unfortunately I missed the rehearsal where the conductor got a bit impatient with the deputizing leader. Apparently his line was "This orchestra only has room for one prima donna and that's me". This prompted an immediate walk-out by the deputy and her husband (the principal violist) plus as collateral damage an innocent violinist who happened to depend on them for her lift. The atmosphere was much improved thereafter.
Edited: August 1, 2022, 4:28 PM · Paul, that’s not quite how it works. The concertmaster will negotiate an individual contract significantly above normal principal scale, whether a member of the bargaining unit or not. I think the usual is approximately double scale but the top orchestras can pay their concertmasters extremely well. That generous salary covers orchestral solos such as Scheherazade, which are part of the job. When the concertmaster appears as a soloist with the orchestra in a concerto, they are paid an additional fee. This is true for any member of the orchestra - if the principal oboe is the soloist in a performance of the Strauss oboe concerto, then the principal oboist is paid a soloist fee over and above their salary.

Stephen, I don’t know which orchestras include the concertmaster in the bargaining unit and which do not. Ours did.

The usual order of compensation among the principal strings is (1) concertmaster; (2) principal cello; (3) principal viola; (4) principal 2nd; (5) principal bass, but of course this can vary based on the individuals involved. It’s a logical ranking based on the relative stress of the jobs - principal cello is much more of a solo chair than is principal second.

August 1, 2022, 8:47 PM · I think I just read that Frank Huang makes almost $700,000 in the nY Phil?
I don't he needs any extra to play Scheherazade...
August 1, 2022, 10:49 PM · These figures are a few years old:

https://theviolinchannel.com/who-are-the-highest-paid-concertmasters-in-the-u-s/

August 2, 2022, 1:25 AM · More recent figures: https://adaptistration.com/2021/06/17/2021-orchestra-compensation-reports-concertmasters/

The NSO assistant CM is Ricardo Cyncynates, who has also been pretty high profile locally. (On the other hand, Ying Fu, who was appointed associate CM shortly before the pandemic, seems to have thus far been less active beyond his NSO duties.)

August 2, 2022, 1:57 AM · Imagine all the rosin you could buy...
August 2, 2022, 6:43 AM · At Lydia's page there is also a graph of changes in average salaries of concertmasters, executives and music directors. Since about 2009 the salaries of the latter have increased disproportionally more. Has the power of the concertmaster also declined in favour of the director?
August 2, 2022, 6:54 AM · The right music director can be put on billboards, which sells tickets and makes large donations legitimate.

A good concertmaster can raise the artistic level of the orchestra, but that is much slower to bring in revenue.

August 4, 2022, 12:30 AM · The current expression for a player whose influence makes a material difference (beneficial) to the game as a whole seems to be "needle-mover". Concertmasters of major orchestras in the US are paid huge salaries as compared with orchestral leaders in the UK, presumably in the hope that they will move the needle at least locally. Apparently the Saudis are prepared to pay one man, well past his best as a player, the equivalent of 1000 concertmasters in the interests of...golf.
August 4, 2022, 5:45 AM · I have no inside information on this one, but apart from the obvious contributions to civic life that results from chasing around a golf ball for three miles, this particular set of events creates one of the easiest possible ways to generate loyalty from a potential presidential candidate.

Now, if only there were more Margaret Trumans out there, we could encourage multi-billion dollar subsidies for arts organizations! (Not that her dad would have paid any attention.)

August 4, 2022, 6:59 AM · @Stephen - my recollection from once having seen Nurit Bar-Josef's salary figure is that she makes a whole lot more than any of the other musicians in the NSO. This was a while ago, and things may have changed and/or may not be the same in other major orchs, but I was impressed. However, she was not making anything like Slatkin, who was the Music Director at the time.
August 4, 2022, 7:49 AM · Who chooses the new concertmaster ? Is it a panel ? What are the auditions comprised of ? Is there an interview as well as a musical audition ?
August 4, 2022, 9:44 AM · @Tom: I haven't looked at the tax returns (which can be found on Guidestar.org), but I think that in most big orchestras, the concertmaster gets quite a lot less than a million per year, but it's been some time since the music director got less than that.

Quality and scarcity are recognized in the player, but the big bucks go to the one with recording contracts, friends in foreign cities, and a knack for convincing donors that they're supporting the best thing since sliced bread.

August 4, 2022, 9:57 AM · Concertmasters and the means of hiring them are shrouded in mystery. But we're violinists -- the lack of facts and evidence shouldn't keep us from making convincing declarative statements.

The Saudis buying the game of golf underscores why we (in the US) need to keep our oil and gas in the ground. Buy it from the Saudis. Let them have their fun ... for now. When they run out, THEN what will the price be?

August 4, 2022, 10:36 AM · @Stephen - I don't doubt that most music directors of top-tier orchs make over a million a year. My recollection is that at the time I saw the amount of Bar-Josef's salary, and this was at least ten years ago during Slatkin's tenure, she was making mid-six figures.
August 4, 2022, 10:39 AM · Don't some orchestras rotate their seating? If you members that have been concertmasters of other orchestras, I would think you could rotate the job amongst them. Might be beneficial for the orchestra as a whole.
August 4, 2022, 10:49 AM · Aye, Paul, we don't need an inner voice to constrain us. We are people of action! Data-driven decision-making is for violists.
August 4, 2022, 2:44 PM · Raymond, I think orchestras that rotate do so from the third desk or second desk backwards, so that the grands fromages stay in their places.
August 4, 2022, 6:00 PM · Our community orchestra doesn't rotate the seating. We always face the conductor.
August 4, 2022, 6:57 PM · I think amateur orchestras should rotate the better players toward the back so the "back benchers" have something to hang on to -- if needed. It usually helps weaker players to play with stronger/better ones.
Edited: August 5, 2022, 7:02 AM · Ironically, the only community orchestras I've seen practicing any kind of seating rotation are the ones that don't especially need it: the selectively auditioned ones where every string player is capable of being a section leader in other community orchestras.
August 5, 2022, 12:07 PM · Less than pro-level choirs will sometimes put their strongest singers, except for soloists, in the Back row.
August 5, 2022, 12:31 PM · @Christian Lesniak: lol - I resemble that statement!
August 6, 2022, 12:57 AM · Joel - I'm puzzled by your choir comment. The usual arrangement in a choir is basses (or tenors and basses) at the back. It would be very odd to find a strong soprano up there, belting it out to keep the section in front together!
August 6, 2022, 7:56 AM · Putting the men in the back of the choir seems to me a matter more of tradition than practicality. Because they're taller? To hide their ample tuxedos behind the sequined gowns of the fairer sex? What Joel proposes seems quite reasonable at least until all the voices have learned their harmonies.
August 6, 2022, 9:49 AM · continued-- I got that suggestion from a choir conducting textbook, I forget which one. I think the concept would also work work for amateur/community/student orchestras, but after filling the principal chairs, there might not be enough strong players left for the job.
August 6, 2022, 10:12 AM · I did that for a while in my community orchestra (back in the early 1990s after I had left my CM chair. There were other factors, but it seemed like a good idea - and I could influence the last 3 rows of the 2nd violins by sitting in the "middle" of them.
August 6, 2022, 2:51 PM · The idea for choirs is similar to Andrew’s: less confident singers like to be next to, or close to, a stronger singer. This helps the voice to coalesce in tuning, rhythm and dynamics.
Edited: August 22, 2022, 10:27 PM · Re ~ Concertmaster's Importance on Many Levels/Who makes Final Decision in Big 7 US Orchestras
{#63!}

Dear V.com Responders/Colleagues ~

Upon being immediately engaged as Concertmaster & Soloist of then Syracuse Symphony of New York, now Symphoria, it was very clear the Music Director at the time including both Phil and Rose MacArthur, with {Phil=Principle Oboe/Personnel Mgmr; Rose=Principle 2nd Violin, & the
General Manager, Jim Howland, wasn't there when MD hired me.} That situation was hugely different from a famous US Major Orchestra known Globally ... Prior to mention of any Orchestra, let it be said Music Director had an immense global reputation & following, so much so, one felt sure the final decision would be made by the Music Director, from a different Continent ~

After 2 separate invited by Orchestra Management Audition's tho' spread apart from Fall to mid May second one, 'things' though 'guaranteed' by a fine Orchestra Personnel Manager who kept calling I must come back did not work out as the Music Director wished, later telling yours truly of the very difficult situation forced upon the MD to not go against a Never Had
Co-Concertmistress Before, and in so doing, flat out offering a position (& not open or advertised) as consolation because MD felt I was the person for the Co-CM Post, and knowing of my later questioning of all Events {& from #1 in Fall prior} felt as a special human being, the least that could be offered and during our private meeting after a result was determined, did insist I not go to my parents to practise my concert Violin repertoire but to rather come to the Orchestra to play under famed reputed Maestro's which would help heal issues expressed during conversation as poignant wounds to one's heart ... My situation is not to draw attention to kindness & respect the MD had nor openly expressed to MD eminent fellow Maestro's, but to illuminate for many here about What Did Happen & had Always Happened in the '70s/80s re Women Concert Artist's with a Violin ... Not a musician
out to belabor a point, it must be said that through pains of a few soloist's foisted into situations having to switch gears and rapidly, we, collectively, were met by enormous resistance and bias regarding the hiring of even
well known concert soloists (and a schooled orchestra Leader due to the profoundly smart mentoring by most renowned Violinists of All Time) yet evidently The-At-That-Time, Powers That Were, resisted even 1 of just 3
/4 most praised MD's desire's to engage a 1st Time {dare I say} Woman
Co-Concertmaster or Associate Concertmaster!!!

Hopefully, none who were party to this are harmed in any way & are at Peace now eons after 2 debacles which, if so inclined, one might have thought of harming oneself due such dumb doings induced behaviour. Things Have Changed for our younger Violinist Colleague Sisters and
proof was evident when Fleezanis was made the Concertmaster of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra & our 'big 5' CSO {Chicago Symphony Orchestra} hired a Woman to sit Outside Second Stand Violin I, aka, Associate Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and
under Grand Maestro, Riccardo Muti!! To my knowledge the current
CSO Associate CM isn't/wasn't an internationally known violin soloist
yet Led the full CSO splendidly for the 'CSO Night at the Movies' mid February 15, 2019, in Bernard Herrmann's Epic Score to Lord Alfred Hitchcock's Great Film, "North by Northwest" and the CSO Strings lit
up the rapidly difficult to play near Mozartian revealing all faults plus &
in passages which Herrmann brilliantly composed to create audience anxiety of wicked's to come in his beyond fabled 'North by Northwest'
Score! A Word: And the Click-Track Super Conductor, my Dad, Ralph Matesky's Conducting pupil, Richard Kaufman, did an 'Over the Top' brilliant conducting & syncing up job of CSO All to Verbiage dialogue
of the actual Visual Film spoken by Star's Cary Grant/James Mason/
Eva Marie Saint/Leo G. Carroll, and really Bad Guy {I think} Leonard Nimoy, minus hints of a missed entrance or too rapid a tempo to sync
perfectly with the storyline ...

Getting off track, it seemed very important to mention such an Event
to add my voice of Okay Chicago, you've taken '1 small step for one
Woman Assoc Concertmaster & a huge Leap for Women Leaders in
The Future!' Due to excessive work all weekend, I must take a break
& will be back Monday to complete whatever may be pertinent and a hopefully helpful to all Finale! For the Moment, I remain yours kindly,
Elisabeth Matesky/US Bio/Violinist.com under Perform/Teach/Illinois/
and EAM on FB (which I'll post FB Link tomorrow - August 22, 2022}

**EM pedigree: Jascha Heifetz 1 of 7 orig Artist Pupils, also filmed for
the Jascha Heifetz Violin Master Classes - Khachaturian, JH-7, EM
{Rus Vers. Library of Master Performers} YouTube or more recent Link: https://www.bili.bili.com/Khachaturian {Heifetz VMC- Elisabeth Matesky};

Private advanced Bowing Studies: Nathan Milstein/London, 3 & 1/2 Years,
also Teach Assistant to Milstein/Nathan Milstein Int'l Violin Master Courses
Zurich, Switzerland {Starting Summer 1970-'72, on 'Standby during '70s}

FB Ref: https://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.anne.775?fref=nf {Photo: Gift,
Potus Carter, The White House, EM Violin French Evening Recital/ POTUS
Carter/French Premier Raymond Barre, standing applauding Finale after
Ysaye 3rd Violin Solo Sonate: "Ballade" ~ portion, TY Note, POTUS Carter
to myself, re French Premier Barre "Thrilled at Ysaye" .. signed 'Jimmy' date ~ September 16, 1977 }

Fwd dg

Edited: August 22, 2022, 10:41 PM · Notes for Monday, August 22, 2022 re Concertmaster Artistry Required ~ EM {#64} Continuing ~ August 22, 2022

Nice to hear from my 'Email' friend, J.Q., but the William Faulkner reference
has flown over me, for now ... Btw, I knew a Faulkner, but in London-town, who was Head, Royal College of Music, Sir Keith Faulkner, and his wife, Lady Faulkner, who made the most glorious Merengues on the Planet & all home made from a recipe from her Grandmother!! They lived in the Royal Albert Hall Mansions Flats!! It was lovely to be invited to dinner at their fabled flat connected to the {yep!} Royal Albert Hall !!! I'll get on to mention required repertoire for all auditioning for a major and/or regional Orchestra position of Concertmaster and would address a Reply re focusing on the young woman in the name of Robyn Bollinger, pupil of the Great Violinist, Miriam Fried, {First Prize Winner, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Violin Competition, held every 4 years in Brussels, Founded by HRH The Queen, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium in Memory of HM's beloved private violin mentor, The Great Eugen Ysaye} who has a vast Concert Violin repertoire & prepared her gifted pupil, Robyn Bollinger, beyond well for her Audition in Detroit and for their Music Director and DSO Orchestra Audition Committee in a Final Round Audition minus any Screen, by then, which is in accordance of Audition Procedures for All Concertmaster Finalist Violin Candidates invited to play for all just mentioned above and upon hearing Robyn Bollinger in Bach's Chaconne, I was impressed with her sincerity & adherence to some rolled chording and Bachian Style!! She seems the 'right' violinist-personality for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra 21st Century Concertmaster-ship at this time ~ I will now segue to the almost for sure required audition List/s for US Concertmaster Repertoire ~

In a Final Audition one must have 2 Violin Concerto's ready to perform and
an Unaccompanied Bach Mvt from either a Sonata or Partita, plus all Solo
CM Orchestral Major Works including Scheherazade; Eine Heldenleben of Strauss {which, btw, is as difficult as the Schoenberg Violin Concerto or the Alban Berg, etc}; Zarathustra of Strauss; Til Euleinspiegel {brutally tricky &
difficult!}; Brahms 1st Symphony 2nd Mvt Solo; Solo's in All Bach Cantatas;
Debussy La Mer; Capriccio Espagnole, Rimsky Korsakov; Swan Lake & it
is sometimes required if programming for a future Season, but not always; + Shostakovich Symphony No. 5; Stravinsky Pulchinella; Danse Macabre &
Violin I parts to listed Symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Schumann - famed Scherzo in Schmann #2; plus numerous
other Audition Committee prior List to be ready to play for the initial first &
second Rounds of Audition Process and if a Finalist, random requests of the Orchestra Committee in the Final. This, dear colleagues, is what it takes with immense Orchestra preparation including having performed an array of many Symphonies listed above plus the Prokofiev's/Schubert's/
Rachmaninoff's/plus & in depth of full orchestra harmonic scoring and ear for ensemble plus rapid adjustments in nano second public performance & an always Eye on Conductor/s on the Podium; plus hoped for prior Pro experience sitting Concertmaster & prior, Principle Second Violin, so very important to have played the 2nd Viiolin parts which greatly enhance the Concertmaster's decisions re Bowings and fused musical Bowings to give
a cohesive Sound and, Yes, 'Look', of Strings Mirroring main Themes in all Symphonic Repertoire when Live Performing. I shall share One Nathan
Milstein Word of Advice to me when 3 & 1/2 years private studying with him
in London at his Chester Square home: 'If it looks good, It Is Good!" {I can
admit my utter surprise upon hearing the Great Milstein telling me what at
the time, sounded 'shallow' to yours truly, yet I came to realise How 'Right' Mr. Milstein was and learned that Technique has a Face which can be seen
in the Greatest Violinists we so admire and speak breathlessly about!!} And
Remember: Every Violinist is physically built differently from any other, so what might 'Look Good' on NM, might not 'look good' on a tall, longfingered
lanky violinist but said lanky tall longfingered violinist must find the physical posture to enable easy navigation on the violin and if Easy, he/she will 'Look Good and will Sound Good'!!! Violin Milstein Sharing Done Until?! Okie Dokie, Guys! I hope this provides a sobre view of requirements of The
Concertmaster of certainly, one of the 'Big 5' & 'Big 7' US Major Orchestras
and gives an idea that to be Ready, takes at least 18-20 +years study and
differing orchestral/chamber ensemble/Chamber Music & Soloist training!!!
This should help establish the differences between all other members of an Orchestra who, believe me, know their orchestral parts, yet may not have
aspired to the Concertmaster Role which one brilliant *Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra described: 'You must Lead w/authority +
musicality in sync w/the Conductor & next second, Sound like Heifetz in a Concertmaster Solo!' Quote Great CSO/Reiner, CM, Mischa Mischakoff, rip

Wishing All happy practising on favourite repertoire and pieces you love for the pieces you love, Love You Back!! Kudos to Matthew Metz of Detroit!!

~ Respectfully Submitted for Now ~

...... Elisabeth Matesky/ US ......

Fwd dg

August 21, 2022, 6:20 PM · I wish the thread title could be changed as the discussion has not been about Detroit or the great young woman they just hired.
August 21, 2022, 10:26 PM · My email friend E.M. seems to have been studying syntax from William Faulkner. That is Not a negative criticism. jq
Edited: August 21, 2022, 10:32 PM · I don't understand Faulkner either.
Edited: August 21, 2022, 11:38 PM · My mother is a concertmaster

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