Principal Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

with brief biographical remarks


Search this site with Google Search:



Principal Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Symphony Hall Chicago

Symphony Hall, Chicago (Theodore Thomas Hall)


This website, has two listings of musicians of the great Chicago Symphony Orchestra:


- A listing of ALL the Musicians of the Chicago Symphony 1891-today.  This listing is available by clicking on the webpage: Chicago Symphony Orchestra Musicians.


- A listing of the Principal Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with short biographical notes and photographs, which is listed below on this webpage.


A Listing of Chicago Symphony Orchestra Principal Musicians


This page of the site seeks to list all the Principal, or first-chair musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since its inception in 1891.  Also featured are the principal conductors or Music Directors of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  With each musician, I have tried to reconstruct a short biography and to include a photograph of the musician.


In case of any corrections or any other information contained in this site, please contact me, at the link below.


Creation and Naming of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra


In 1891, a group of Chicago businessmen invited Theodore Thomas to direct a permanent symphony orchestra to be called the "Chicago Orchestra".  Thomas accepted, and the Orchestra was ready for its first concert on October 16, 1891.  Thomas campaigned for a permanent hall for the Orchestra, saying that was a prerequisite for an established, quality orchestra.  Orchestra Hall, Chicago as is was to be know, was nearly complete in early December, and Theodore Thomas was able to conduct in the hall beginning December 14, 1904.  Unfortunately, this was only weeks before his death on January 5, 1905.   On April 11, 1905, in Theodore Thomas's honor, the "Chicago Orchestra" was renamed the "Theodore Thomas Orchestra" 98.  Frederick Stock, Thomas's assistant conductor took over, and continued as conductor or Music Director for 37 seasons.  On February 21, 1913, the Trustees of the orchestra, concerned that perhaps some other group might take the name of the 'Chicago Orchestra', or Chicago Symphony' voted to adopt the name of "Chicago Symphony Orchestra".  (note: to retain the honor to Theodore Thomas, the full name adopted was: "The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, founded by Theodore Thomas" 98).


October 1891-April 1905   The Chicago Orchestra

April 1905-February 1913   The Theodore Thomas Orchestra

February 1913-today   The Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Auditorium Theater and Orchestra Hall: The Homes of the Chicago Symphony


The first concert of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (or Chicago Orchestra as it was then called), took place in the Auditorium Theater of Chicago on October 17, 1891.  Ferdinand Peck, a Chicago businessman, conceived of the Auditorium as a venue for grand opera which would rival the leading halls of the world.  He organized Chicago leaders in 1886 to finance the Auditorium Theater, which was to include a 400 room hotel and an office building with the objective that it would be financially self-supporting.  The resulting Auditorium Theater was a new and architecturally distinguished building, designed by famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, and finished in December, 1889.  211


left: 1889 Chicago Auditorium Theater --- right 1904 Symphony Hall, Chicago (Theodore Thomas Hall)


The resulting concert hall had excellent acoustics, comfort, and facilities, but for a symphony orchestra, it was far too large.  Seating was for 4,300, twice the size best suited for a symphony orchestra, and the interior was vast.  Theodore Thomas felt:


" was so big that to fill it with sound, he was obliged to employ a stress that obliterated the finer points..." 210


With Theodore Thomas's constant pressure, and his conviction that the orchestra must have a home of its own, monies were raised in 1903 and 1904, the hall designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, and construction began on May 1, 1904.  Only 7 months later, Theodore Thomas was able to lead the first concert in what was later named "Theodore Thomas Hall" on December 14, 1904.



Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Directors


1891-1905  Theodore Thomas (Christian Friedrich Theodore Thomas) 38


Theodore Thomas in his autobiography 37 states he was born October 11, 1835 in "Esens, East Friesland by the North Sea ", which is the extreme north of Germany near the Dutch boarder.  His father, Johann August Thomas (about 1799-about 1860) was "Stadtpfeifer ", or "town musician" of Esens and a violinist.  Theodore Thomas learned the violin under his father beginning at about age 5.  The Thomas family emigrated to the U.S., arriving July 1, 1846, when Theodore was age 10.  Working as a musician in New York, in 1848 Johann Thomas entered a marine band in Norfolk, Virginia, with Theodore also engaged as a horn player 81.  After traveling as an itinerant musician in the South, in 1850, Thomas returned to New York City and for the next decade, he played in many theater and music hall orchestras.  In this era, it was apparently usual for there to be a constant turnover of groups and musicians within groups.  In January, 1854, age 19, Thomas was elected a violinist musician of the New York Philharmonic Society, but given the few Philharmonic concerts, Thomas (like musicians for the next 100 years) played in a variety of other groups to earn a living.  At this time, he first performed in string quartets 39 and joined the Mason and Bergmann chamber music society.  These same players also performed in the various orchestras and opera groups, including Ullmann’s Opera Company, where Thomas was Concertmaster.  It was with the Ullmann Opera group that Thomas had his first conducting experiences.  And in 1853-1854, Thomas played first violin in the Louis Antoine Jullien orchestra as it toured the eastern US.  In his autobiography, Theodore Thomas wrote: "…In 1862, I concluded to devote my energies to the cultivation of the public taste for instrumental music…" 82.  In fact, he devoted himself to this objective for the remainder of his career.  He organized his Theodore Thomas Orchestra, with which he gave more than 100 concerts in each of the summers of 1866 and 1867 83.  Between the winter concerts and the more successful summer "music garden" type concerts of the Summer Night Concerts, Thomas broke-even financially, and built a following.  84.   However, even New York in that era did not have a musical life sufficient for full-time employment.  Consequently, in 1868-1869, Thomas took his orchestra on tour to cities in the eastern US, in later seasons expanding as far west as Chicago.  In this, Thomas demonstrated an energy, and business sense sufficient to keep his orchestra employed and solvent.  However, he personally guaranteed all orchestra expenses, and he lost greatly from cancelled concerts, for example, following the 1871 Chicago fire.  At the summer concerts of 1872, Thomas and his orchestra gave what he said was the US premiere of the Ride of the Valkyries from Act 3 of Die Walküre (which had been premiered in 1870)86.  Closing the 1873 season, Thomas and the orchestra were joined in New York by the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston to give the Beethoven Symphony no 9.  In May, 1873, Thomas and his orchestra took part in the first of the famous Cincinnati May Festivals.  Thomas continued conducting the Cincinnati May Festival concerts from 1873-1904 (he was succeeded by Frank Van der Stucken after Thomas's death in 1905 98).  These years of the 1870s were an important contribution by Theodore Thomas to the education of the US in the greats works of the symphonic repertoire, previously unknown to most people, even in major cities.  His and his orchestra, constant traveling across the eastern US was the way he could keep the orchestra employed and solvent, since he had no subsidy.  Theodore Thomas was appointed conductor of the New York Philharmonic Society in the 1877-1878 season, but the next year decided to take over direction of the Cincinnati College of Music.  However, this Cincinnati engagement did not work out.  Thomas then returned to New York as conductor of the Philharmonic, which he continued for a further twelve seasons 1879-1891.  Another long-term Thomas conducting responsibility was of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Society 1862-1891.  In 1891, a group of Chicago businessmen invited Theodore Thomas to direct a permanent symphony orchestra to be called the "Chicago Orchestra".  Thomas accepted, and the Orchestra was ready for its first concert on October 16, 1891.  The support for Thomas and the orchestra grew until by the 1903-1904 season, Thomas campaigned for a permanent hall for the Orchestra 85.  The money raised, the concert hall was designed by Daniel Burnham (1846-1912).  Meanwhile, beginning in about 1902, Theodore Thomas’s health began to deteriorate 85.  His wife, Rose Emily Fay wrote: "…All through the summer of 1904 he was rapidly breaking down… both heart and nerves were in bad condition…" 85.  By mid-December 1904, Orchestra Hall, Chicago was sufficiently complete that Theodore Thomas was able to conduct his concerts there beginning December 14, 1904.  However, Theodore Thomas did not survive long thereafter, and died on January 5, 1905, following a brief illness which may have developed into pneumonia.  Following his passing, in Thomas's honor, the Chicago Orchestra was renamed the "Theodore Thomas Orchestra".  Perhaps it is not exaggerated to say that no other musician did more than Theodore Thomas to cultivate the seeds of US appreciation of symphonic music from 1850 until 1900, from a time when there were almost no symphonic groups in the US, until a flowering of orchestras, including Theodore Thomas’ Chicago symphony.

Jullien the Flamboyant Conductor


The mini-biography above describes a young Theodore Thomas playing for showman conductor Louis Antoine Jullien during his in 1853-1854, US tour.  Actually, Jullien was also famous for his very long name.  This apparently came from his father's generosity when he was playing violin with an orchestra in Aix-en-Provence, France.  He said that he would invite one of the orchestra musicians to baptize his son.  However, since all the musicians vied for this honor, all 36 musician's names were used in the baptism of "Louis George Maurice Adolphe Roche Albert Abel Antonio Alexandre Noë Jean Lucien Daniel Eugène Joseph-le-brun Joseph-Barême..." (but this website has limits of storage memory).


1905-1942  Frederick Stock (Friedrich August Stock) 3

photo   Frederick Stock in 1910


Frederick Stock was born in Jülich, Germany, 30 km west of Cologne on November 11, 1872.  As a youth, he studied with his Army bandmaster father.  Stock entered the Cologne Conservatoire (later the Hochschule für Musik Köln) in about 1886.  He studied violin and composition, with Willem Mengelberg being one of his classmates.  Stock received his diploma from the Conservatoire in 1890, and began his career as a violin in the Cologne Municipal Orchestra. In 1895, Theodore Thomas, who each summer usually recruited musicians in Europe for his orchestras, auditioned Frederick Stock and invited him to join the Chicago Orchestra in the viola section.  By 1899, Thomas had appointed Stock as Assistant conductor of the Chicago Orchestra.  Following the shock of the death of Theodore Thomas on January 4, 1905, as Assistant conductor, Frederick Stock assumed the conducting responsibilities of the Chicago Orchestra.  Stock's position as conductor was by no means secure.  The Orchestra Trustees had considered as Music Director Felix Mottl (said to be recommended by Theodore Thomas as a possible successor 98 and who declined), Hans Richter and Felix Weingartner.  Then, on April 11, 1905, the Trustees appointed Frederick Stock as conductor of the orchestra, which at the same time was renamed "The Theodore Thomas Orchestra" 98

photo   Frederick Stock with the Chicago Symphony 1907


Frederick Stock achieved what is a difficult transition: to come up through the ranks of the orchestra, yet be an effective and authoritative conductor.  Stock retained both the quality, and the broad repertoire of the Chicago Symphony, with contemporary works being well represented.  Frederick Stock's reputation then among contemporary critics was often the faint praise of being among the best of second-rank conductors.  However, his surviving recordings, and the opinion of many contemporary musicians say otherwise.  Anne Mischakoff Heiles, in her excellent book: Mischa Mischakoff, Journeys of a Concertmaster 3 writes of Mischakoff's respect and admiration for Stock.  She also quotes Principal horn Philip Farkas (who played under most all the conductors of the era in the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and Boston Symphony) : "[Stock was] of the great conductors of all time..." 98.   Musicians also seem to have appreciated that Stock devoted most rehearsal time to new compositions, and rehearsed the core repertoire less, considering that the orchestra already knew these well.  Frederick Stock conducted the Chicago Symphony for 37 seasons, a tenure surpassed in twentieth century leading orchestras only by Eugene Ormandy's 44 seasons at Philadelphia.  Frederick Stock died September 20, 1942.

1943-1947  Désiré Richard Defauw


Désiré Defauw was born September 5, 1885 in Ghent, Belgium.  Defauw was trained as a violinist at the Ghent Conservatory.  In 1900, at age 15, he became solo violin of the the orchestra of the Winter Concerts of Ghent.  For three seasons, 1906-1909, Defauw was Concertmaster of the New Symphony Orchestra of London, which orchestra Leopold Stokowski conducted for his second ever orchestral concert.  While in London, Defauw organized the Allied Quartet of London, a chamber orchestra which performed much contemporary music, such as Ravel and Strauss.  Defauw returned to Belgium in 1910, where he organized two string quartets which performed during the 1910s.  In 1922, Defauw organized the Société des Concerts Defauw, which he conducted during the later 1920s.  In 1922, Defauw also became professor of violin at the Antwerp Conservatory, until 1925, when Defauw became director of concerts of the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles.  In this capacity, as well as conducting the Conservatory orchestra, he taught conducting.  In 1931, Defauw organized l'Orchestre symphonique de Bruxelles, which was reorganized in 1939 to form the National Orchestra of Belgium.  In June, 1940, overtaken by World War 2, he left Belgium for England.  Then in August, 1940, Defauw sailed to New York, and went on to Québec.  Following a successful concert with the NBC Symphony in 1939, Defauw had been invited to conduct the orchestra of the Chalet du Mont-Royal August 29, 1940. This success in Québec lead to Defauw's Montreal engagement. In 1940, Wilfrid Pelletier (1896-1982) was conductor in Montreal, but the concert schedule and the employment for the musicians was sporadic.  In 1941, Désiré Defauw became the first permanent conductor of the Société des concerts symphoniques de Montréal, which was renamed in 1953 the l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal 36.  Defauw conducted in Montreal for eleven seasons, 1941-1952.  While conducting in Montreal, following the illness and death of Frederick Stock, Defauw for four seasons also conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1943-1947. 

photo   Désiré Defauw in 1943

Several of the memoires of Chicago musicians of the period report that Chicago Symphony morale was poor, in part because of lack of respect for Defauw 63.  Defauw became a U.S. citizen during his Chicago term.  After completing his Chicago and Montreal responsibilities, Defauw returned to Belgium in 1953, where he was a guest conductor.  Then 1954-1958, Defauw conducted the Gary Symphony Orchestra in Indiana.  He died in Gary, Indiana July 25, 1960. 

1947-1948  Artur Rodzinski


The gifted conductor Artur Rodzinski seems to have been the living embodiment of the old cliché that "all conductors are paranoid".  This emotional condition also seems to have increased as his success increased, rather than being assuaged.  Artur Rodzinski was born January 2, 1892 in Split, Dalmatia 47 (where Franz von Suppé, 1819-1895, was also born).  Split (sometimes Spalato), was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and is now part of Croatia.  Rodzinski's parents, an army surgeon father and a pianist mother, soon returned to Lvov, Poland, where Artur was raised 46.  In 1917, Rodzinski served in the Austrian Army during World War 1 and was wounded.  He then went to Vienna, earning a law degree, and studying part-time, but not to a diploma level 47, at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts, (successor to the Vienna Conservatory) with its Director, Joseph Marx (1882-1964) and with Franz Schreker (1878-1934).  Artur Rodzinski also studied conducting with Franz Schalk (1863-1931), and piano with Emil von Sauer (1862-1942) 46.  Returning to Lvov, in about 1920, Rodzinski was a cabaret pianist and local choral director, where he also had opportunities to conduct 47.   His first professional opportunity was conducting the Lvov Opera in late 1920 in a performance of Verdi's Ernani.  In 1921, Rodzinski conducted the Warsaw Philharmonic and, due in part to his availability, Rodzinski quickly became first conductor at the Warsaw Opera 47.  In 1925, Leopold Stokowski met Rodzinski and invited him to Philadelphia to work with him, but without title.   In 1926, Rodzinski was a guest conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and later that year, Stokowski appointed Rodzinski as Assistant Conductor in Philadelphia.  During 1926-1929, Rodzinski also taught conducting at the Curtis Institute, where his first wife Ilse also taught piano.  1929-1933, Rodzinski was Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was released in 1933, so he could move to Cleveland.  Rodzinski was succeeded in Los Angeles by Otto Klemperer.  Rodzinski then had a long, and somewhat stormy run as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, 1933-1943. 

photo   Artur Rodzinski in 1943


During Rodzinski's Cleveland years, critics found the Cleveland Orchestra improved each year, although with associated turmoil.  During his tenure, Rodzinski replaced 130 musicians, and seemingly without any attempt to lessen the effect on the community of each firing.  In Cleveland, Rodzinski expanded not only the orchestra, but also the repertoire.  Through negotiation in Moscow in the summer of 1935, Rodzinski gained the rights to the US premiere of Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.  This became part of a series of staged operas Rodzinski produced with the Cleveland Orchestra.   Rodzinski also began a series of successful Cleveland Orchestra recordings with Columbia Records between December 1939 and February 1942, some of which are still available on CD.  In many ways, the Cleveland Orchestra years may have been the most productive and successful period of Rodzinski's career.  Contemporary correspondence from Rodzinski during the 1930s suggests, however, that his primary ambition was to become Chicago Symphony Music Director.  Rodzinski also developed a relationship with the New York Philharmonic.  1934-1937, Rodzinski was a frequent guest conductor in New York.  In 1936 and 1937, when Rodzinski conducted at Vienna and Salzburg, Toscanini was impressed by Rodzinski's rehearsal technique.  This relationship with Toscanini may have been aided by Rodzinski's speaking Italian well.  In 1937, at Arturo Toscanini's request, Rodzinski was appointed to recruit and train the musicians into a cohesive new NBC Symphony Orchestra 50.  Rodzinski by then had developed a deserved reputation as a orchestra builder; Rodzinski had an expert judgment as to the best-performing musicians.  After cultivating New York since 1934, in December, 1942, Rodzinski became Music Director (a new title which had not been given to his predecessors, including Toscanini) of the New York Philharmonic succeeding John Barbirolli (Sir John from 1949).  


In New York, Rodzinski continued to show an openness to contemporary music.  He was also well-received for his clean and unmannered performances.  At this same time, when Frederick Stock died in 1942, the Chicago Symphony's first choice as his successor was Artur Rodzinski.  Correspondence indicates that Rodzinski was interested. However, because Rodzinski was now Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, he was not available.  In New York, Rodzinski continued to show a hot-headed side, writing scathing letters to those whom he believed had slighted him 55.  This, as well as his famous revolver in his back pocket during conducting added to his image as being not just difficult, but rather paranoid.  For his orchestras, this would develop into a conflicting choice between the great musical inspirations engendered by Rodzinski's conducting, versus the destructive tendencies of his conduct with the orchestra Boards and with his musicians.  During Rodzinski's New York years, Rodzinski clashed with the orchestra (he tried to dismiss 14 musicians, including five Principals in his first season) and with management.  There also were difficulties in re-negotiating Rodzinski's New York contract.  In any case, Rodzinski's high-strung nature caused him to resign from the New York Philharmonic in February, 1947, without completing the 1946-1947 season 49.  Bruno Walter stepped in to fulfill Rodzinski's New York obligations.  When Désiré Defauw departed Chicago, Artur Rodzinski was immediately offered, and accepted the Music Director position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  So, later in 1947, and through the 1947-1948 season, Rodzinski was Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  However, Rodzinski continued to have clashes in Chicago with the Board and the orchestra, and his contract was not renewed for the 1948-1949 season. 


After Chicago, Rodzinski's career never again reached its earlier promise.   Leaving Chicago, Rodzinski became a traveling guest conductor, but with progressively deteriorating health.  In November, 1948, he suffered a heart attack in London.  Then, except for a 1949 Los Angeles engagement, Rodzinski cancelled all conducting until a single 1949-1950 season as head of the Havana Symphony Orchestra.  After the Havana orchestra disbanded the next season, Rodzinski guest-conducted in South America.  In the three seasons 1951-1954, Rodzinski performed frequently in Italy, including his 1951 debut at La Scala, Milan 46.  During 1955-1957, in spite of progressively increasing health problems, Rodzinski performed extensively for R.A.I. Italian radio.  Rodzinski returned to the U.S. to conduct Tristan und Isolde at the Chicago Lyric Opera, contrary to his doctor's advice.  After three performances at the Chicago opera, Rodzinski had to withdraw, with his last concert being on November 10, 1958.  Rodzinski died on November 28, 1958 in a Boston Hospital of heart failure 46.

1950-1953  Rafael Jeroným Kubelík


Rafael Kubelik was born June 29, 1914 in Bychory, a Czech village about 50 km east of Prague.  Rafael was the sixth of 8 musical children of the famous Bohemian violinist Jan Kubelik (1880-1940) and his wife Countess Marianne Czáky-Szell.  Rafael initially studied violin with his father, and also piano with his uncle Frantisek Kubelik, with whom Rafael played the symphonic classics four hands.  Rafael Kubelik entered the Prague Conservatory in 1928, where he studied violin, piano, composition, and conducting, where he graduated with his diploma in 1933.  In 1935 and 1936, Rafael Kubelik toured with his father, first in Europe and in 1936 in the US and Canada, Jan playing the violin, and Rafael accompanying on piano, or conducting 93

photo Publicity for Jan and Rafael Kubelik touring the US in 1936

In 1936, Kubelik was appointed by Vaclav Talich to Assistant Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.  In 1937, when Talich was unable to take the Czech Philharmonic on a UK tour, Kubelik substituted for him92.  Kubelik was Director of the Brno Opera House from 1939-1941, and was chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic 1942-1948.  In 1948, with the rise of a Communist authoritarian regime, Kubelik left Czechoslovakia, vowing not to return until the end of authoritarian rule.  Kubelik settled first in England, where he conducted, including at Glyndebourne.  Rafael Kubelik was offered conducting positions in the UK, including as a successor to Sir Adrian Boult at the BBC Orchestra, but opted instead for the Chicago Symphony.  Kubelik was Music Director of the Chicago Symphony for three seasons 1950-1953.  His Music Directorship in Chicago started badly when he attempted to replace replacing 22 of musicians during the first season, which met vigorous opposition.  Also, during his Chicago term, Chicago Tribune music critic Claudia Cassidy who was an unrelenting critic of Kubelik 89, among other reasons it is said because of too heavy a diet of contemporary music.  Kubelik then returned to the UK, where he conducted both symphony and opera.  On October 6, 1954, Kubelik was named Music Director of Covent Garden Opera, serving 1955-1958. 88. However, Kubelik's time at the Covent Garden Opera was also stormy, with Sir Thomas Beecham, among others, criticizing having a foreign Music Director of Covent Garden.  Although Kubelik remained, he did not renew his contract in 1958.  Although Kubelik had refused to conduct in Germany following World War 2, he accepted to become Music Director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1961.  Kubelik remained in Munich 1961-1980 producing also numerous recordings.  Kubelik took Swiss citizenship in 1967 90 In late 1971, Goran Gentele, the new General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera asked Kubelík to become Music Director, a newly created position, which even Arturo Toscanini did not hold.  Kubelik and Gentele had a good working relationship, and Kubelík accepted, being named Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera in 1972 91. However, Gentele died in an automobile accident in Italy on July 18, 1972, which undermined Kubelík's working conditions at the MET.  Kubelik made his Metropolitan Opera debut in October, 1973 with Les Troyens.  However, he suffered regular criticism as spending too much time in Europe, and of being a weak administrator.  Tensions at the MET continued, and in February 1974, five months after his debut, he resigned.  James Levine subsequently succeeded Kubelik 90.  In later years, Kubelik's health deteriorated, due to heart disease and arthritis, which forced his retirement in 1985 92.  However, Rafael Kubelik did conduct on further occasions: he returned to Czechoslovakia in 1990 to conduct "Ma Vlast" at the opening of the first Prague Spring Festival after the Vaclav Havel "Velvet Revolution". He also returned to Chicago on several occasions, the last being on October 18, 1991, the commemorative Centennial concert of the CSO, recreating the first Theodore Thomas concert of October 16, 1891.  Kubelik conducted the Dvorak Hussika Overture at that Centennial celebration.  Rafael Kubelik died near Lucerne, Switzerland on August 11, 1996.

1953-1962  Fritz Reiner 

Music Director 1953-1962, Musical Advisor 1962-1963


Fritz Reiner was born as Frigyes Reiner in Budapest, Hungary on 19 December 19, 1888.  In 1953, Reiner was named Music Director of the Chicago Symphony, a post he maintained for nine seasons until the end of the 1961-1962 season.  Reiner then became Musical Advisor in Chicago for the 1962-1963 season. 


To read a brief biography of Fritz Reiner, click on the link here.


To consult a complete discography of the recordings of Fritz Reiner, click here.


1963-1968  Jean Martinon


Jean Martinon was born in Lyon, France January 10, 1910  He entered the Lyon Conservatoire at the age of 13, which prepared him for the entrance competition for the Paris Conservatoire.  In 1926, Martinon succeeded in gaining admission in Paris, where he studied violin with Jules Boucherit (1877-1962).  Jean Martinon also studied composition with Albert Roussel (1869-1937) and Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931).  His conducting instructors were also famous musicians: Roger Désormière (1898-1963), at that time conductor of Ballets russes, and Charles Munch, who soon thereafter was to create, with Alfred Cortot L'Orchestre de Paris (not the same as the 1967 orchestra of that name).  After graduation from the Paris Conservatoire, beginning in about 1936, Jean Martinon toured as a solo violin, seeking to build an career, with moderate success.  In 1939-1940, the war with Germany began, and in 1940 Martinon was captured and interned in a prisoner-of-war camp, where he composed a number of chamber and choral works.  Following the war, 1946-1948, Martinon was an regular guest conductor of the London Philharmonic when Eduard van Beinum was not conducting.  Martinon also secured the position of conductor of the Radio Eireann (Dublin) symphony, 1947-1950.  During this time, Jean Martinon composed his Symphony no 3 in 1948.  He was also guest conductor at the three leading Paris orchestras: the Colonne Orchestra, the Pasdeloup, and l'Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, all in the late 1940s.  Martinon from 1951-1958 was music director of the Lamoureux Orchestra, and was still composing.  1957-1959, Jean Martinon was 'Music Advisor' of the Israel Philharmonic (prior to 1997, the Philharmonic had no Music Directors).  In 1963, following the retirement of Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon was appointed Music Director of the Chicago Symphony.  Martinon had conducted at Ravinia in the Summer of 1960, and during the 1961-1962 Chicago season.  While at Chicago, the Orchestra commissioned Martinon's Symphony no 4 'Altitudes', premiered in 1965.  Martinon's tenure in Chicago was stormy, with mixed reviews as to his conducting.  The Orchestra had simmering discontents, following Fritz Reiner's arbitrary cancellation of the 1959 European tour, and the musicians dissatisfaction with union labor negotiations.  Also, Martinon following Fritz Reiner might perhaps be compared with John Barbirolli (later Sir John) following Arturo Toscanini at the NY Philharmonic - 'a hard act to follow'.  In any case, the increasing friction, a highly charged political environment within the Orchestra and the confrontation with Ray Still (read below ) leading to the unsuccessful attempt to dismiss Ray Still from the Orchestra resulted in a divided and demoralized Orchestra.  This caused Jean Martinon to withdraw, with Irwin Hoffman, the assistant replacing Martinon over the 1968-1969 season.  After leaving Chicago, in 1968, Martinon succeeded Charles Munch as Music Director of the newly created Orchestre national de France, where he stayed for five seasons, 1968–1973.  1975-1976, Jean Martinon was Music Director of the Hague Residentie Orchestra.  During his active recording career, Martinon recorded the virtually complete works of Ravel, of Debussy, and of Saint-Saëns, with scholarly excavation of some unpublished works of each composer.   Consequent to his development of bone cancer, Jean Martinon died in Paris on March 1, 1976 at the relatively young age of 66.

1968-1969   Irwin Hoffman (Acting Music Director)


Irwin Hoffman was born in New York City on November 26, 1924.  He studied at the Juilliard School in the 1940s, and also studied at the Berkshire Music Festival at that time.  Hoffman was conductor of the Vancouver Symphony from 1952-1964.  He was then engaged as Conductor of the Chicago Symphony in 1964.  Following the withdrawal of Jean Martinon, described above, Irwin Hoffman was the "Acting Music Director" of the Chicago Symphony during the 1969-1969 season.  Hoffman then became the first Music Director of the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony (later named the Florida Orchestra), where he served for twenty seasons 1968-1988.  1987-2001, Irwin Hoffman was also Artistic Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica.  Irwin Hoffman then became Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia in Bogota in 2000.

1969-1991   Sir Georg Solti   (Music Director Laureate 1991-1997)


  photo: Chicago Tribune


Georg Solti (after 1972 Sir Geoge) was born György Stern in Budapest on October 21, 1912.  Solti stated that his father, Moricz Stern had changed the family name to Solti seeking to avoid rising anti-Semitism.  Solti began his musical training on the piano, and in 1925 97 entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied composition and conducting.  After graduation for the conservatory, Georg Solti began as a Répétiteur at the Budapest Opera 97.  In the mid-1930s, Solti began to obtain opportunities to conduct.  Solti in 1937 received a grant to study at the Salzburg Festival aiding Toscanini with rehearsals, and being invited to return in 1938.  This led to Solti's debut (without a rehearsal) on March 11, 1938 at the Budapest Opera conducting The Marriage of Figaro.  This day coincided with Hitler's Anschluss of Austria, and further conducting opportunities in Budapest for Solti did not occur.  In 1939, Solti left Hungary for Switzerland.  He then pursued his pianism and in 1942 won first prize in the international piano competition in Geneva.  The end of World War 2 provided opportunities for conductors not tainted by Nazi affiliations.  In 1946, Georg Solti was appointed conductor of the Bavarian State Orchestra in Munich in the US-controlled German sector.  Solti remained in this post through 1952, after which he moved to Frankfurt as General Music Director 42.  Georg Solti also began recording.  Solti's fifty year connection with Decca produced some great recordings.  Famous is the Wagner Ring des Nibelungen cycle recorded 1958-1965.  This Ring was not only the first complete studio recording to be released, but its combination of an outstanding cast, and the pioneering sonic sound stage developed by John Culshaw (1924-1980) is now legendary.  In 1960, Solti seemed to be offered two attractive positions: Director of the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, and Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic  97.  Solti was inclined to accept Los Angeles 97, but meanwhile, Zubin Mehta was appointed.  Georg Solti then became Director of Covent Garden, where he remained 1961-1971.  At Covent Garden, Solti was seen by some critics as being autocratic (the "Prussian of Covent Garden"), but also agreed that standards improved at the opera house. 

photo   Sir Georg Solti in 1975


Meanwhile, after the departure of Jean Martinon, the Chicago Symphony had spent more than one year determining a successor as Music Director.  In 1969, Georg Solti agreed to become Music Director of the Chicago Symphony.  Solti also accepted other appointments, including Music Director of l'Orchestre de Paris 1972-1975.  However, this Paris relationship was not considered successful, being stormy and confrontational with the orchestra and the administration.  More successful was a relationship with the London Philharmonic, where he was Principal Conductor 1979-1983.  In Chicago, Solti remained Music Director 1969-1991, and conducted 999 concerts (his 1000th concert, scheduled for his 85th birthday in October, 1997 did not take place because of Solti's death).  George Solti recorded extensively with the Chicago Symphony for Decca, including the complete Bruckner, Brahms, Mahler symphonies as well as Beethoven (twice) the Beethoven concerti with Ashkenazy and two Wagner operas: Der fliegende Hollander and Die Meistersinger.  The recordings were well-received and provided important income to the Chicago Symphony.  Personally, I found in concerts and in recordings, the Chicago Symphony became under Solti too brassy and "in-your-face", lacking nuance and repose.  However, measured by record sales, it would seem this view was certainly not shared by an important part of the public.  He became Sir Georg Solti in 1972, following his British naturalization.  After Chicago, Sir Georg Solti continued his active schedule of conducting and recording.  His death came suddenly from a heart-attack while vacationing in Antibes, France on September 5, 1997.

1991-2006   Daniel Barenboim


Daniel Barenboim was born on November 15, 1942 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  His parents were of Russian-Jewish descent who had left Russia subsequent to the Pogroms of 1904.  They were both musicians, and Daniel Barenboim studied piano first with his mother and later his father.  His parents were his only formal piano teachers 140.  In 1952, the Barenboim family emigrated to Israel, in part because they believed it would be a favorable climate for Daniel's progress in becoming a piano virtuoso.  In 1954-1955, Barenboim studied counterpoint and composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979).  After constant travel and performances, in June, 1967, Daniel Barenboim married cellist Jacqueline du Pré.  Sadly, du Pré contracted multiple sclerosis in 1972.  Daniel Barenboim then restricted his musical activities to Europe so as to provide comfort and support to his wife, who died in October 1987.  In the 1950s and 1960, as well as concerts and chamber music, Daniel Barenboim was one of the most-recorded pianists, recording integral sets of many of the classic composers (e.g. Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms), primarily for EMI.  In the 1960s, Barenboim began conducting on an active basis, including a long collaboration with the English Chamber Orchestra.  In 1973, Barenboim made his opera conducting début at the Edinburgh Festival, performing Don Giovanni, followed by a series of summers at the Bayreuth Festival.  Barenboim was particularly active in Paris, becoming Music Director of l'Orchestre de Paris 1975-1989.  In Paris, with the opening of the Opera de la Bastille, Barenboim was named Artistic Director, only to be fired in January 1989 by Pierre Bergé in another one of those opera house political scandals that the public so enjoys.  In 1991, consequent to the departure of Sir Georg Solti from Chicago, Daniel Barenboim was appointed Music Director of the Chicago Symphony.  He served in Chicago for fifteen seasons, 1991-2006.  Daniel Barenboim also continued his active recording, now with the Chicago Symphony, primarily with Teldec - this at a time when even the leading orchestras were making fewer recordings.  Although displaying superb playing and sonics, Barenboim's Chicago recordings (for me) generally lack the definitive insight and inspiration of the many great Chicago conductors, particularly in the classic repertoire he chose to record.  In the style of more and more Music Directors, Daniel Barenboim accepted a second important post in parallel with Chicago: in 1992 he was named General Music Director of the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin succeeding Otmar Suitner, a post he continues today.  Daniel Barenboim has also devoted his music to causes important to him, including anti-discrimination in society, and to reconciliation and to a political co-existence of Israelis and Palestinians.

2009-present  Riccardo Muti


Riccardo Muti was born in Naples, Italy on born July 28, 1941.  Muti studied piano at the Conservatory 'San Pietro a Maiella', Naples under Vincenzo Vitale (1908-1984).  Later, Muti studied composition and conduction under Bruno Bettinelli (1913-2004) and Antonino Votto (1896-1985) at the Milan Conservatory.  In 1967, Riccardo Muti won the first ranking at the Guido Cantelli conducting competition in Milan.  Beginning 1968, and until 1980, Muti was Principal Conductor and Director of the annual opera festival at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.  His growing prominence led to an invitation from Herbert von Karajan in the Summer of 1971 for Muti to conduct at the Salzburg Festival.  Thereafter, Muti was a regular conductor of this Festival.  From 1972-1980, Muti was first Principal Conductor, and then Music Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, London 85.  On October 27, 1972, Muti also made his first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, invited by Eugene Ormandy who had heard Muti rehearsing in Florence 89.  Then, upon the retirement of Eugene Ormandy, Music became Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra 1980-1992.  1986-2005 Muti was Music Director of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan.  In the 1990s and 2000s, Riccardo Muti was a regular conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and of the Vienna Philharmonic.  In fact, it was frequently rumored in 2002 that Muti would become the Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic, following Claudio Abbado, rather than Sir Simon Rattle who was appointed.  Similar speculation took place before Abbado's surprise Berlin appointment in 1989 87.  Muti has led the Vienna Philharmonic in 1996 on a Asian tour to to Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.  Muti has also conducted the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's concert at least 4 times.  Opera politics around the world seem difficult, and apparently also at La Scala, Milan.  In March, 2005 some of the staff of La Scala called for Riccardo Muti's departure.  This was after a long-time rift between Muti and La Scala's administrative director 88.  Of course, this has been written about many times, so further comment here is superfluous, except to add that critical and public acclaim for Muti performances at La Scala were uniformly adulatory, and he was credited for restoring historically informed and rejuvenated performances of any famous scores.  After departing La Scala in 2005, Muti was a regular guest conductor of virtually every leading world orchestra.  In May, 2008, the Chicago Symphony announced that Riccardo Muti would become Music Director in the 2010-2011 season 86.  In late 2009 Muti was also appointed Music Director of Rome Opera.  Critical acclaim followed Riccardo Muti's appointment in Rome, and in October, 1911 he was named "Honorary Director for Life" by the Rome Opera.  So, Riccardo Muti's history of leadership of many of the world's greatest musical ensembles continues.


A joke concerning Muti:  When Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Riccardo Muti programmed a mixture of music, familiar and unfamiliar, at least as rich as Stokowski or Ormandy.  However, apparently some in Philadelphia did not approve.  A Philadelphia joke was that when in 2000 maestro Muti declined the offer to be Music Director of the New York Philharmonic "...he deprived the Big Apple of a decade of the music of Giuseppe Martucci...". 


Update: It seems the Martucci story continues: On the 2011 Chicago Symphony European tour, Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Caro wrote about the Lucerne concert 109: "...when musicians arrived, they found a curve ball in the schedule: Instead of the Verdi, they’d be rehearsing a piece that many (if not most) of them didn’t know: Giuseppe Martucci’s Nocturne opus 70, no 1. Muti explained to the musicians and guests...that Martucci was a superlative composer, conductor and pianist of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries whose work became overshadowed..."

Role of the Music Director


George Solti as Music Director typically conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 20 weeks each season.  When Daniel Barenboim succeeded George Solti as Chicago Symphony Music Director, and reduced his presence each season to 16 weeks, there was significant furore.  And yet, not only at the Chicago Symphony, but at virtually all of the major orchestras, the Music Directors, in the words of one of the Chicago Symphony musicians are "more like guest conductors used to be" in their length of residence with the orchestra each season.

Titles of First Chair Musicians


Note:  Today, except for the concertmaster (sometimes called the 'Leader' in Europe), the usual title for the first or leading instrument of an orchestral section is 'Principal', as in 'Principal Flute'.  However, in earlier years and in some orchestra sections, the first chair musician may have been referred to as 'Solo', or 'First'. 


In the profiles below, for consistency and clarity, I usually use the title 'Principal', even if the title was not yet used at that time.

A Listing of All Chicago Symphony Orchestra Musicians


As described above, there is also complete listing of all of the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (not just Principals), since its inception in 1891 is given on the page titled Chicago Symphony Orchestra Musicians List.   This listing seeks to provide the names, instruments, titles and dates of service of all known Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians.  Please have a look, and in case of any corrections of updates to these data, or any other information contained in this site, please contact me, at the email address below.


Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Concertmasters of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


1891-1896    Max Bendix


Max Bendix was born in March 28, 1866 in Detroit, Michigan.  Max Bendix had a long relationship with Theodore Thomas, joining the Thomas orchestra at the Cincinnati May Festival in 1878, when Bendix was only 12 6.  In 1880, he became Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Orchestra under the conductor Maratsek (a musician whom I have not been able to identify) 6. In about 1883-1884, Bendix was Concertmaster of the Germania Orchestra of Philadelphia.   In 1885-1886, still only 19, Bendix was a first violin in Anton Seidl's first season as conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.  Also in the 1885-1886 season, Max Bendix was Concertmaster of the Arion Society of New York, a choral and orchestral society at that time conducted by Frank Van der Stucken. In about 1886-1887, Max Bendix toured as Concertmaster with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra 6.  This was at least his second professional collaboration with Theodore Thomas.  Max Bendix spent the year 1889 studying in Europe, and in 1890 again was Concertmaster of the Thomas orchestra at the Cincinnati May Festive.  Then, when in the Autumn of 1891 Theodore Thomas created the first season of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (then called the "Chicago Orchestra"),   Thomas again selected Max Bendix as his Concertmaster.  In 1893, Chicago organized the World's Columbian Exposition, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.  According to the Thomas biography written by Charles Edward Russell, 7, Theodore Thomas did not want to become Music Director of the Exposition, given his bad experiences in Philadelphia in 1876, but reluctantly accepted.  The Thomas misgivings proved well-founded, and after months of internecine politics at the Exposition, Thomas finally resigned in August, 1893 7.  It seems that the Chicago Orchestra did continue to perform at the Exposition after Theodore Thomas's resignation, but now under the leadership of Max Bendix.  It would seem that Theodore Thomas resented this.  In any case, Max Bendix had the reputation of being a difficult and sensitive artist, and there were a series of confrontations between the two men during Bendix's tenure with the Chicago Orchestra, in spite of Thomas's efforts to mollify Max Bendix.  Finally, Max Bendix did not return to the Chicago orchestra in the 1896-1897 season.  The New York Times on September 18, 1896, in an article apparently based on the Bendix view, reported "...the breach between the old friends [Theodore Thomas and Max Bendix], which began when Bendix took charge of the orchestra when Thomas left it in a huff, during the World's Fair, has gradually widened, and this year, Bendix was not given a renewal of his contract. Arthur Mees of New York will be assistant conductor in his place, and will be billed as such - an honor Mr. Thomas never accorded to Bendix."  In 1897-1898, Max Bendix made a U.S. transcontinental tour with Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931), violin, Henri Marteau (1874-1934), violin, Jean Gerardy (1877-1929), cello, Aimé Lachaume (1877-1944), piano.  Bendix was also active in chamber music, forming in 1899 the Bendix String Quartet: Max Bendix first, Eugene Boegner second, Ottokar Novacek viola, Leo Schulz cello 141.


The turbulent career of Bendix also included extensive conducting.  He conducted the Saint Louis World's Fair orchestra in 1904.  Bendix became Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the 1904 -1905 season under Van der Stucken.   Max Bendix also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera starting in 1905.  In 1907, in yet another shift, Bendix went to the rival Manhattan Opera Company as Concertmaster and assistant conductor, under the Music Director Cleofonte Campanini (1860-1919), where he conducted the Sunday night orchestral concerts.  Max Bendix also conducted an orchestra briefly in San Francisco.  At the end of the San Francisco Symphony 1918-1919 season under Music Director Alfred Hertz, there was reported dissention by some San Francisco Symphony musicians, who organized the 'People's Philharmonic Orchestra' 70.  They invited Nikolai Sokoloff (1886-1965) to be their conductor.  This group played during the summer of 1919, but meanwhile, the San Francisco Orchestra directors raised money and hired new musicians to replace the defectors.  The People's Philharmonic Orchestra tried to continue with Max Bendix as their conductor, presenting popular concerts in San Francisco, but eventually failed 70.  Max Bendix died in Chicago December 6, 1945, age 79 after an eventful career, having played a pioneering role in the development and expansion of US orchestras.

1896-1897    Ernst Wendel

Ernst Wendel was born in Germany March 26, 1876.  He was a violinist, conductor and violin teacher.  Ernst Wendel became Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony for one season, 1896-1897 under Theodore Thomas.  When the breach between Theodore Thomas and Max Bendix reached the point where Bendix failed to return to the Chicago Orchestra, Theodore Thomas recruited Ernst Wendel from Germany.  Ernst Wendel came to Chicago in October, 1896, age only 21 to join the Orchestra.  Ernst Wendel then returned to Germany, where he was later most noted as being conductor of the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1909 to 1935 (or to give the group its glorious full name: the State Philharmonic Orchestra of the Free Hanseatic Town of Bremen) 32.  He was also a violin teacher of Georg Kulenkampff (1898-1948).  In 1914, he was also conducting in Stuttgart, and in 1925-1926, he conducted in Frankfurt at the Museum Concerts.  Ernst Wendel was apparently a Bruckner specialist, with a number of performances, including the premiere of Bruckner Symphony no 9 in Russia in 1913 9.  According to Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction, Wendel was a solid conductor, but also cautious and routine and did not transcend the limits of a careful, traditional reading of the austro-germanic musical literature 8.  Ernst Wendel died in 1938.

1897-November 1909  Leopold Kramer

photo   Leopold Kramer in 1897


Leopold Kramer was born in 1870 in Prague, now Czech Republic, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He studied at the Prague Conservatory, and upon graduation in about 1890 became Concertmaster of the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, Germany.  After two seasons in Cologne, Leopold Kramer then went on to become Concertmaster of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra 1892-1894 under Willem Kes (1856-1934) - Willem Mengelberg did not become conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra until 1895.  Leopold Kramer was also at some time, perhaps just before coming to Chicago, Concertmaster at the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.  In 1897, he came to Chicago, recruited by Theodore Thomas to join the Chicago Orchestra (as it was then called) as its third Concertmaster.  While in Chicago, Leopold Kramer was a founder of the Chicago String Quartet: Leopold Kramer first, Ludwig Becker second, Franz Esser viola, and Carl Brueckner cello 206

photo   Leopold Kramer circa 1909

In November, 1909, Leopold Kramer became angry at remarks made by the conductor Frederick Stock, and impulsively quit the Orchestra.   He quickly regretted his action, but it was too late.  Kramer moved to the Chicago Grand Opera, and then became Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for one season 1913-1914.  Kramer returned to Austria during the summer of 1914, and was apparently blocked from returning to New York, because of the outbreak of World War 1.  He was therefore replaced at New York Philharmonic Concertmaster by Maximilian Pilzer.  Leopold Kramer then became Concertmaster of the Hamburg Municipal Opera 3.  Returning to New York City, Leopold Kramer was Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for one season, 1922-1923.  Established in New York City, Leopold Kramer taught at the Institute for Musical Arts (later Juilliard) 1920-1924.  In 1924, Kramer returned to Prague to teach, where he lived at least until 1936.

1909-1910    Ludwig Becker

(Concertmaster November 1909-1910) violin 1896-1910

photo   Ludwig Becker in 1910


Ludwig Becker was born July 23, 1873 in Kronenberg, Germany.  1887-1891, he studied violin at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt under Hugo Heermann (1844-1934) 11.  In about 1894, Becker was Concertmaster at the Kroll Opera, Berlin.  Becker emigrated to the U.S., entering October 1, 1896.  Becker joined the Chicago Orchestra under Thomas for the 1896-1897 season.  From 1904, Becker was Assistant Concertmaster, sitting at the first desk, next to Concertmaster Leopold Kramer and performed as soloist for concerti with the Orchestra 1904-1909.  This was the generous practice in particular of Theodore Thomas, as Russell wrote 12:


"...I have not know of another conductor that pursued so resolutely the practice of affording his men a chance to appear as soloists..." 


After Leopold Kramer suddenly resigned as Concertmaster in November, 1909, Frederick Stock appointed Ludwig Becker as Concertmaster for the remainder of the 1909-1910 season.  The next season, 1910-1911, Stock appointed Hans Letz concertmaster.  Letz had been one of the first violins beginning in the 1909-1910 season under Becker, and when Letz was appointed Concertmaster the next year, perhaps it was motive for Becker to resign.  In any case, his season as Concertmaster in 1909-1910 was his final year with the Chicago Orchestra.  Becker taught violin in Chicago prior to World War 2, including at the Columbia School of Music. 1919-1922, Ludwig Becker was performing in the Chicago Trio with Carl Brueckner (CSO cellist 1893-1934), cello and Rudolph Reuter, piano.  During 1916-1930, Becker conducted the Tri-City Orchestra, which presented about 10 orchestral concerts per year in the Iowa-Illinois area (including Rock Island, Moline and Davenport) 10.  This orchestra started out as one of the many May Festival type groups, popular in the U.S. in that era, and grew into an orchestra with a winter, spring season.  Ludwig managed to keep the orchestra going on an annual budget of $16,000.  Despite occasional lost seasons, this Orchestra still exists today, having been renamed the "the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra" in 1985.  Ludwig Becker and his wife Alice also gave violin lessons in these communities between concerts.

1910-1912  Hans (Jean) Letz (founder of the Letz String Quartet)

photo   Hans Lens in 1913


Hans Letz was born on March 18, 1887 in Ittenheim, Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of Germany and later restored to France.  Sometimes Hans Letz listed his name also as "Jean" Letz, conforming to the French law regarding names (Johannes = Jean) enforced following the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France.  He also studied at the Berlin Royal Academy of Music with Joseph Joachim (1831-1907).  Hans Letz emigrated to the U.S. in June, 1908.  As noted above, in the 1910-1911 season, Stock appointed Hans Letz Concertmaster, replacing Ludwig Becker.   Letz had been one of the first violins beginning in the 1909-1910 season under Becker, who had replaced Leopold Kramer.  Hans Letz left the Chicago orchestra at the end of the 1911-1912 season.  Immediately thereafter, in May, 1912 Hans Letz became second violin with the Kneisel Quartet, replacing Julius Roentgen, second violin 1907-1912, who returned to Rotterdam 33.


  Kneisel Quartet in 1912: From the left, Franz Kneisel, first, Willem Willeke, cello

  Louis Svecenski, viola, and Hans Letz, second violin.


Apparently, Letz was well suited to the string quartet, since a student of Letz, Calvin Sieb, said that "...Letz had the conception of a 'light', 'chamber music' kind of sound".  After Franz Kneisel disbanded the Kneisel Quartet in 1917, Hans Lenz formed the Lenz String Quartet that was active 1918-1925.  During the 1910s, Letz was located in New York City, where he also taught violin.  Beginning in 1918 and into the 1920s and 1930s, Letz lived first in New York City, and then in Bergen County, New Jersey and taught at the Institute of Musical Art (Juilliard) in New York. In the 1940s, Letz taught at the Juilliard Graduate School of Music before the Institute and the Graduate School combined in 1946. Letz continued teaching at Juilliard into the mid-1950s. He won the American String Teacher's Artist Award in 1964. Hans Letz died in Bergen County, New Jersey in May 1969. He had been in poor health during the last 5 years of his life.

1912-1921  Harry Weisbach  (Concertmaster) 1912-1921

photo   detail of photo Chicago Symphony archives


Harry Weisbach was born in Odessa, then Russia, now in the Ukraine on April 28, 1886.  His family emigrated to the U.S. in 1891, where Harry grew up in New York City.  He studied violin under Arnold Volpe (1869-1940) and at age 13, joined the Volpe Orchestra of New York.  It is interesting that Louis Edlin of the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York and the Cleveland Orchestra and Samuel Lifschey  of the Philadelphia Orchestra also studied with Arnold Volpe.  In the summer of 1906, Harry Weisbach went to Brussels, Belgium where he began study with Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931), whom Weisbach had met and auditioned with during a Ysaÿe US tour 3.  Weisbach then went to Berlin where he studied with Karl Halir (1859-1909) at the Berlin Akademische Hochschule für Musik, where he graduated in 1908 17.  Prior to going to Europe for further studied, Weisbach had made his Carnegie Hall debut January 4, 1905, at age 18 playing the Bruch second Violin Concerto 18, which received excellent reviews.  After returning from Berlin, Harry Weisbach joined the Chicago Symphony first violins in the 1909-1910 season.  After three seasons of constant change in the Concertmaster position of the Chicago Symphony with Leopold Kramer, succeeded by Ludwig Becker succeeded by Hans Letz, in the 1912-1913 season, Frederick Stock appointed Harry Weisbach as Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Weisbach continued in the Concertmaster chair for the next 9 seasons 1912-1921.  Harry Weisbach also expanded into conducting, including at the Ravinia summer festival, where he conducted in the 1920s.  Weisbach in the 1930s lived the summers in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he was active in summer music.  His later years were perhaps less successful, and by 1940, Harry Weisbach was separated from his wife and did not have any leading appointments in the orchestral world.  With the onset of World War 2 and the departure of many musicians to military service, Harry Weisbach returned to the Chicago Symphony violin section for 4 additional seasons 1942-1946.  However, Harry Weisbach's health deteriorated, and he was not able to complete the 1945-1946 Chicago season.  Harry Weisbach died on February 23, 1946 in Chicago after a prolonged illness.

1921-1930    Jacques Gordon


Jacques (or Jakob) Gordon was born in Odessa, Russia in March 7, 1899.   He studied, as did his successor, Mischa Mischakoff at the Imperial Conservatory in Saint Petersburg, where he graduated in 1912.  His family then emigrated to the U.S. in 1914 to New York.  This led to his first U.S. tour in the 1914-1915 season.  Gordon then became a violin student of Franz Kneisel formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Kneisel Quartet at the Institute of Musical Art (later Juilliard) in New York 3.   Frederick Stock appointed Gordon Concertmaster in the 1921-1922 season, and he remained for nine seasons.

photo Jacques Gordon in about 1920


Jacques Gordon was simultaneously active in chamber music and his Gordon String Quartet was active until 1947, when Gordon disbanded it due to his stroke.  While in Chicago, the Gordon String Quartet consisted of Jacques Gordon first, Edwin Edeler second, Joseph Vieland viola and Nahoum Benditsky (later spelled Naoum Benditzky) cello.  The later Gordon String Quartet of the late 1930s consisted of Jacques Gordon first, David Sackson second, William Lincer viola, Nahoum Benditsky cello, with Fritz Magg later succeeding Hahoum Benditsky.  Jacques Gordon was said to have a violin tone and personality better suited to the collegial dynamics of a string quartet than for the role of Concertmaster of a large symphony orchestra.  Jacques Gordon taught first in the 1920s at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, and later at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.  In 1930, Gordon established a Music Mountain summer music school in Falls Village, Connecticut.  (His grandson, also named Jacques Gordon, advises that Jacques Gordon's son Nick Gordon has kept Music Mountain alive and still very active today.)  From 1936-1939, like other musicians such as Modest Altschuler  and Nathan Abas, Jacques Gordon was conducting the local WPA Orchestra, and also the WPA supported Hartford Symphony Orchestra 71.  There is a famous account of Jacques Gordon playing his Stradivarius on a Chicago street corner at the beginning of the depression in 1930 to test the attractiveness of his music to the Michigan Avenue public.  He is said to have collected $5.61 (the equivalent of more than $50 in current money). The photo below was taken to recorded that event 19.


In the 1941-1942 season, Jacques Gordon joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, becoming a teaching colleague of Samuel Belov, former Principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  In 1943, Jacques Gordon became head of the strings faculty at the Eastman School.  During the 1940s suffering from glaucoma and his vision deteriorated.  Then, in 1947, Gordon suffered a stroke.  Jacques Gordon died September 15, 1948, aged only 49.

1930-1937  Mischa Mischakoff


  Mischa Mischakoff and the Mischakoff Quartet in Chicago in 1933

  left to right: Daniel Saidenberg cello, Mischa Mischakoff first, Milton Preves viola Samuel Thaviu second


Mischa Mischakoff, born Mischa Fischberg in Proskurov, Ukraine (also the birth place of Harry Glantz of the Philadelphia Orchestra ) on April 16,1895, and studied in at the Imperial Conservatory in Saint Petersburg.  Upon graduation, he was first violin in the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic.  He then joined the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, before moving as concertmaster to the Warsaw Philharmonic.   He came to the U.S. in October, 1922 and became solo violin in the New York Stadium concerts.  In October, 1924, he became Concertmaster of the New York Symphony.  He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as Concertmaster in 1927.  

photo   Mischa Mischakoff circa 1926


Mischa Mischakoff resigned from the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1929, described in Mischakoff and Dubinsky Quit the Orchestra.   He then became Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony.  He was Concertmaster of the NBC Symphony under Toscanini.  Then he joined the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, a summer orchestra in up-state New York. k. Mischakoff moved to the Detroit Symphony   Mischa Mischakoff, one of the great twentieth century US Concertmasters died in Southfield (suburban Detroit), Michigan February 1, 1981.

1937-1959  John Weicher

photo   detail of photo Chicago Symphony archives


John Weicher was born in Chicago on March 29, 1904.  His father, John Weicher Sr. (1869-1939) was violinist from Cistá, then in Bohemia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and today in the Czech Republic.  An orchestra violinist who emigrated to Chicago in 1893, Weicher Sr. seems early to have determined on a career as a violin virtuoso for his son John Weicher Jr.  Father and son started violin studies at a young age.  Then from 1912-1916, John Weicher Sr. took John Jr. to study in Bohemia at the Prague Conservatory.


    John Weicher Jr. at age 12 in Prague from a passport photograph summer 1916


By the summer of 1916, Europe, including the Austro-Hungarian Empire was already engaged in war across the continent.  So, that summer of 1916, with war advancing and the US still a neutral power, it was time to return to Chicago.  Back in the USA, John Weicher then studied in Chicago with Herbert Butler (1883- ), a student of Joachim 20.  In 1919, John Weicher joined the Chicago Civic Orchestra, a youth training orchestra in 1919, its first season of activity.  In the 1921-1922 season, Weicher joined the first violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra, where he stayed for two seasons.  In the 1923-1925 season, John Weicher was Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for 2 seasons 133.  In 1926-1927, John Weicher returned to Europe for further violin studies, including with Carl Flesch in Berlin 133.  In 1929-1930, John Weicher joined the Chicago Symphony sitting in second chair as Assistant Concertmaster, next to Jacques Gordon, and later Concertmaster Mischa Mischakoff.  When Mischakoff left the Chicago Symphony in July 1937 to join Toscanini's NBC Symphony as Concertmaster, John Weicher succeeded Mischakoff as CSO Concertmaster.  John Weicher served the Chicago Symphony as Concertmaster for a further 23 seasons, 1937-1959 and 1962-1963.  Weicher was also Principal Second violin in Chicago 1959-1962 and again 1963-1969.  During these latter years, he was CSO Personnel Manager 1961-1968.  During his 40 seasons with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he played under Frederick Stock, Désiré Defauw, Artur Rodzinski, Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, and Jean Martinon.  Following the 1968-1969 season, which was destined to be his last, John Weicher died in Chicago on July 25, 1969, at age 65.

1959-1962   Sidney T. Harth


Sidney Harth was born in October, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio of Polish parents.  Although his parents do not seem to have been musical, Sidney Harth began violin lessons at age 4.  As a youth Sidney Harth studied violin with Joseph Knitzer (1913-1967) at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  Harth graduated from the Institute in 1947 with honors.  Harth also studied with Joseph Fuchs (1899-1997), long-time Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.  In New York City, Sidney Harth pursued his studied with Mishel Piastro (1891-1970 who had been Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony).  In 1957, Harth came in second in the Wieniawshi Violin Competition in Poland (second after the now partially forgotten Soviet violinist Roza Fajn).  During his career, Harth was also Concertmaster and associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, with his wife Teresa Testa Harth sitting next to him as Assistant Concertmaster.  In the 1959-1960 season, Fritz Reiner selected Harth to become Concertmaster, moving John Weicher to be Principal of the second violins of the Chicago Symphony.  Harth remained Chicago Concertmaster for three seasons, 1959-1962.  While in Chicago, Sidney Harth's wife Teresa was Principal Second violin of the Lyric Opera.  Later, Sidney Harth very actively took up conducting.  He was Music Director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra in Seattle, Principal Conductor of the Natal Symphony Orchestra in South Africa.  Sidney Harth was also an Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  He was also long-time Music Director of the Shreveport Summer Music Festival in Louisiana.  Sidney Harth's teaching career was also active, including while in Pittsburgh Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, and while in New York at Yale University, the Mannes College of Music and the Hartt College of Music at the University of Connecticut.  Harth also taught at the University of Texas - Houston.  Sidney Harth died on February 15, 2011, at the age of 85 after a full career at the top of his profession.

1963-1967   Steven Sam Staryk


Steven Staryk was born in Toronto, Canada in 1932.  In his younger years, he studied at the Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto.  He then studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.  Staryk then joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra violin section 1950–1952.  While in the Toronto Symphony, Staryk was subject to political controversies, after which he resigned from the Orchestra.  Staryk was active in violin competitions, being second place winner in the International Competition for Musical Performers - Geneva, 1956 (winner was Salvatore Accardo) and again second in the Carl Flesch International Competition - London.  Then in 1956, Steven Staryk began an itinerant series of Concertmaster positions, not staying long with any of his orchestras.  In the 1956-1957 season, Steven Staryk was appointed Concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - London.  In 1960, Staryk was Concertmaster for the CBC Symphony Orchestra recordings, conducted by Igor Stravinsky of Stravinsky's music.  Then, Steven Staryk was Concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra 1960-1963 and of the Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra.  Beginning with the 1963-1964 season under Jean Martinon, the Chicago Symphony began the practice of naming two Concertmasters, or Co-Concertmasters.  Steven Staryk was appointed Concertmaster with He also was a personality who tended to comment openly as to his opinion of his fellow musicians.  Anne Mischakoff Heiles in her suburb book America's Concertmasters 3 writes: "... Staryk was perhaps the most outspoken of major concertmasters...he criticized the quality of players in the orchestra..." Staryk also did not get along well with Music Director Jean Martinon.  On departing the Chicago Symphony, Staryk wrote: "...Some conditions exist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with are not ideal for me. Therefore, I resign my position as Concertmaster of the orchestra..." Steven Staryk returned to Canada, to assume the Concertmaster post of the Toronto Symphony 1982-1986.   In his last season, Staryk was involved in three automobile accidents which resulted in his retirement.  He moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in what seems to have been a contented retreat.

1967-1972   Sidney Weiss


Sidney Weiss was born in Chicago on June 13, 1928.  Sidney Weiss met his wife Jeanne at the Chicago Musical College where they both studied.  They later went on to DePaul University in Chicago.  Sidney Weiss played in the first violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell for ten seasons 1956-1966.  After Chicago, Sidney Weiss and his pianist wife Jeanne Weiss toured the US and Europe as a violin - piano duo. 

photo Sidney and Jeanne Weiss as a duo in the 1980s

They were based in England, and while in Europe, Weiss was Concertmaster of the l'Orchestre National de 1'Opera de Monte Carlo until 1979.  In the 1979-1980 season, Carlo Maria Guilini asked Sidney Weiss to come to Los Angeles as Co-Concertmaster.  Sidney Weiss was Concertmaster of the Los Angels Philharmonic, selected by Carlo Maria Guilini, with whom he had worked in Chicago.  Sidney Weiss was Concertmaster in Los Angeles for fifteen seasons 1979-1994.  Guilini was Music Director in Los Angeles 1978-1984, and Sidney Weiss continued to serve under André Previn 1985-1989, and the first two seasons of Esa-Pekka Salonen's tenure, retiring at the end of the 1993-1994 season.  Sidney Weiss was something of a violin craftsman, and it is said that he played a violin of his own construction.

1962-1986   Victor Aitay (violin with the Orchestra 1954-2003; Assistant Concertmaster 1954-1965, Associate Concertmaster 1965-1967, Concertmaster 1967-1986, Concertmaster Emeritus 1986-2003)


Victor Aitay was born April 14, 1921 in Hungary.  As did János Starker Fritz Reiner and Georg Solti, Victor Aitay had studied at the Franz Liszt Royal Academy of Music in Budapest, beginning at age 7 after studying with his father.  On graduation, he was appointed Concertmaster of the Budapest Philharmonic as well as the Royal Opera  In 1941, Aitay was arrested in placed in a Nazi forced labor camp.  Aitay later attributed to Raoul Wallenberg his survival.  Aitay escaped from the Nazi labor camp in 1945 and arrived in Budapest disguised as a priest.  Wallenberg gave him sanctuary and a passport 21.  Aitay eventually left Hungary with wife, colleagues, and Janos Starker to play as a string quartet in Vienna in 1946.  In 1946, Victor Aitay emigrated to the U.S., where he joined Fritz Reiner's Pittsburgh Symphony for the 1947-1948 season.  After one year in Pittsburgh, Aitay joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as an became a became associate Concertmaster in the 1948-1949 season.  Aitay remained with the MET until the end or the 1953-1954 season.  Fritz Reiner had left the MET at the end of 1952-1953 to assume the Music Director position at the Chicago Symphony, and a year later, invited Aitay, whom he admired, to join the Chicago Symphony as Assistant Concertmaster for the 1954-1955 season.  Aitay later became first Associate Concertmaster in 1965, and then Concertmaster under Jean Martinon in the 1967-1968 season.  He was also active in chamber music including the Chicago Symphony String Quartet: Victor Aitay first, Edgar Muenzer second, Milton Preves viola, Frank Miller cello.

1972-2006  Samuel Magad (Assistant Concertmaster 1966-72, Concertmaster 1972-2007) Violin 1958-2007


Samuel Magad was born in Chicago in May 1932 and raised on the Chicago West Side (traditionally thought of as poor and immigrant). He graduated from DePaul University, a student of Paul Stassevich who directed the DePaul orchestra.  At DePaul, Magad was Concertmaster of the orchestra as he studied with Stassevich.  Magad also played in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the training orchestra for young musicians in Chicago.  1955-1958, Magad was with the U.S. Army Band in Washington D.C.  At an audition in 1958, Fritz Reiner hired Samuel Magad as a first violin, but instructed him to obtain a better violin.  Magad advanced to Assistant Concertmaster under Jean Martinon in 1965.  Seven seasons later, in 1972-1973, George Solit selected Samuel Magad as co-Concertmaster.  During his tenure at the Chicago Symphony, Magad taught a number of students at Northwestern University.  Magad was also later active as a conductor.  Samuel Magad become the Music Director of the Northbrook Symphony in suburban Chicago. 

1986-1996  Rubén González


Rubén González was born in Viale, Argentina, 200 km north of Buenos Aires on May 4, 1939.  Anne Mischakoff Heiles in her fascinating book America's Concertmasters 3 writes of González's training: "...González studied with Osvaldo Pessina in Buenos Aires, Salomon Baron in France, and Riccardo Bregola in Italy...".  Rubén González won the First Prize, Violin at the International Music Competition Maria Canals in Barcelona in 1965.  In Italy, González played with I Virtuosi di Roma.  Returning to Argentina, Rubén González began a series of rising orchestral positions, beginning with the orchestra of Teatro Colón and the Orquesta Nacional de Argentina.  He then relocated to Germany where he was Concertmaster of the North German Radio Orchestra in Hamburg.  In the 1970s, Rubén González became Associate Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra.  Rubén González was selected by Sergiu Comissiona as Concertmaster of the Houston Symphony 1981-1986.  While in Houston, he also taught at Rice University.  Then, in the 1986-1987 season, Rubén González won the competition to become Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony under George Solti.  Rubén González also had a close musical relationship with Chicago Music Director Daniel Barenboim.  Rubén González served as Concertmaster for ten seasons 1986-1996.  At the end of this period, Rubén González seems to have sought a change of musical path and resigned from the Chicago Symphony.  He devoted himself to exploration of philosophy, as well as to aiding younger musicians.  A lover of the tango of his native Argentina, Rubén González has also composed a number of works in the tango style. 

1999-present   Robert Chen


Robert Chen (Chen Murong) was born in Taiwan in about 1969.  His family moved to the Los Angeles area when Robert was ten years old, where he pursued his studies, including participating in the Jascha Heifetz master classes.  Robert Chen studied at the Juilliard School, earning both his BMus and MMus degrees.  Robert Chen won the Hannover International Violin Competition in 1994.  Robert Chen was a first violin with the Philadelphia Orchestra for one season 1998-1999.  While in Philadelphia, Robert Chen was a founding member in 1977 of the Johannes Quartet, with Robert Chen first, Soovin Kim second, Choong-Jin Chang viola and cellist Peter Stumpf Robert Chen won the competition to become Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim in the 1999-2000 season.  For more than a decade, he has continued the historic tradition of Concertmaster of this great orchestra.  Robert Chen has also been active in summer music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival - New Mexico, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival - California, and the Schloss Moritzburg Festival - Germany.  In Chicago, Robert Chen has given a number of important premieres, including the Augusta Read Thomas (1964- ) Astral Canticle in 2006.  Chen also performed the Chicago premiere of the Elliot Carter Violin Concerto in 2003.  Robert Chen teaches at Roosevelt University in Chicago.


Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Chicago Symphony Orchestra string section Principals circa 1909


Section Principals: Carl Hillmann second violin, Bruno Steindel cello, Franz Esser viola, Leopold Kramer Concertmaster


Principal Cellos of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


1891-1918   Karl Bruno Steindel

photo   Bruno Steindel in 1918


Bruno Steindel was born in Zwickau (50 km south of Leipzig), Germany on August 29, 1866.    He came from a musical family, with his father Albin Steindel being Director of Music in his town of Zwickau 53.  Bruno Steindel initially studied violin, and then switched to cello under his father.  His nephew H. Max Steindel was also a cellist, who served 40 seasons 1912-1942 as Principal cello of the Saint Louis Symphony under Max Zach 52.  From about 1886-1891, Bruno Steindel was Principal cello of the Berlin Philharmonic 53.  Theodore Thomas heard Steindel in Berlin and convinced him to come to Chicago in September, 1891 for the initial season of the Chicago Orchestra.  Bruno Steindel was Principal cello in Chicago for 27 seasons under Theodore Thomas and then Frederick Stock.  Bruno Steindel also toured in the 1910s with chamber groups.  Bruno Steindel resigned from the Chicago Symphony in 1918.  According to a New York Times article 51, Bruno Steindel had been accused of being pro-German, during this emotionally-heightened period of the U.S. entering World War 1 against Germany.  The article states that Steindel's wife, Matilda (who had been in a mental institution in Wisconsin), committed suicide subsequent to Bruno Steindel's resignation.  After the Chicago Symphony, Steindel was Principal cello of the Chicago Grand Opera for one season.  During the touring of the Chicago Symphony, Bruno Steindel suffered a loss when his Carlo Bergonzi cello was destroyed in a railway accident in March, 1895 108.  Bruno Steindel later played an Amati cello.  In the 1920s, Steindel toured with the Aolian Trio, lead by Richard Czerwonky (1886-), Concertmaster of the Minneapolis Symphony 1910-1918, and Moses (or Moissaye) Boguslawaski (1887-1944), piano 54.  Bruno Steindel died in Los Angeles, California on May 4, 1949.

1905-1907  Horace Britt


  Hans Letz Quartet 1921: Hans Letz first, Horace Britt cello, Edward Kreiner viola, Edwin Bachmann second


Horace Britt was born on June 18, 1881, in Antwerp, Belgium.  Britt was a child prodigy, and grew up in Paris with his brother Roger (violin) and his sister Gaëtane (harp), under the supervision of their parents Ernst and Maria Britt.  When Horace Britt was 6, his mother began his training in solfège.  He therefore learned to sight read before he took up an instrument.  Horace studied cello, and his brother Roger Britt, the violin.  Horace Britt returned to Antwerp to study cello Gustav Faes to prepare him for the Paris Conservatoire entrance examination 30.  In November, 1892, at the age of 11, Horace Britt won entrance to the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Jules Delsart 1892-1895.  Britt won the Conservatoire cello Premiere prix in 1895, at age 14, the youngest winner to that time 30 (his record was broken the next year by 13 year old Paul Bazelaire).  Horace Britt was cello solo with the Lamoureux Orchestra in 1897, and with the Colonne Orchestra in 1898.  Britt made his American debut with the Chicago Symphony (then the Theodore Thomas Orchestra) in 1907.  At that time, Britt was Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony 1905-1907.  Horace Britt's brother Roger was a first violin with the Philadelphia Orchestra 1918-1924.  After Chicago, Horace Britt became Principal cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra for one season, 1907-1908.  In the 1910s, Britt became Principal cello of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  Horace Britt in the early 1920s was cello with the Hans Letz Quartet: Hans Letz first, Edwin Bachmann second (later of Toscanini's NBC Symphony), Edward Kreiner, viola (also later of Toscanini's NBC Symphony), Horace Britt cello.  In 1924-1925 season, Horace Britt became Principal cello with the Minneapolis Symphony, under Henri Verbrugghen.   During the 1925-1926 season, Horace Britt taught at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.  Horace Britt in the late 1920s performed with the Elman String Quartet: Mischa Elman first, Adolf Bak second, Karl Rissland viola, Horace Britt cello.  The Elman Quartet also recorded for Victor records in 1927, and in the same year, was the first cellist to be recorded on a sound movie. In the 1940s, Horace Britt formed the Britt Trio.  From 1947-1950, Britt was visiting Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and then joined the faculty. Britt continued at University of Texas 1950-1963, when he retired as Professor Emeritus,  Horace Britt died in Austin, Texas on February 3, 1971, age 89.

1918-1919   Theodore du Moulin


  Theodore du Moulin playing with the Great Lakes Quartet during World War 1


Theodore du Moulin was born on May 13, 1888 in Chicago, Illinois, son of George du Moulin (1856-1929), an orchestra musician and music teacher who had emigrated from France in 1883.  George du Moulin (1895- ) was also a violinist in the Theodore Thomas Chicago Orchestra for eleven seasons, 1891-1902.  Theodore du Moulin's wife, Rose Lyon was also a professional musician and soloist in Chicago Orchestra.  Theodore du Moulin was a cellist with the Orchestra for 11 seasons, 1912-1923, and Principal for the 1918-1919 season.  In 1913, Theodore du Moulin was active in the Zukowski Trio in Chicago, Alexander Zukowski, violin, Mae Doelling, piano, and Theodore du Moulin, cello.  During World War 1, with Hermann Felber Jr. first violin, Carl Fasshauer second violin (who also played with the Philadelphia Orchestra 1912-1918), Robert Dolejsi viola, Theodore du Moulin cello founded the Great Lakes Quartet in which he played during his World War 1 service.  Heran Felber Jr. father, Hermann Felber Sr. was a longtime cellist and also trumpet player with the Chicago Orchestra 1900-1933.  This quartet continued under the title Chicago String Quartet in the 1920s, with John Lingeman replacing du Moulin as cello.  Another active string quartet involved others of the du Moulin family: the Du Moulin String Quartet: George du Moulin first, Benjamin Paley second, George Dasch viola, Theodore Du Moulin cello in the 1920s.  Interestingly,Robert Dolejsi (1892- ) , Chicago born, and Vienna Conservatory trained made a successful career playing light music with his "Dolejsi Bohemian Orchestra" made of female musicians in Bohemian dress.  In the 1940s, Theodore du Moulin played in the staff orchestra of Chicago radio WLS, one of the major Chicago radio stations organized by Sears, Roebuck, and conducted by his Chicago Symphony friend Hermann Felber Jr.  Theodore du Moulin died in Chicago on September 26, 1978, age 90.

1919-1922    Joseph Malkin


Joseph Malkin was born in Odessa, Russia (now the Ukraine) September 25, 1879.  His first cello teacher starting in 1892 was Ladislas Alois (circa 1842-circa 1914).  In 1895, Malkin entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied under Henri Rabaud (1873-1949), and received his Premiere prix in cello in 1898.  In the Autumn of 1898, Joseph Malkin toured European countries with his violinist brother Jacques 27.  He made his debut in Berlin in 1899, and performed there in 1899-1900.  He was also Principal cello of the Berlin Philharmonic 1902-1908, and during this time played cello with the Witek trio, with Anton Witek, later Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony , and at that time Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic.  In 1908, he left Berlin and joined the Brussels Quartet, and also toured Europe, seeking to establish a soloist career.  Malkin made his American debut in 1909.  Malkin was back in Germany at the outset of World War 1 in 1914, and Saleski says that it was Malkin's friendship with Chief of the German General Staff General Helmuth von Moltke (1848-1916), that allowed Malkin to gain an exit visa to go to Boston 27.   He joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Principal cello 1914-1919, and played as Principal cello in the Chicago Symphony 1919-1922.  In Chicago, he formed a trio with his brothers.  In 1924-1925, Malkin toured accompanying Metropolitan Opera soprano Geraldine Farrar. 1925-1927, Joseph Malkin was Principal cello with the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch.  In 1933, the family founded the Malkin Conservatory of Music in Boston. Schoenberg taught at the Conservatory for one year (1933-1934) immediately upon his emigration to the United States.  The Malkin Conservatory closed in 1943, and Joseph Malkin in the 1943-1944 season joined the New York Philharmonic for six seasons, retiring at the end of the 1948-1949 season.  Joseph Malkin died in 1969.

1922-1929   Alfred F. Wallenstein


  Alfred Wallenstein in 1920 on his way to Leipzig to study with Julius Klengel


Alfred Wallenstein was born in Chicago on October 7, 1898.  His father, Vienna-born Franz Wallenstein (1856-1934) with wife Anna had emigrated to the US from Austria in 1878.  In 1905, the family had moved to the then-small Los Angeles.  Alfred Wallenstein's orchestral career started early and grew quickly.  In the 1916-1917 season, he joined the cello section of the San Francisco Symphony where under Alfred Hertz.  In the summer of 1918, Wallenstein toured South America with the Pavlowa Ballet Company.  Wallenstein then moved south to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in its inaugural season of 1919-1920.  In 1920, Alfred Wallenstein went to Germany to study with Julius Klengel (1859-1933) at the Leipzig Conservatory.  The photo above is his passport photo from that voyage.  In the 1922-1923 season, Fredrick Stock appointed Alfred Wallenstein as Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony.  Wallenstein was in the first cello chair for seven seasons, 1922-1929.  He left in 1929 to become Principal cello of the New York Philharmonic under Arturo Toscanini.  Toscanini encouraged Wallenstein's conducting and in 1931, Wallenstein conducted an NBC broadcast.  In 1932, Alfred Wallenstein began to conduct the Hollywood Bowl in summers.  After the New York Philharmonic in 1933, Alfred Wallenstein began conducting his Sinfonietta on radio station WOR in New York City, and became that stations Music Director in 1935.  He later led his Symphony of Strings on the radio.  Alfred Wallenstein was appointed Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the 1943-1944 season.  He succeed Otto Klemperer who was Music Director 1933-1939, but who departed due to health reasons.  The Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director position remained open for four seasons until Wallenstein was appointed.  Alfred Wallenstein remained Music Director for thirteen seasons 1943-1956.  After returning to New York City, Alfred Wallenstein taught conducting at the Juilliard School.  Wallenstein died in New York City on February 8, 1983.


1929-1930  Francisco Ennio Bolognini

photo   Ennio Bolognini in 1928


Ennio Bolognini was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 7, 1893.  Bolognini studied first with his father, Egidio Bolognini who was a cellist at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.  Bolognini then studied at the Saint Cecelia Conservatory in Buenos Aires with José García Jacot (1855-1912), said also to have taught Pablo Casals when Jacot was still in Spain.  In the family's musical tradition, Ennio's brother Remo Egidio Bolognini was a violinist, playing not only in the Chicago Symphony 1927-1929, but also with Toscanini in the New York Philharmonic 1931-1935, the NBC Symphony 1937-1954 and the Baltimore Symphony Assistant Concertmaster in the 1950s.  His brother Astorre Bolognini was a violist with the Houston Symphony  In 1923, Ennio Bolognini emigrated to the U.S.  Following his brother Remo Bolognini to the Chicago Symphony, Ennio Bolognini was appointed Principal Cello of the Chicago Symphony by Frederick Stock in the 1929-1930 season.  After leaving the CSO, in the 1930s through the 1950s, Bolognini was a touring cello soloist.  His solo career, however seems never to have reached the first rank.  Bolognini's solo engagements were uniformly with regional orchestras and chamber groups, and primarily in the middle-western states.  In the 1930s, Ennio Bolognini also regularly performed on radio, from the L'Aiglon Building in Chicago with the Ennio Bolognini Orchestra, also sometimes billed as Ennio Bolognini's Gypsy Concert Orchestra.  He was also a member of the Russian Trio, Herman Felber Jr. violin (also of the Chicago Symphony), Nina Mesirow-Minchin piano, Ennio Bolognini cello, a group which had originally been founded by in Chicago by Michael Wilkomirski.  In 1951, Ennio Bolognini moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where he lived until his death in 1979.  In the 1950s and 1960s, Bolognini played primarily in the orchestra at Caesar's Palace Hotel, including for entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams and Harry Belafonte.  Musicians were attracted to the Las Vegas casinos, since the pay was higher than even the leading symphony orchestras, and the employment was year-around at a time when no US symphony orchestra other than the Boston Symphony offered 52 week employment.  While in Las Vegas, Ennio Bolognini helped found the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra.  Ennio Bolognini seems to have been a flamboyant personality, involved in numerous activities.  In press reports, he was said to have been an Argentine welterweight boxing champion, and an early aviator in Argentina.  Ennio Bolognini died in Las Vegas, Nevada in July, 1979.

1930-1936  Daniel Saidenberg


Daniel Saidenberg was born in Winnipeg, Canada on October 12, 1906.  His father, Albert Saidenberg (1869-1956), by profession a piano tuner, and his mother Luba Saidenberg were of Russian Jewish heritage.  The Saidenberg family, including his brother Theodore Saidenberg, who was a pianist, moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1907, later to relocate to suburban New York City.  As a child, Daniel Saidenberg showed early talent as a cellist.  He and his brother Theodore played in local movie halls.  Daniel then won the competition for admittance to the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied 1919-1921 with André Hekking (1866-1925), who also taught Pierre Fournier and who was brother of Anton Hekking , Principal cello of the Boston Symphony.  Daniel Saidenberg won his Prix in about the 1921 Concour at the Conservatoire.  Daniel Saidenberg then returned to the US, studying 1925-1930 at the Institute of Musical Art (later Juilliard) in New York City.  In 1927, Daniel Saidenberg won the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation prize for cello 69.  Saidenberg was in the cello section of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski 1925-1929 while he was also studying at Juilliard two hours away in New York City.  Beginning in the 1930-1931 season, Daniel Saidenberg was appointed Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony by Frederick Stock.  Saidenberg was Principal cello in Chicago for eight seasons 1930-1937.  During that period, he taught cello at the Chicago Musical College.  He also was a member of the Mischakoff Quartet in Chicago starting in 1933: Mischa Mischakoff first, Samuel Thaviu second, Milton Preves viola, Daniel Saidenberg cello. 


  Daniel Saidenberg and the Mischakoff Quartet in Chicago in 1933

  left to right: Daniel Saidenberg cello, Mischa Mischakoff first, Milton Preves viola Samuel Thaviu second


In 1934, Daniel Saidenberg married Eleanore Block, an heiress, and their financial independence allowed them to move to New York City.  During this period, Daniel Saidenberg began his first efforts in mastering conducting.  He was a guest conductor, and formed the Saidenberg Little Symphony just prior to World War 2.  He also did radio conducting; in 1940, Saidenberg was conductor of the Alka Seltzer Radio Hour on NBC radio.  Then, beginning 1946, Daniel Saidenberg founded and was conductor of the the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra.  Daniel and Eleanore Saidenberg became art collectors in the 1940s, and opened an art gallery in Mew York in 1950, representing, among others Picasso 68.  Daniel Saidenberg died on May 18, 1997 in New York City.

1936-1944   Edmund Kurtz

photo   Edmund Kurtz circa 1946


Edmund Kurtz was born in St Petersburg, Russia December 29, 1908 (he was not related to the conductor Ephrem Kurtz, also from Saint Petersburg).  With the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Kurtz family emigrated to Germany, and Edmund at age 9 began cello lessons.  He was sufficiently precocious that four years later, at age 13, Julius Klengel (1859-1933), one of the most famous cello teachers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century accepted Kurtz as a student in Leipzig.  Kurtz made his debut in Rome at age 16 in 1924 in Rome.  1924-1925 he toured Europe, and in 1926-27 he was Principal cello of the Bremen Opera Orchestra.  1927-1930 he toured with the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.  He also made recordings with Polydor beginning in 1927. 1931-1936, he was Principal cello of the Prague German Opera, then conducted by George Szell.  In 1936, he toured with a trio made up of himself and the in a trio whose other members were the Nathan 'Tossy' Spivakovsky (1907-1998 and later Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra) and his pianist brother Jascha Spivakovsky (1896-1970).  This tour resulted in an offer to become Concertmaster with the Chicago Symphony beginning with the 1936-1937 season. After leaving the Chicago Symphony after the 1943-1944 season, Kurtz pursued a solo career, performing in 1945 the Dvorak concerto with Toscanini.  In his later years, Kurtz made a second career preparing and publishing new editions works of the cello repertoire, notably including the Bach Suites.  Edmund Kurtz died in London August 19, 2004.

1944-1953    Dudley H. Powers

photo   Dudley Powers about 1953.  photo: Chicago Symphony archives


Dudley Powers was born June 25, 1911 in Moorhead, Minnesota.  His father taught at the College of Science and Technology at Central Michigan Normal School (later CMU).  With his brothers Harold (second violin) and Arthur (viola), and his sister Dorothy (first violin), Dudley Powers formed a String Quartet, which toured in Michigan, and as far as New York state.  Powers studied at Juilliard from 1925-1929, after which he studied with Emanuel Feuermann (1902-1942) in Switzerland. Dudley Powers joined the cello section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1933-1934 season under Frederick Stock. In 1944 under Désiré Defauw, Powers advanced to Principal cello, where he remained until the end of the 1952-1953 season.  Dudley Powers taught cello at Northwestern University 1955-1979, where he became Chairman of the Strings Department in the 1960s. 

photo  Dudley Powers about 1954 while teaching at Northwestern


He was also, beginning in 1958 long-time conductor of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Greater Chicago.  Also starting in 1958, he was conductor of the Racine Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra 16.  Dudley Powers died, age 92 on February 23, 2004 in Bradenton, Florida.

1953-1958  Janos Starker


János Starker was born July 5, 1924 in Budapest, Hungary.  He studied at the Budapest Franz Liszt Academy of Music and joined the Budapest Opera Orchestra and the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.  In 1948, after a year in Paris, he became Principal cello of the Dallas Symphony selected by the Dallas conductor Antal Dorati.  When Dorati left Dallas at the end of the the 1948-1949 season for Minneapolis, he invited Janos Starker to join him in Minneapolis, which Starker accepted.  However, Fritz Reiner at the MET invited Starker to visit him, which ended up with Starker being hired as Principal cello for the 1949-1950 season. 


János Starker at extreme right with Fritz Reiner conducting circa 1950 at the Metropolitan Opera

Starker gave in his resignation to the MET Orchestra for the end of the 1952-1953 season.  However, Fritz Reiner also left the Metropolitan for the Chicago Symphony end of 1952-1953 and Reiner took Starker with him to became Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony, beginning in 1953-1954.  Janos Starker remained with the Chicago Symphony until he resigned to begin a new career as cello soloist in 1958.

1956  Paul Olefsky


One curious item in the chronology of the Principal cello position of the Chicago Symphony is the listing of the well-known Chicago-born cellist Paul Olefsky as 'Principal cello' of the CSO in 1956.  Following training at the Curtis Institute, two and one half seasons as Principal cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and service in the US Navy Band during the Korean War, by 1953, Paul Olefsky was back in Detroit at the symphony.  He was the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Principal cello.  Then, in the Chicago Symphony musicians' roster 1, Paul Olefsky is listed in 1956 as being 'Principal cello' of the Chicago Symphony, only for 1956, rather than for 1956-1957, as is usual in the roster listings for each season.  Olefsky seems not to have served with the Chicago Symphony for the entire 1956-1957 season, if he did in fact take the Principal chair.   By February, 1957, Paul Olefsky is again listed in newspaper reviews as Principal cello of the Detroit Symphony 76.


Paul Olefsky was born in Chicago on January 4, 1926.  His father, Maxim, born in Russia, was also an orchestra musician and a pianist.  Maxim Olefsky (1899-1989) conducted the radio orchestras of NBC and ABC in Chicago 78.  Paul Olefsky studied at the Curtis Institute with Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976).  Olefsky graduated from Curtis in 1947.  In 1948, at age 22, Paul Olefsky became the youngest Principal cellist in the history of the Philadelphia Orchestra up to that time.  During the 1950-1951 season, in December, 1950, Paul Olefsky left the Philadelphia Orchestra to play in the US Navy band during the Korean War 76.  Following this service, Paul Olefsky became Principal cellist in the newly reorganized Detroit Symphony under Paul Paray.  In June 1953 at the Michael Memorial Music Competition in Chicago, cellist Paul Olefsky won first place, with Van Cliburn placing second 79.  This was a competition, no longer active, for various instruments, rather than for piano or for strings.  By 1954, Paul Olefsky was back in Detroit as Principal cello, serving with Detroit Concertmaster Mischa Mischakoff.  In 1956, as noted above, Paul Olefsky is listed as being 'Principal cello' in the Chicago Symphony roster 1.  Whether he served in Chicago or not, by February, 1957, Paul Olefsky was listed in reviews as 'Principal cello of the Detroit Symphony' 77

photo   Paul Olefsky in Detroit 1958

After the Detroit Symphony, Paul Olefsky seems to have left orchestral life.  He taught in New York at the Julliard School.  During the 1960s and 1970s, Olefsky's performing career as a cellist was primarily devoted to chamber music.  At this time, Paul Olefsky was also active in conducting, which he had done previously on several occasions throughout his career.  Later, Olefsky became Professor of Music at the University of Texas, Austin, from which he has now retired.  In 1989, Paul Olefsky married the cellist Hai Zheng.

1958-1959  Mihaly Virizlay


Mihaly Virizlay was born on November 2, 1931 in Budapest, Hungary.  After his early studies, Mihaly Virizlay or "Misi" gained admission to the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest.  There he studied with, among others an also young Janos Starker .  At the Franz Liszt Academy, Mihaly Virizlay gained his Artist's Diploma in 1955.  The next year, Mihaly Virizlay left Hungary in 1956, following the Soviet invasion of Budapest.  Fritz Reiner appointed Mihaly Virizlay Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony in the 1958-1959 season.  Among Chicago recordings with Reiner, Virizlay may be heard in particular in the long cello solo in the William Tell Overture recorded for RCA Victor LSC-2318 on November 22, 1958.  After Chicago, Mihaly Virizlay was appointed Associate Principal cello of the Pittsburgh Symphony sitting with Principal cello Theo Salzman (1907-1982), under Music Director William Steinberg.  Mihaly Virizlay also toured with his pianist wife Agi Rado in a cello-piano duo 105.  Mihaly Virizlay was named Principal cello of the Baltimore Symphony in the 1962-1963 season.  He suffered a stroke in 2002 after the conclusion of a Baltimore Symphony concert 106, but he continued to perform with the orchestra, serving a total of 42 seasons, 1962- 2004.  Mihaly Virizlay was also a composer and he premiered his Cello Concerto with David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony 1987.  While in Baltimore, beginning in 1964 Mihaly Virizlay taught at the Peabody Conservatory, and is fondly remembered by his many students.   Mihaly Virizlay also taught during summers at the Shawnigan Lake School in British Columbia.  Mihaly Virizlay died in Princeton, New Jersey on October 13, 2008.

1959-1960, 1961-1985   Frank Miller

photo    Frank Miller in 1947


Frank Miller born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 5, 1912.  After study in Baltimore, Frank Miller gained admission to the Curtis Institute, studying with the great Felix Salmond (1888-1952).  Miller graduated from Curtis in the Class of 1933.  Leopold Stokowski, as was sometimes his practice in the early 1930s selected Frank Miller to play in the Philadelphia Orchestra even prior to his graduation, playing in cello section in the 1930-1931 season.  Frank Miller remained in the Philadelphia Orchestra for five seasons 1930-1935.  In Philadelphia, Eugene Ormandy in his last season in Minneapolis prior to coming to the Philadelphia Orchestra heard Frank Miller.  Ormandy selected him to be the Minneapolis Symphony Principal cello in the 1935-1936 season, where he stayed for two years.  Then, in 1938, Frank Miller was selected, first probably by Artur Rodzinski and then auditioned by Arturo Toscanini, to become Principal cello of the newly-formed NBC Symphony.  Frank Miller was Arturo Toscanini's Principal cello for fifteen seasons 1938-1953.  When Toscanini retired from the NBC Symphony, Frank Miller turned to conducting, becoming the Music Director of the Florida Symphony in Orlando 1954-1959.  He had previously conducted concerts of the Minneapolis Symphony.  In the 1959-1960 season, following the departure of Janos Starker, Fritz Reiner selected Miller to be Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony.  Frank Miller took a year's sabbatical from Chicago to become Associate Conductor again with the Minneapolis Symphony.  Miller then returned to the Chicago Symphony as Principal cello under an ailing Fritz Reiner in the 1961-1962 season.  In that same 1961-1962 season, Frank Miller was appointed Music Director of the Evanston Symphony located in a Chicago suburb.  Frank Miller remained Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony for a total of twenty-five seasons under Jean Martinon and Georg Solti, retiring at the end of the 1984-1985 season.  Also in chamber music, Frank Miller led the Chicago Symphony String Quartet for 35 years: Victor Aitay first, Edgar Muenzer second, Milton Preves viola, Frank Miller cello.  Frank Miller's affections for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan was expressed through his direction of the Savoy-Aires in suburban Chicago.  Frank Miller died outside Chicago in Skokie, Illinois on January 6, 1986 after more than fifty years as Principal cello of several famous orchestras, and his parallel career in conducting.

1960-1961   Robert Antonio LaMarchina (or La Marchina)

photo  Robert LaMarchina with his cellist father Antonio LaMarchina


A musician perhaps less remembered today, Robert LaMarchina was a famous child prodigy, and a highly regarded cellist.  Robert LaMarchina was born in New York City on September 3, 1928, son of an Argentine father, Antonio LaMarchina and Brazilian mother.  The family soon moved to Saint Louis, where Antonio LaMarchina (1891-1974) was a cellist with the Saint Louis Symphony.  After his mother left the family, Roberts's childhood in Saint Louis was generally unhappy, and his father was demanding in Robert's cello development.  Robert LaMarchina made his debut at age 8 with the Little Symphony in Saint Louis.  In 1939, he won entry into the Paris Conservatoire, but could not attend due to World War 2.  Instead, he studied with French cellist Maurice Maréchal (1892-1964) and during summers in Los Angeles with Russian cellist Alexander Borisoff (1900-1983), Principal cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  LaMarchina entered the Curtis Institute, where he studied with Emanuel Feuermann and Gregor Piatigorsky.  Robert LaMarchina graduated from Curtis in 1943, and auditioned and was accepted into Toscanini's NBC Symphony cello section.  He was only 15 years old.  In the 1946-1947 season, age 18, LaMarchina was appointed Principal cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Alfred Wallenstein, himself a cellist.  LaMarchina remained in Los Angeles for three seasons, 1946-1949.  Drafted into the US Army in 1949 just before the Korean War, LaMarchina was in the Tokyo headquarters of General MacArthur.  There, he had to learn the horn in order to play with the post band.  While in Tokyo, he taught cello at the Ueno Music School.  While in Tokyo, he had his first experiences in conducting.  After the Army, LaMarchina returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and also played in Hollywood studios.  Beginning in 1955, LaMarchina was conductor of the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation orchestra (which is still active).  In the 1960-1961 season, Fritz Reiner appointed Robert LaMarchina Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony while Frank Miller was on leave to become Associate Conductor with the Minneapolis Symphony.  It is said that as Principal cello, both Mihaly Virizlay in 1958-1959 and Robert LaMarchina in 1960-1961 were hired by Reiner as a filler for the availability of Frank Miller - Virizlay prior to Frank Miller's arrival in 1959-1960 and LaMarchina for the 1960-1961 season while Miller was on leave.  Robert LaMarchina again returned to conducting, in 1962 with the National Symphony of Washington replacing an ill Charles Munch.  He subsequently guest-conducted the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, and the Saint Louis Symphony.  During the 1965-1966 season, he became a conductor of Metropolitan Opera National Company (the MET touring).  Robert LaMarchina in became conductor of the Honolulu Symphony in the 1967-1968 season.  Robert LaMarchina was conductor or Music Director of the Honolulu Symphony for twelve seasons, 1967-1979.  LaMarchina's career declined in later years, perhaps because he had gained a reputation as being difficult to work with and personally abrasive.  Robert LaMarchina's later years were somewhat lonely, and he died in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 30, 2003, age 75. 

1986-present  John Mark Sharp



John Sharp was born in Waco, Texas on December 9, 1958.  At age 13, John Sharp began study with Lev Aronson (1912-1988), the teacher also of Lynn Harrell and Ralph Kirshbaum.  After high school, John Sharp went to nearby Dallas, where he studied for one year at Southern Methodist University.  The next year, John Sharp entered the Juilliard school, where he studied with Lynn Harrell, and earned a Masters degree in music.  While in New York, Sharp was Principal cello of the New York String Orchestra under conductor Alexander Schneider.  John Sharp was also a cellist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  Then, for three seasons, John Sharp was Principal cello for the Cincinnati Symphony under Michael Gielen 1983-1986.  The year 1986 was an important and intensive period for John Sharp as a musician.  While at Cincinnati, John Sharp auditioned for the Chicago Symphony, and won the Principal cello position under Daniel Barenboim.  After the conclusion of the Cincinnati 1985-1986 season, and just before going to Chicago, John Sharp won Third Prize the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in June, 1986.  John Sharp then joined the Chicago Symphony in July, 1986.  John Sharp's wife is Liba Shacht, also a Juilliard graduate, is a violinist with the Chicago Lyric Opera.  A distinctive characteristic of the playing of John Sharp, is his continuously enthusiastic response to the music, strong after three decades of professional performances.

Sharp portrait

Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Principal Violas of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


1891-1892   August Wigger

August Wigger was born in Germany

1892-1897   August Junker


August Junker (or sometimes "Yunker" perhaps to ensure the correct pronunciation) was born in Cologne, Germany, then in Prussia on November 8, 1870.  He graduated from the Cologne Conservatory of Music before 1870.  Junker studied with Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) in Berlin.  Junker played viola with the Berlin Philharmonic in the 1880s, during its initial seasons 136.   August Junker emigrated to the U.S. in November, 1890 to New York City.  He became a U.S. citizen in September, 1897.  Although August Junker is listed as solo viola only beginning with the 1892-1893 season, he is listed as a viola soloist with the orchestra in the Chicago Orchestra program notes for the 1891-1892 season, as well as in the 1894-1895 program notes.  After leaving the Theodore Thomas Orchestra at the end of the 1896-1897 season, Junker departed for Japan.  He left New York in September, 1899, traveling via Europe, and reached Japan in December, 1899.  August Junker taught at the Ueno (Tokyo) Music School from 1899-1912, where he taught "orchestral performance" for 13 years, according to Hikari Kobayashi.  Most of the teachers there were of German origin, such as Raphael von Koebel (1848-1923).  Kobayashi states "...August Junker from the list above is said to have highly improved the performance level of the orchestra through his strict teaching..." 22.  August Junker also was active when the "Teikoku Gekijō (Imperial Theater), opened in March 1911 with a resident philharmonic orchestra directed by August Junker..."  23  Junker also tried his hand at an opera in Japan:  "...In February 1912, the opera Yuya, based on the noh drama and composed by August Junker, was offered. It was not a success... 23 August Junker continued to be active in teaching of Japanese orchestral training over the next 30 years. Being of German origin, although perhaps still a U.S. National, he was welcome as an ally in wartime Japan.   In 1941 he was conductor of the Shochiku Symphony Orchestra, organized by the Shochiku Grand Kabuki Theater in Tokyo 24.  August Junker died in Japan 1944 during the height of the War, but I have not seen the cause.

1897-1898   J. Fritz Keller

Fritz Keller was violist for one season, 1897-1898 with the Chicago Orchestra, or Theodore Thomas Orchestra as it was then called.   Following the season end, Keller also played with the orchestra as violinist at the Trans- Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha, Nebraska in June and July, 1898.

1898-1926  Franz Esser (Principal Viola 1898-1926; Principal Second Violin 1926-39) Violin/Viola 1892-1945

photo     Franz Esser in 1941


Franz Esser was born in Germany in April, 1869.  Like Harry Weisbach and Otto Rohrborn with whom Esser later played in the Chicago String Quartet, Franz Esser studied with Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) at the Berlin Akademische Hochschule für Musik.  Franz Esser emigrated to the U.S. in 1892 at age 22, when he joined Theodore Thomas's Chicago Orchestra as a violinist.  Theodore Thomas had the practice of traveling Europe, and in particular Germany and Vienna in the 1880s and 1890s to recruit musicians for his orchestras, and perhaps Franz Esser was one of these recruits.  Franz Esser was with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for (at the time) a record 53 seasons.  Franz Esser was first in the viola section of the Chicago Orchestra (as it was then called) 1892-1898.  The next season, Franz Esser was advanced to the Principal viola chair, replacing Fritz Keller, who had lasted as Principal for only one season.  Franz Esser was Principal viola for twenty-eight seasons, 1898-1926.  Franz Esser then became Principal Second violin 1926-1939.  At age 70, Franz Esser moved back in the second violin ranks, serving a further six seasons 1939-1945.   He also was the viola in two different versions of the Chicago String Quartet; first with: Leopold Kramer first, Ludwig Becker second, Franz Esser viola, and Carl Brueckner cello 206, and later second with with Concertmaster Harry Weisbach first, Otto Roehrborn second, Franz Esser viola and Karl Brueckner cello (CSO cellist 1893-1934).  Franz Esser retired from the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 1944-1945 season at age 76, a tribute to his long career.  Franz Esser died in Chicago in 1950, age 81.

1926-1939   Clarence Brayton Evans (Principal 1926-39) Viola 1920-1947


Clarence Evans was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota April 16, 1888.  As a youth, he studied violin and viola in Duluth, Minnesota.  One of his first positions was as Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony under Alfred Hertz.  Clarence Evans was Principal viola in San Francisco for three seasons, 1914-1917.  While in San Francisco, Clarence Evans was also active in a quartet of San Francisco musicians comprising Louis Ford first, Emil Rossett second, Clarence Evans viola and Victor de Gomez cello97.  Clarence Evans continued active in string quartets during his career.  In the 1917-1918 season, Clarence Evans was a founding member of the Berkshire String Quartet, based in New York City and funded by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953).  Composition of the Berkshire String Quartet (1916-1941) was: Hugo Kortschak first, Serge Kotlarsky second, Clarence Evansviola and Emmeran Stoeber cello.  Click on thumbnail below to see the Berkshire String Quartet in 1918:


In 1919-1920, Clarence Evans played in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Ossip Gabrilowitsch (1878-1936).  The next season, 1920-1921, Clarence Evans joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra viola section, where he remained for 27 seasons.  Evans became Principal viola in the 1926-1927 season and continued until the end of the 1938-1939 season.  He remained with the orchestra another 11 seasons, retiring at the end of the 1946-1947 season.  After conducting amateur orchestras in the Chicago area in the early 1930s, in 1936, Evans conducted at least one broadcast concert of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from the Grant Park summer music festival.  From 1936-1946, Clarence Evans was Assistant Conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for young orchestra players.  In later years Clarence Evans apparently became heavy in build according to press accounts; he died after 1969.  His wife Louise, also a musician greatly outlived Clarence, dying in 1994 age 98.

1939-1986  Milton Preves (Principal 1939-1986), viola 1934-1939

photo     Milton Preves in 1973


Milton Preves was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 18, 1909.  After studying locally in Cleveland, Milton Preves entered the University of Chicago.  While still a student in 1931, he played viola in the Little Symphony of Chicago, an orchestra for student musicians, and predecessor to the Civic Orchestra of Chicago training orchestra.  This led to Preves joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1934-1935 season under Frederick Stock.  In the 1939-1940 season, Frederick Stock decided to make a change in the viola section, and Clarence Evans moved from the Principal viola position to the second chair, which we would call today Assistant Principal viola.  Milton Preves was Principal viola of the Chicago Symphony for 47 seasons, 1939-1986, bringing his total service in the Chicago Symphony to 52 seasons (!).  Milton Preves was also active in chamber music, first in the Mischakoff Quartet starting in 1933: Mischa Mischakoff first, Samuel Thaviu second, Milton Preves viola, Daniel Saidenberg cello.  Later, Preves was viola in the Chicago Symphony String Quartet: Victor Aitay first, Edgar Muenzer second, Milton Preves viola, Frank Miller cello.  Milton Preves also expanded into conducting, being director of several Chicago area groups, including the Oak Park-River Forest Symphony 1955-1963 from which he resigned in 1963 after a controversy consequent to his invitation to soloist Carol Anderson - later Carol Anderson Neff (1939- ), a black violinist 118

photo     Carol Anderson with Milton Preves 1963

Preves was also Music Director of the North Side Symphony for 26 years, and was conductor of the Wheaton Symphony - Illinois, and the Gary Symphony - Indiana.  Milton Preves retired from the Chicago Symphony in 1986 and died on June 11, 2000 in suburban Chicago, age 91 after a full and varied musical career.

1986-present  Charles Robert Pikler Viola 1978-Principal 1986-present


Charles Pikler was born in Los Angeles, California on September 5, 1951.  He studied first with his musical parents, and then studied at the Tanglewood Young Artist Program, and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.  He pursued his musical studies at the University of Connecticut.  Interestingly, Charles Pikler also studied mathematics at the University of Minnesota graduating with honors.  He began his orchestral career with the Minnesota Orchestra 1971-1973, and with the Cleveland Orchestra 1973-1976.  He then went to the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Edo de Waart 1976-1978.  Charles Pikler then joined the Chicago Symphony violin section under Georg Solti in the 1978-1979 season.  Eight seasons later, Solti named Charles Pikler as Principal viola to succeed the legendary Milton Preves in the 1986-1987 season.  In Chicago, Charles Pikler has a number of other musical activities, both symphony and in chamber music.  He performs with the Sinfonia Orchestra of Chicago, the Ars Viva Orchestra - Chicago, and the Chicago Opera Theater Orchestra.  In suburban Illinois settings, he performs with the Northbrook Symphony, and the River Cities Philharmonic (100 km SW of Chicago).  Charles Pikler is also Concertmaster of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest in suburban Chicago, which Milton Preves had previously conducted.  Charles Pikler is interested in contemporary music.  He gave the premiere of the Frank Beezhold (1915-1989) Viola Concerto in 1990 (which had been composed and dedicated for him) with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.  Pikler also recorded the transcription of this work for viola and piano.  In recording, Charles Pikler has recorded the chamber music of Easley Blackwood (1933- ) with the composer for Cedille Records.  Active in teaching at Northwestern University, Charles Pikler also the founder and Music Director of I-Solisti, a chamber orchestra which is part of the Midwest Young Artists Festival.  Charles Pikler continues the more than a century tradition of excellence of the Chicago Symphony viola section, where Frederick Stock once played.

photo   photo: Todd Rosenberg

Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Principal Double Basses of the Chicago Symphony


1891-1893  (Julius) Albin Wiegner


Julius Albin Wiegner, who was professionally billed as Albin Wiegner (or more usually "A. Wiegner" as was the style then) was born in Altenberg in Saxony, Germany (10 km south of Dresden) on 18 August 1860.  He emigrated to the US in October 1883 at age 23, becoming a US citizen in December 1893.  Wiegner lived initially in Philadelphia and New York City and play with Theodore Thomas's traveling orchestra in the 1880s.  Albin Wiegner then joined Theodore Thomas in forming the newly created Chicago Orchestra (as it was then named) in October 1891.  Albin Wiegner was later Principal bass with the Metropolitan Opera from about 1900 into the 1920s.  While in New York City in the 1920s, Albin Wiegner also taught at the Institute of Musical Arts (which later became the Julliard Institute).  Albin Wiegner died in LaGrange in Dutchess County, New York, 50 km north of New York City on 27 August 1936 at age 76.  He left an estate of $13,000, a substantial amount for that era, particularly in the midst of the great depression.

Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Principal Oboes of the Chicago Symphony


1891-1893  Félix Joseph Bour


  Promotional flyer for the Liberati Band


Félix Bour was born in Belgium in 1850, making him one of the earlier- born Chicago musicians; Theodore Thomas having been born in 1835, and Principal timpani William Loewe having been born in 1834.  After preparation in Belgium, Félix Bour gained entrance to the Paris Conservatoire.  He won his Premiere prix at the Conservatoire in the 1870 Concour.  Félix Bour was invited to join the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, based in New York City in 1885 by Theodore Thomas 99, and remained with Thomas' orchestras, including Chicago thereafter 136.  Félix Bour's arrival created an immediate impact, as a critic noted: "...The most marked change in tonal quality [of the Thomas orchestra] was in the wood-wind choir, and this was caused by the introduction of a new oboe player, a Belgian, M. Felix Bour, who brought into the wood quartet the characteristic French oboe tone. His coming caused a considerable commotion, first because his engagement by Mr. Thomas was in defiance of the laws of the Musical Mutual Protective Union, and second because hasty and indiscrete champions of Mr. Thomas urged the superiority of M. Bour's tone over that of Mr. Joseph Eller [of the New York Philharmonic]..." 137.  Prior to emigrating to New York, Félix Bour also played in the Paris Opera in the 1880s 136.  While based in New York City, Félix Bour also played in the summer of 1889 in the band of the Italian bandmaster Alessandro Liberati (1847-1927).  Bour played for Liberati in the summers of 1889-1891.  In 1891, Félix Bour was one of the Principal musicians brought by Theodore Thomas to join the newly organized Chicago Symphony.  Bour was Principal oboe 1891-1893, and then in the second chair (Assistant Principal oboe in today's terms) 1903-1907.

1893-1904    Friedrick (Friedrich) Starke

Friedrick Starke was born in Germany in June, 1858.  He came to the U.S. in 1893 to join Theodore Thomas's Chicago symphony.  In Chicago, his name was often respelled as 'Frederich' Starke.  Starke was Principal Oboe 1893-1904, and then upon Alfred Barthel moving to the first chair, Starke became Principal English horn 1904-13, until retiring from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the end of the 1912-1913 season.  Starke made a wind arrangement of the Egmont Overture for 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns, 2 Bassoons and Contrabassoon, which is still played occasionally today.

1904-1929   Alfred-Charles Barthel


Alfred-Charles Barthel was born in Meursaut in the south of France on March 29, 1871.  In preparation for the competition to enter the Paris Conservatoire, Barthel studied oboe at the Dijon Conservatoire.  In about 1886, Alfred Barthel won the competition for admission to the Paris Conservatoire.  There, Barthel was a pupil of the famed teacher Georges Gillet (1854-1920), head of the oboe program at the Paris Conservatoire from 1882-1919, and uncle of future Boston Symphony Principal oboe Fernand Gillet.  Barthel won the Premier accessit for oboe in 1889, then the Deuxième prix in 1890, and completed with his award of Premier prix for oboe in 1891 202.  In the next years, Alfred Barthel played with the Lamoureux Orchestra 1894-1898, and the Colonne Orchestra 1998-1900.  During the 1897-1903 seasons, Alfred Barthel was Principal oboe of l'Orchestre de L’Opéra-Comique 41 and of l'Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire 3.  All this was at a time when in Paris, orchestra musicians can (and had to, economically) play in multiple Paris orchestras, where the number of concerts was few, and employment far from full-time.  Alfred Barthel joined Theodore Thomas's Chicago Orchestra in the 1903-1904 season, where he was in the third chair oboe, behind Frederick Starke and Felix Bour 40.  Alfred Barthel returned to France at the end of the 1903-1904 season, intending to remain 3, but finally after negotiations, Alfred Barthel returned to Chicago to became Principal oboe of the the next season 1904-1905.  Alfred Barthel remained Principal oboe for twenty-five seasons, 1904-1929.  When Alfred Barthel became Principal oboe, Frederick Starke moved to English horn 1904-1913 40

photo     Alfred Barthel playing English horn

After Alfred Barthel retired from the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 1928-1929 season, he was active in chamber music, sometimes with his wife playing piano.  Barthel also organized a music school in Chicago 1929-1930, but which failed due to the onset of the economic depression.  In the late 1930s, he organized the Barthel Woodwind Ensemble: Alfred Barthel oboe, Harvey Noack flute, Lillian Poenisch clarinet, Helen Kotas horn, and Herman Bellfuss bassoon 190.  Alfred Barthel then moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he was Professor of Oboe in the 1930s and 1940s.  Barthel died in 1957.

1931-1954   Florian F. Mueller

photo   Florian Mueller in 1954, his last CSO season


Florian Mueller was born in Bay, Michigan June 15, 1904.  His father, Adolf was a tailor, born in Germany, but his mother, Theresa, also born in Michigan was a music teacher.  Florian Mueller was oboe with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under Eugene Goossens in the late 1920s, and with the Sousa Band in 1929 26. Mueller was with the CSO for 27 seasons.  He began as second chair (Assistant Principal oboe in today's terms) 1927-1931.  Then, in the 1931-1932 season, Frederick Stock selected Florian Mueller as Principal oboe.  Meller retained the Principal oboe position for 23 seasons, under conductors Frederick Stock, Artur Rodzinsky, Rafael Kubelik and Fritz Reiner until the end of 1953-1954, when Reiner made wholesale replacements in the Chicago Symphony.  All his career, Florian Mueller was active in woodwind chamber groups.  Mueller was a member of the Chicago Woodwind Quartet: Florian Mueller oboe, Ernest Leigl, flute, Robert Lindemann, clarinet, and Hugo Fox, bassoon during the 1930s.  Florian Mueller was responsible for the transcription of most of the music for this quartet.  Florian Mueller also wrote Five Symphonic Etudes for Orchestra, which was played by the Chicago Symphony in February, and May 1942 27.  Mueller also wrote several works for concert band, of which his Concert Overture in G, which were counterpoint variations on a theme by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), seems to have been the most frequently performed. 

photo Florian Mueller in about 1960


Mueller joined the University of Michigan music faculty in 1954 after retiring from the orchestra.  There he organized the University of Michigan Woodwind Quintet, with Nelsen Haunenstein, oboe, Clyde Carpenter, French horn, Albert Luconi, clarinet, and Lewis Cooper, bassoon 25.  Cooper and Luconi were former members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra 26.   Florian Mueller died in retirement in Saint Petersburg, Florida in March 1983.

1954-1993   Ray R. Still Jr.


Ray Still was born in Elwood, Indiana on March 12, 1920.  As a child, he moved to Iowa until age 11, and then in 1931 to California, where his family sought a better life during the economic depression.  At age 14 in Los Angeles, Ray Still began study of the clarinet, which he continued to play throughout his life.  He also ushered without pay at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in order to hear the music.  In later years, Still said it was the playing of the great Belgian oboe player, Henri B. de Busscher (1884-1975) who had been Principal oboe of the Queen's Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood, and of the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch that convinced Ray Still to take up the oboe.  Henri de Busscher was Principal oboe of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 28 seasons, 1920-1948, after which he played for Hollywood studios.   Ray Still studied with the Naples Italy-born musician, Philip Memoli (1874-1957), Le Busscher's second chair partner of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who play for the Orchestra for 13 seasons.  Still said that Memoli and Le Busscher both favored a long, singing style of oboe playing. Still played with the local WPA orchestra and other local training orchestras.  At age 19, Ray Still was second oboe with the Kansas City Philharmonic 1939-1941.  After leaving the Army in June, 1946, Ray Still entered Juilliard.  Still studied with his oboe hero, Robert Bloom, who taught Still for free since Bloom was not then teaching at Juilliard, and Still had no money.  After graduation for Juilliard, Ray Still became Principal oboe of the Buffalo Philharmonic under William Steinberg or two seasons, 1947-1949.  1949-1953, Still was Principal oboe with the Baltimore Symphony, also teaching at the Peabody Institute.  Still auditioned for the second oboe position of the Chicago Symphony where Fritz Reiner had just become Music Director.  He was hesitant to accept a second seat, but decided to go to Chicago, since he had won a competition for the New York Philharmonic under Dimitri Mitropoulos for the next season.  Instead in 1954, Reiner offered Still the Principal oboe position of the Chicago Symphony, where he stayed for more 49 seasons.

photo   Ray Still making reeds in Chicago


However, all was not always smooth sailing.  Ray Still and Reiner's successor Jean Martinon did not get along.  Also, Still was an organizer of the musicians and elected an orchestra negotiating representative.  It is also said that Still, a strong personality, did not call Martinon "maestro".  In any case, Martinon tried to fire Still in 1967 42.  Still fought back and after eight months of arbitration, he was restored with seniority.  However, the relationship continued to be difficult until George Solti replaced Jean Martinon in 1969.  After 50 seasons, Ray Still retired from the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 1992-1993 season.  During his Chicago tenure, Ray Still taught several next generations of oboe players at Northwestern University.  Ray Still died overnight just after his 94th birthday on March 12, 2014.  His great musical heritage is preserved in a series of memorable Chicago Symphony recordings.

1995-2004   Alex Klein


Alex Klein was born in Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil on January 5, 1965.  His studies began early and at age only eleven, he joined a leading chamber group the Camerata Antigua.  Klein pursued his studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Ohio, where he gained a BMus and his Artist's Diploma.  He was selected as Principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim in the 1995-1996 season at age 30.  While in Chicago, Alex Klein won a Grammy in 2002 as Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra for his recording of the Richard Strauss Oboe Concerto, performing with Daniel Barenboim with the Chicago Symphony.  Unfortunately, at this period of growth and achievement, in the summer experienced the effects of focal dystonia, a motor-neural difficulty which effects muscle and reflex control.  This was the condition which sidetracked the piano virtuoso Leon Fleisher for a number of years.  In 2004, Alex Klein took the difficult decision to resign from the Chicago Symphony in order to seek to restore his health.  Since this decision, Alex Klein has turned his energies to teaching and mentoring, including among others at his alma mater, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.  He is also Artistic Director of the São Paulo International Chamber Music Festival, the Oferenda Musical.  His musical creativity continues, both with the Festival and with his teaching, an we may look forward to hearing him again soon.

2005-present   Eugene Izotov

photo   photo: Todd Rosenberg


Eugene Izotov was born in Moscow in 1973.  He began oboe study early at 6 years old at the Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow.  This lead to early recognition of his musical gifts, including winning the Russia Wind Players Competition in 1991 at age 19.  In about 1994, Izotov went to Boston to study with Boston Symphony Principal oboe Ralph Gomberg (1921-2006) at Boston University.  Izotov went on to participate in the Tanglewood Music Center in the program of summer of 1995.  Immediately thereafter, Eugene Izotof was appointed Principal oboe of the Kansas City Symphony in the 1995-1996 season.  In the next year, he was appointed Associate Principal oboe of the San Francisco Orchestra 1996-2001. 



In 2001, Eugene Izotof won First Prize in the Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Oboe Competition.  In the 2002-2003 season, Izotof became Principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where he stayed for three seasons.  In the 2005-2006, Izotof became Principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim.  While at San Francisco, Izotof taught oboe at the San Francisco Conservatory, and while at the MET, he taught at Juilliard.  Eugene Izotof in Chicago continues his artistic innovation, such as in the June 2013 performance with Riccardo Muti of the Oboe Concerto by the great, and not yet fully appreciated Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959).


Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras



The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Bassoon Section 1972

(l to r) Willard Elliot, Principal, John Raitt, Assistant Principal, Wilbur H. Simpson, Second, and Burl Lane, Contrabassoon


Principal Bassoons of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


1891-1893  Hugo E. Litke


Hugo Litke was born in Hamburg, Germany on September 14, 1863.  Theodore Thomas traveled in Europe, particularly in Germany and Austria each summer, recruiting musicians and collecting new music.  Thomas engaged Hugo Litke to come to the US for the initial two seasons of Thomas's Chicago Orchestra as it was then called.  Hugo Litke was Principal bassoon in Chicago 1891-1893.  Hugo Litke's brother, Paul Litke (1870- ) was also a bassoon player and joined Hugo Litke as a substitute bassoon with the Chicago Symphony.  In 1894, Hugo Litke relocated to New York City.  Then, in the 1894-1895 season, Hugo Litke joined the Boston Symphony under Emil Paur as Principal bassoon.  Paul Litke soon joined his brother in Boston in 1896-1897, playing bassoon and contrabassoon.  Hugo Litke remained Principal bassoon in Boston 1894-1901.  During that period, the Boston Symphony bassoon section comprised Hugo Litke and Paul Litke with the long-time (1886-1906) BSO Second bassoon and contrabassoon Frederick Hermann Guenzel.  While in Boston, Hugo Litke was also active in the Georges Longy Club, a wind chamber music group organized by Georges Longy.  Hugo Litke also played chamber music with the Kneisel Quartet.   At the end of the 1900-1901 season, Hugo and Paul Litke left the Boston Symphony, now under the direction of Wilhelm Gericke.  Seven seasons later, Hugo Litke again returned to Boston for the 1907-1908 season, sitting in the Second bassoon chair, next to Principal bassoon Peter Sadony. 

1893-1895   Oskar Max Modess


Oskar Modess, with wife Anna, sons Walter and Edgar in 1922


Oskar Modess was born in Mittweida (between Leipzig and Dresden), Germany on January 12, 1868.  He was recruited by Theodore Thomas to the Chicago Orchestra and emigrated to the U.S. in April, 1893.  Modess was Principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony 1893-1895.  He was then selected by Fritz Scheel as the first Principal bassoon of the newly formed Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1900-1901 season.  Modess left the Philadelphia Orchestra after one season and went to New York City, where he played in New York concerts.  Oskar Modess joined the John Philip Sousa Band in 1910-1911 and went on their 1911 around-the-world tour to England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  Modess produced a widely used bassoon teaching chart in 1916.  In the 1920s and 1930s, Oskar Modess played oboe in New York City theater and hotel orchestras.

1894-1897   Heinrich Lange

Records of Heinrich Lange are unclear.  He may have been born in Germany in 1848. 

1897-1899  Max Bachmann


Max Bachmann was born in near Wuppertall, North Rhine-Westphalia, in central Germany on August 3, 1874.  He was an early-developing musician and played bassoon in St. Petersburg, Russia in the late 1890s.  Also a composer, in 1897, Max Bachmann composed an Albani Caprice Polka for violin and piano, in honor of the Canadian soprano Emma Albani, with whom Bachmann toured on her transcontinental tour of Canada in 1896.  Max Bachmann was appointed Principal bassoon of the Chicago Orchestra in the 1897-1898 season when he was 23.  Bachmann remained for two seasons 1897-1899.  The strength of the wind players was demonstrated by the musicians who first played the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Chicago Symphony on February 24, 1899.  Max Bachmann was joined by his fellow first-chair musicians: Friedrick Starke oboe, Joseph Schreurs clarinet and Leopold de Maré horn, conducted by the great Theodore Thomas.  After Chicago, Bachmann moved to New York City, where he was a concert musician from 1902 until at least 1910.  In at least 1902 and 1903, he conducted a group called the "New England Lady's Orchestra" made up of women amateurs from the Boston area, which played at the summer concerts popular in that era. 


Max Bachmann seems to have returned to Germany in the 1920s and according to German National Archives, Koblenz, Germany 1986 207 Max Bachmann born on this same date and same location was killed on November 2, 1942 in the German Theresienstadt Concentration Camp 207.

1899-1908, 1909-1916   Paul Karl Ludwig Kruse (Principal Bassoon 1899-1908, 1909-1916; Principal Contrabassoon 1916-1923)


Paul Kruse was born in Schwerin in the Mecklenburg area of north Germany near Lubeck on September 1, 1861.  In Mecklenburg, Kruse studied bassoon and contrabassoon with Martin Zuhr.  Kruse then became Principal bassoon in a series of orchestras: Hamburg - Germany, and in the Netherlands in Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.  Paul Kruse emigrated to the U.S. in 1899 to join Theodore Thomas's orchestra.  Paul Kruse was likely one of Theodore Thomas' recruits during his annual summer visits to Europe.  Kruse was solo or Principal bassoon for nine seasons from 1899-1908, into the directorship of Frederick Stock.  Paul Kruse returned to the Chicago orchestra in the 1909-1910 season again as Principal 1909-1916.  Then, with the appointment of Walter Guetter as Principal bassoon, Paul Kruse became Contrabassoon in Chicago for an additional seven seasons, 1916-1923.  At that time, the Chicago bassoon section consisted of Walter Guetter Principal bassoon, Hjalmar Rabe second bassoon, William Krieglstein third bassoon, and Paul Kruse contrabassoon.  Paul Kruse also trained his two sons, William H. E. Kruse and Paul Kruse, Jr. as bassoonists.  William H. E. Kruse played bassoon under Leopold Stokowski in the Philadelphia Orchstra 1920-1921.  Paul Kruse retired from the Chicago Symphony at the the end of the 1922-1923 season, due to ill health.  Paul Kruse died in Chicago on July 5, 1923, age 62.

1916-1918, 1919-1922  Julius Walter Guetter


Walter Guetter was born in Philadelphia on April 17, 1895, where his parents had emigrated from Germany in 1892. His father Julius was a violin maker. Walter went to Berlin at the age of 15 to study bassoon for four years with his uncle, Adolf Guetter. Adolf Guetter had played Principal bassoon with the Boston Symphony under Artur Nikisch from 1891-1894. On Walter's return to the U.S. in early 1915, he briefly played with the Philadelphia Orchestra, but after auditioning during the Summer of 1915, he entered the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the 1915-1916 season.  The next two seasons, 1916-1918 he became Principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony, and then after a year off for World War 1, returned to Chicago as Principal for 1919-1922. In the 1922-1923 season, he returned to his native Philadelphia as Principal oboe with the Philadelphia Orchestra.   This formed, as a result, the Orchestra's famous group of Walter Guetter bassoon, Marcel Tabuteau, oboe, and William Kincaid, flute, the three of whom played together for the next 15 years. Walter Guetter was sickly all during the 1930s, and according to an interview with Sol Schoenbach, Guetter took off on season in the mid-1930s, when he was replaced by Ferdinand Del Negro.  To experience the magic of Walter Guetter's artistry, listen to the 1929 Sacre du Printemps or the November, 1935 Stravinsky Firebird. On May 1, 1937, Walter Guetter, who had been in frail health for a number of years, died of cancer aged only 42.

1918-1919   Hjalmar Franz Rabe served the orchestra 1895-1945

Hjalmar Rabe was born in Norway on January 30, 1872.  He studied violin in Norway, and then, in Germany in the late 1880s took up the bassoon.  Hjalmar Rabe came to the U.S. in 1894, and joined the Theodore Thomas orchestra in the 1895-1896 season as a violinist.  He also played bassoon and contrabassoon, and soon played primarily in the Chicago Symphony bassoon section.  Rabe became a U.S. citizen in 1900.  In the 1918-1919 season, while Walter Guetter was away due to World War 1 service, Hjalmar Rabe was appointed Principal bassoon.  The next season, when Walter Guetter returned, Hjalmar Rabe returned to the second chair bassoon position, and also to contrabassoon.  In his last season, 1944-1945, Hjalmar Rabe was named Principal Contrabassoon of the orchestra.  Rabe's 49 seasons with the Chicago Symphony was the longest service of any Chicago Symphony musician (so far).  During this time, Hjalmar Rabe taught at the Mendelssohn Conservatory in Chicago.  As well as teaching bassoon, Hjalmar Rabe continued to teach the violin.  He retired from the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 1944-1945 season at age 73.  He died August 3, 1958 at age 86.  His obituary said that Hjalmar Rabe practiced both the violin and the bassoon every day until the illness that preceded his death 31.

1922-1949  Hugo Eugene Fox

photo   Hugo Fox in 1924, early in his Chicago Symphony career

Hugo Fox was born in Sidney, Indiana, a rural area in the north of Indiana, 120km southeast of Chicago on February 3, 1897.  Interestingly, although he traveled widely, Hugo Fox spent most of his life either in Chicago, or in the town of South Whitley, Indiana, 5 km from his birthplace.  By 1916-1917, Hugo Fox was studying bassoon with Adolf Weiss, at that time a bassoon of the Chicago Symphony.  By the early 1920s, Hugo Fox was studying with Walter Guetter, his distinguished predecessor as Principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony.  In 1922, at age 25, following the departure of Walter Guetter for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Hugo Fox was appointed Principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony by Frederick Stock.  Sitting in the second bassoon chair was Hjalmar Rabe, a former CSO Principal bassoon during the one season when Guetter was active in World War 1.  Hugo Fox was Principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony for twenty-seven seasons, retiring at the end of the 1948-1949 season  While in Chicago, Hugo Fox also taught at Northwestern University.  Following his retirement, in 1949, Hugo Fox founded the Fox Bassoon Company to produce bassoons.  The success of this enterprise can be measured by its production.  Its first commercial bassoon was produced in 1951 and by 1960, it was producing 63 in a year.  By 1983, Fox production was of "...700 instruments ranging in price from $2,000 to more than $7,000..." 123.  Hugo Fox died in South Whitley, Indiana on December 29, 1969, but his legacy, including the Fox company's manufacture of bassoons, contrabassoons and oboes continues today.

1949-1951  Sherman Abbott Walt


  Sherman Walt with his distinctive black oboe.   photo: Boston Symphony archives


Sherman Walt was born in Virginia, Minnesota August 22, 1923 of Russian Jewish parents, Benjamin and Pearl Walt. When Sherman Walt was a teen-ager, Dmitri Mitropoulos, then conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony told Benjamin and Pearl "This boy has to play the bassoon."  Walt was admitted to the Curtis Institute in about 1939, and Mitropoulos sent Walt a monthly allowance. At Curtis, Sherman Walt studied under Ferdinand Del Negro and Marcel Tabuteau. in about 1942, Sherman Walt entered the U.S. Army where he won a Bronze Star for valor, participating from the Normandy landings until the Army's entry into Germany.  Upon discharge, Sherman Walt joined the bassoon section of the Chicago Symphony in the 1946-1947 season. Sherman Walt became Principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony for two seasons, 1949-1951. In the 1953-1954 season, based in part on a recommendation by George Szell, Sherman Walt joined the Boston Symphony under Charles Munch as Principal bassoon. Walt taught bassoon at Boston University and the New England Conservatory. Sherman Walt retired from the Boston Symphony at the end of the 1988-1989 season in May, 1989. Sherman Walt died just months after retiring, hit by an automobile in suburban Boston on October 26,1989.

1951-1964  Leonard Sharrow


Leonard Sharrow was born in New York City August 4, 1915, the son of Saul Sharrow, violinist with the New York Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.  Sharrow studied the violin, but by age 16, became interested in the bassoon.  At age 19, he went to Juilliard, where he graduated in 1935.  From 1935-1937, he was bassoon with the National Symphony of Washington DC.  In 1937, he joined the newly formed NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini and later became its Principal bassoon.  He left the NBC in 1941, drafted into the U.S. Army.  In the 1946-1947 season, Sharrow joined the Detroit Symphony.  In 1947, Sharrow was invited to return to the NBC Symphony as Principal bassoon. He stayed with the NBC Symphony until 1951, when he became Principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony under Rafael Kubelik, remaining until the end of the 1963-1964 season.  He then became music professor at Indiana University for 13 years.  While at IU, he also spent his summers at the Aspen Music Festival.  In 1977, Sharrow then returned to the symphonic world, becoming Co-Principal bassoon of the Pittsburgh Symphony, where he stayed until 1987. Sharrow then returned to Indiana University.  In 1999, Sharrow moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to be near his son, where he died of leukemia in August 9, 2004, just before his 89th birthday.

1964-1996   Willard Somers Elliot


Willard Elliot was born on July 18, 1926 in Fort Worth, Texas.  Willard Elliot was interested in music at an early age, taking piano lessons like most children, but concentrating on the training.  Elliot moved on to clarinet before his teenage years, and then became fascinated by the bassoon.  This he started at age 14 in 1940.  Willard Elliot studied initially at North Texas State University, north of Fort Worth.  He was then accepted into the Eastman School of Music, where he earned his BMus and MMus in 1945 in performance and composition.  Following Eastman, Elliot joined the Houston Symphony 1945-1948, and then moved to Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  He played in Dallas for 11 seasons about 1953-1964.  In 1964, Elliot won the audition with Jean Martinon to become Principal bassoon with the Chicago Symphony, succeeding Leonard Sharrow.  During his 33 seasons with the Chicago Symphony, Willard Elliot gained the reputation of the "consummate professional", always prepared and never ruffled, regardless of conditions.  Of course, his gifts as a bassoonist were at the rank necessary for a Principal wind of one of the most famous wind sections of the world's orchestras  As an active composer, his Elegy for Orchestra was co-winner of the Koussevitzky Foundation Award in 1961, and his Bassoon Concerto was performed by the Chicago Symphony.  After retiring from the Chicago Symphony, Willard Elliot moved to Ft. Worth to teach music at Texas Christian University.  Willard Elliot died there on June 7, 2000, at age 73.


1997-present David McGill

photo   photo: Todd Rosenberg


David McGill was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1963.  He began clarinet studies at age 11, but soon switched to the bassoon.  David McGill studied with Jane Orzel, then Principal bassoon of the Tulsa Philharmonic.  When Jane Orzel relocated to California, David McGill auditioned for the Principal bassoon position in Tulsa, which he won.  He joined the Tulsa Philharmonic in his senior year of high school, 1980-1981.  He then entered the Curtis Institute, where he graduated in the Class of 1985.  After Curtis, he held a series of Principal bassoon positions.  First, for three seasons, David McGill was Principal bassoon of the Toronto Symphony 1985-1988 under Sir Andrew Davis (1975–1988).  Then, David McGill was then appointed Principal bassoon of the Cleveland Orchestra 1988-1997 under Christoph von Dohnányi.  Third, and until today, David McGill was appointed Principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony in the autumn of 1996, succeeding the legendary Willard Elliot.  McGill took up the first chair in Chicago beginning in September 1997. 



One of the famous bassoons of the world, in 2001, David McGill won a Grammy Award as Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra recording of the Richard Strauss Wind Concerti with Barenboim.  In 1994, McGill played the world premiere of the Canadian composer Oskar Morawetz (1917-2007) work Concerto for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra which was written for David McGill.  During the 2003-2004 season, McGill took sabbatical leave from the CSO, during which season he taught at Indiana University.  As well as teaching, David McGill has written on performance, including Sound in Motion: A Performer’s Guide to Greater Musical Expression published by Indiana University Press.  David McGill continues the great tradition of the double-reed musicians of the Chicago Symphony over the last century and one quarter.

Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Principal Flutes of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


  1891-1895  Vigo Andersen



Vigo Anderson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1852 to the flute teacher Christian Joachim Anderson (1816-1899) and Caroline Fredrikke Andkjaer (1825-1898).  He was brother of the famous flute soloist and composer Karl Joachim Andersen (1847-1909).  Both Joachim Andersen and Vigo Anderson played flute with the Danish Royal Orchestra in the 1870s, and with the Berlin Philharmonic in the early 1880s, just after the founding of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1882.  It is interesting that Joachim Andersen was also the teacher of Ary van Leeuwen (1875-1953) who was selected by Mahler for the Vienna State Opera, and later played Principal flute with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  Vigo Anderson left Denmark on a one year leave of absence during the 1889-1890 season, and went to the U.S.  In fact, he left behind his wife, children and debts.  He never returned to Denmark.  Vigo Anderson first performed in the Twenty-second Regiment Band in New York in 1890, and then joined the Chicago Orchestra under Theodore Thomas in its initial 1891-1892 season 15.  Vigo Anderson remained solo flute until 1895. Andersen committed a dramatic suicide on January 29, 1895, when he invited 20 friends to a celebration.  When Vigo arrived, he immediately shot himself, with his motivation not stated 14, but perhaps related to his leaving behind his wife and children, indebted in Denmark.  Certainly a sad and dramatic end.

January 1895-end of 1894-1895 season Edwin S. Timmons

Edwin Timmons played both flute and saxophone in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1893-1895 under Theodore Thomas.  Timmons took over as Principal flute in January, 1895 following the suicide of Vigo Anderson and finished out the 1894-1895 season.  Following this season as Principal flute, Timmons left the Orchestra, perhaps not being offered a continuation of his contract as Principal flute.

1895-1896   Adolph Buchheim

Adolph Buchheim was born in the state of Hessen (Frankfurt area) Germany in 1858 and joined the Theodore Thomas orchestra for one season, 1895-1896.  Buchheim also played flute at the Ohio summer music festival of 1897 28.  He seems to have returned to Germany thereafter.

1896-1926 Alfred Felix Quensel


  Alfred Quensel in 1897 with his gold-headed flute


Alfred Quensel was born on April 25, 1869 in Weida, Germany, about 60 km south of Leipzig.  Alfred Quensel was solo flute with the Berlin Philharmonic under Arthur Nikisch from 1893-1896.  He emigrated to the U.S. in 1896 to join the Chicago Symphony, probably at the request of Theodore Thomas, who toured Europe each summer scouting new musicians for his orchestra.  The Flutist By Emil Medicus said that Quensel used a wood flute with a gold head-joint 13 as can be seen in the photograph above.  In the 1926-1927 season, Alfred Quensel was a flute soloist in concerts in the Chicago area.  Probably about 1930, Alfred Quensel seems to have returned to Germany 64.  Quensel's daughter and wife Ottilie both died in Illinois.  Ottilie may have returned to the U.S. following Alfred's death to live with her daughter.  Alfred Quensel died in Germany in 1947.

1906-1907 ? Otto Carl Friedrich Stoeckert (or Stöckert)


Otto Stoeckert is listed in the Chicago Symphony rosters as "Principal flute 1907-1907" which suggests only a partial season. A Chicago Symphony roster for the 1906-1907 season also lists Stoeckert as Principal flute. However, at this time Otto Stoeckert was Principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra 1906-1913. If he was named Principal in Chicago, this seems to have been only briefly.


Otto Stoeckert was born in Germany in 1863.   He emigrated to the U.S. in 1884, and settled in New York City.  Stoeckert played in numerous concert groups in New York City during the 1890s.   Otto Stoeckert became Principal flute in the Seidl Orchestra that conductor Anton Seidl organized in 1897, which likely would have continued except for the event of Seidl's sudden death in 1898.  Otto Stoeckert was Principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at least from 1905 until 1913.  As did most other musicians of this era, Stoeckert played in summer festival orchestras in the 1910s.  As described above, Stoeckert is also listed by the Chicago Symphony archives as being Principal flute with the Chicago Symphony in 1907, apparently for less than a full season, if at all.  Stoeckert also seems to have been a Principal flute with the New York Symphony, which in the early MET years was the house orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera.  Otto Stoeckert died in Brooklyn, New York on March 23, 1913 at the end of the 1912-1913 season, age only 50.

1926-1928 Theodore Charles Yeschke

Theodore Yeschke was born January 26, 1886 in the village then called Königshütte in Silesia at that time in Germany, and now called Chorzów, Poland.  Theodore Yeschke emigrated to New York City in 1907, and became a US citizen in 1915.  In January, 1912, Yeschke appears in New York newspapers as escaping from a hotel fire with his instrument.  In the 1910 until 1920, Yeschke was a theater musician in New York City.  He then, in the 1921-1922 season, was appointed Principal flute for the Detroit Symphony under Ossip Gabrilowitsch.  However, the next season, the Detroit Symphony suspended its concerts.  Yeschke then moved to Chicago, where he was appointed Principal flute of the Chicago Symphony for two season 1926-1928 by Frederick Stock.  From 1930 into the 1940s, Theodore Yeschke was clarinet solo with radio musician WGN in Chicago, as did his CSO Principal flute colleague Ernst Liegl.  At WGN, musicians worked a full 52 week season, not then the case for any USA orchestras except the Boston Symphony and Toscanini's NBC symphony.  Salaries were also higher at WGN 189.  In 1952, Theodore Yeschke and his wife Eva retired to the warmer climate of Albuquerque, New Mexico where their daughter lived, and where Yeschke died on January 31, 1958, age 72 212.

1928-1944, 1953-1957 Ernst Liegl

photo   Ernst Liegl in 1954


Ernst (or Ernest) Liegl was born May 3, 1900 in Austria.  He emigrated to the US with his family in 1906.  His teachers, primarily in New York City, included some of the best of the era: Leonardo De Lorenzo, Georges Barrère and Marcel Moyse 64.  In the early 1920s, Ernst Liegl toured with the John Philip Sousa Band.  Ernst Liegl was piccolo for the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra under Emil Oberhoffer 1920-1928.  Liegl was then appointed Principal flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 1928-1929 season under Frederick Stock.  Liegl continued as Principal flute o f the CSO for twenty seasons, 1924-1944 under conductors Stock and Désiré Defauw. 


Ernst Liegl was one of a number of Chicago Symphony musicians who moved to the radio orchestra of WGN Chicago in 1944.  At WGN, they worked a full 52 week season and at higher salaries 189.  He was then, Kansas City Philharmonic Concertmaster in late 1940s.  In 1953, with the arrival of Fritz Reiner, Liegl returned to the Chicago Symphony as Principal flute.  This was following the departure of Julius Baker.  Ernst Liegl was dismissed by Fritz Reiner at the end of the 1956-1957 season, one of Reiner's periodic cycle of firings.  Liegl taught flute at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois for many years.  Ernst Liegl died on July 14, 1993 in Evanston, Illinois, where he had lived for nearly 50 years.

1944-1946 Harvey C. Noack

Harvey Noack was born on July 4, 1901, in Jefferson Township, Iowa.  His father, Peter Noack was an amateur violinist, playing in a local orchestra.  As a youth, Harvey Noack played flute and saxophone in the family dance orchestra which played local concerts in the 1910s.  In early 1920s, he was a theater orchestra musician at the Isis Theater in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and then in Chicago.  In 1924 and 1925, he went to Paris where he studied with Louis Fleury (1878-1926).  Returning to the USA, he joined the flute section of the Chicago Symphony for the 1925-1926 season.  He then played flute in the Minneapolis Symphony in the 1928-1929 season.  In the late 1930s, Noack played in chamber music groups, including the Barthel Woodwind Ensemble: Alfred Barthel oboe, Harvey Noack flute, Lillian Poenisch clarinet, Helen Kotas horn, and Herman Bellfuss bassoon 190.  Harvey Noack was in the flute section of the CSO 1943-1946 and was Principal flute 1944-1946.  Following the Chicago Symphony, Noack was a member of the Chicago Opera orchestra about 25 years.  Harvey Noack died in Iowa on April 10, 1963.


1946-1951 René Rateau


René Rateau was born in Le Creusot, in the Burgundy region of eastern France on April 12, 1909.  He studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Philippe Gaubert (1879-1941), winning Premiere prix in the 1928 Concour.  After the Paris Conservatoire, René Rateau played flute in the Paris Opera Orchestra.  In September, 1938, René Rateau came to Boston to join the Boston Symphony for the 1938-1939 season.  He then returned to Paris in the summer of 1939.  It is not clear if he planned to return to Boston the next season, or if the German invasion of France interfered with his return.  In any case, Rateau played flute with l'Orchestre national de la radiodiffusion, Paris during World War 2.  At the war's end, René Rateau returned to the US, becoming Principal flute of the Minnesota Symphony 1945-1946.  The next season, René Rateau was appointed Principal flute of the Chicago Symphony by Désiré Defauw.  He remained Principal during the season that Artur Rodzinski was Music Director.  At the end of the 1950-1951 season, the new Chicago Music Director Rafael Kubelik replaced three CSO Principals, in what was locally called the "Saturday night massacre" Ignatius Gennusa, Principal clarinet, Sherman Walt, Principal bassoon, and René Rateau, Principal flute.  René Rateau returned to Paris, Iggy Gennusa went on to the Baltimore Symphony, and Sherman Walt went on to his legendary career with the Boston Symphony.  As well as teaching, it seems that René Rateau returned to l'Orchestre national de la radiodiffusion as Principal flute.  The advantage of the French radio orchestra was its year-around employment.

1951-1953  Julius Baker

photo     Julius Baker in 1951


Julius Baker was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 23, 1915 of a family of Russian-Jewish heritage.  He began flute lessons with his Russian emigrant father, who unfortunately died while Julius was an adolescent.  Baker then studied in Cleveland with August Caputo and Robert Morris, Cleveland Orchestra flute 1942-1947.  Julius Baker entered the Curtis Institute, where he studied primarily with William Kincaid, also taking classes with Marcel Tabuteau.  Baker graduated from the Curtis Institute in the class of 1937.  He then joined the Cleveland Orchestra under Artur Rodzinski as second flute, sitting next to Principal flute Maurice Sharp, 1937-1941.  Julius Baker then moved to the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner as Principal flute for two seasons, 1941-1943 prior to entering the military during the war.  After World War 2, Julius Baker became Principal flute with the CBS radio Symphony Orchestra in New York City (which had the advantage of year-around employment).  During this time, he joined the Bach Aria Group, of which he was one of the founding members, and with whom Baker continued to perform for eighteen years. 

photo     Julius Baker in 1949


When the CBS orchestra was disbanded, Julius Baker moved to the Chicago Symphony as Principal flute under Rafael Kubelik in the 1951-1952 season.  When Fritz Reiner became Music Director of the CSO in the 1953-1954 season, Julius Baker left the Chicago Symphony and returned to New York City.  Julius Baker became Principal flute of the New York Philharmonic in the 1965-1966 season.  His distinguished flute career continued with the New York Philharmonic for eighteen seasons, through the 1982-1983 season.  Julius Baker taught at both his alma mater, Curtis, and at the Julliard School from 1954 to 2003.  Julius Baker died in New York City on August 6, 2003.

1953-1957  Ernst Liegl - See Ernst Liegl 1928-1944


1957-1999  Donald V. Peck (Assistant Principal 1957-1958, Principal 1958-1999)


      Cover of Donald Peck's fascinating 2007 memoire 'The Right Place, The Right Time' Indiana University Press 62


Donald Peck was born on January 26, 1930 in Seattle, Washington.  Peck grew up in Yakima, Washington (150 km southeast of Seattle) where his first flute teacher was Lois Schaefer (1924- ) who was later Principal flute with the New York City Opera 62 and Assistant Principal flute of the Boston Symphony 1965-1990.  (Incidentally, Lois Schaefer was also sister of Boston Symphony cellist Winifred Schaefer, married to Samuel Mayes, both playing both in the Boston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.)  Donald Peck gained experience as an orchestral flute in the Seattle Youth Symphony and as a teen he played in the Seattle Symphony with his teacher, Frank Horsfall 59.  Peck won a competition to enter the Curtis Institute, studying with William Kincaid.  After graduation from Curtis in 1952 62.  Because of the Korean War, Peck spent three years in the U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Marine Symphony 1952-1955, and also with the Washington National Symphony.  Then, for two seasons, 1955-1957, Donald Peck was principal flute of the Kansas City Philharmonic.  In the summer of 1957, after leaving Kansas City, and prior to joining the Chicago Symphony, Peck was Principal flute of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra 61.  In the 1957-1958 season, Fritz Reiner selected Donald Peck as assistant Principal flute, in the chair next to Principal Ernest Liegl.  Peck seems to have gotten along well with Fritz Reiner after Reiner challenged Peck, and Peck succeeded.  Reiner seemed to have a pattern of mentally torturing the weaker personalities of the Chicago Symphony, but he left alone strong musicians who would fight back, such as Donald Peck and Ray Still.  In the 1980s, Peck frequently performed at the Pablo Casals Festival.  In 1985, Peck performed the premiere of the Morton Gould Flute Concerto, dedicated to him under Sir Georg Solti.  During much of his Chicago career, Donald Peck taught at DePaul University, and later at Roosevelt University, as well as numerous master classes in the U.S. and internationally.  His distinguished career with the Chicago Symphony ended at the completion of the 1998-1999 season.

1999-2014  Mathieu Dufour

photo   photo: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Todd Rosenberg


Mathieu Dufour was born in Paris, France in 1972 58.  Dufour began his flute studies at age 8 with Madeleine Chassang at the Paris Conservatoire, and then continued studies at the Lyon Conservatoire, where he graduated with his Premiere prix.  At the 1993 Jean-Pierre Rampal Flute Competition, Dufour won Second Grand Prize 57.  He also won in the August, 1997 Kobe International Flute Competition, gaining second prize 59.  In 1993, Mathieu Dufour became a Lauréat of the Cziffra Foundation 58, founded to encourage young musical talent.  For three seasons, 1992-1995, Mathieu Dufour was Principal flute of l'Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.  During 1995-1999 Dufour was Principal flute of l’Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris.  In 1999, Mathieu Dufour was selected to succeed Donald Peck as the twelfth Principal flute of the Chicago Symphony since its inception.  In 2009, Esa-Pekka Salonen invited Dufour to be the Principal flute during the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Asia tour.  Dufour also played in the Los Angeles regular season beginning September 2009.  Dufour took an unpaid leave of absence from Chicago to do this.  In the 2009-2010 season, while accepting the Los Angeles role, Dufour agreed to play all the Chicago Symphony subscription concerts and tours in the 2009-2010 season conducted by Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez and Riccardo Muti 56.  This included the premiere of the Marc-André Dalbavie Flute Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony in January, 2010.  Dufour's playing in Chicago seems to have indicated his interest to continue to play in Chicago 56.  In October 2014, Mathieu Dufour announced that he would resign from the Chicago Symphony effective November 2014 to take up the Principal flute position with the Berlin Philharmonic, which he began in the 2015-2016 season.  This concluded 15 seasons of excellence with the Chicago Symphony, continuing the rich Chicago Symphony flute tradition.


announced to begin May 2016   Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson - Principal flute

Stefan Hoskuldsson

Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson at Lincoln Center


Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson was born in Iceland, where he studied at the Reykjavik School of Music.  Following his graduation, he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.  Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson joined the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera in the 2004-2005 season as Second flute serving for 4 seasons.  In the 2008-2009 season, Höskuldsson was appointed Principal flute of the MET Orchestra, which post he continues to fulfill.  He has been active in summer music festivals, including the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and at the Sir James Galway International Flute Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland.  Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson is scheduled to perform with the Chicago Symphony under Riccardo Muti during its tour to Asia in January 2016.  Höskuldsson is then scheduled to assume the Principal flute chair in May 2016.

Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Principal Clarinets of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


1891-1921  Joseph Schreurs


Joseph Schreurs was born in Brussels, Belgium of Dutch parents in April 1863.  He studied at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique - Brussels 136.  Schreurs came to the U.S. in 1885 to join Theodore Thomas's New York-based orchestra 99, at the invitation of Theodore Thomas who traveled to Europe each summer, recruiting talent.  In 1891, Joseph Schreurs was one of the Principal musicians brought by Theodore Thomas to join the newly organized Chicago Symphony.  Schreurs become Principal clarinet in the 1891-1892 season, with Anton Quitsow as his Eb clarinet and Carl Meyer as bass clarinet. 


   Joseph Schreurs in 1897


Joseph Schreurs was Principal clarinet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under all its names: the Chicago Orchestra, the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 30 years until his relatively early death, aged 58.  He died in Chicago on July, 1921, leaving his 43 year old wife, Emilia and four children.

1921-1922  Carl H. Meyer

Carl Meyer was born in Berlin Germany in October, 1866.  In Berlin, Carl Meyer played in the Bilse'sche Kapelle), also known as the "Bilse Orchestra" which indirectly led to the formation of the Berlin Philharmonic when Bilse's musicians broke away from his ensemble in 1882.  Carl Meyer also played in the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Berlin (Königliches Oper) 122.  Carl Meyer emigrated to the U.S. in 1890, perhaps at the invitation of Theodore Thomas.  In any case, Theodore Thomas selected Carl Meyer as his bass clarinet for the initial Chicago season 1891-1892.  Carl Meyer continued in this position until the 1921-1922 season when, following the sudden and unexpected death of Joseph Schreurs, Frederick Stock selected Carl Meyer as Principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony.  The next season, with the selection of Joseph Siniscalchi as Principal clarinet, Carl Meyer went, perhaps to the Eb clarinet position, but in any case returning to bass clarinet until he retired from the orchestra at the end of the 1930-1931 season at age 64.

1922-1923  Joseph (Giuseppe) Siniscalchi

Giuseppe (later Joseph) Siniscalchi was born in March 12, 1882 in Quindici, Salerno south of Naples, Italy.  In Naples, Siniscalachi studied with Gaetano Labanchi at the ancient San Pietro a Majella Conservatory.   Gaetano Labanchi was a famous teacher, and student of Ernesto Cavallini, both of whom played the clarinet with the reed above, so perhaps Siniscalchi also played this style, at least initially.  In 1902, Giuseppe Siniscalchi emigrated to the U.S.  He played clarinet with the Chicago Grand Opera Company in the 1910s under Cleofonte Campanini (1860-1919), who may have recruited Siniscalchi.  Joseph Siniscalchi (as he was now billed) joined the Clarinet section of Chicago Symphony in the 1921-1922 season under Frederick Stock.  In that era, Italian-trained clarinetist were considered the finest orchestral players.  Siniscalchi became Principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony in the next season, 1922-1923, but only for that season.  After he was succeeded in the orchestra by Robert Lindemann, Joseph Siniscalchi remained in Chicago as an active music teacher, both in Chicago and in Detroit 121.  Joseph Siniscalachi died in Chicago on September 1, 1950 at age 68.

1923-1949  Robert Lindemann


   Robert Lindemann in 1921


Robert Lindemann was born in Paderborn, Germany in modern-day North Rhine-Westphalia on January 28, 1884.  He studied first with his father Eduard Lindemann.  Robert Lindemann emigrated to the U.S. at age 27 in September, 1911.  He moved first to Minnesota, where in about 1911-1913, he was appointed Principal clarinet with the Saint Paul Symphony Orchestra 130 (which later merged with the Minneapolis Symphony).  Then, in the 1913-1914 season Robert Lindemann moved to Philadelphia, where he was appointed Principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra, following the abrupt dismissal of Fritz Dieterichs by the new Principal conductor, Leopold Stokowski.  Robert Lindemann remained Principal clarinet for four seasons 1913-1917.   It seems likely that Stokowski again dismissed his Principal clarinet, and Lindemann did not return to Philadelphia in 1917-1918.   Robert Lindemann then moved to New York, where he was appointed Principal clarinet of the New York Symphony in 1918-1923 under conductor Walter Damrosch.  Robert Lindemann was then appointed Principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony by Frederick Stock in the 1923-1924 season.  Robert Lindemann then had a long service with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1923-1949, a 26 year term.  Lindemann had survived not only Frederick Stock, but also Désiré Defauw, and Artur Rodzinski, so he must have been able.  He was succeeded during the term of Rafael Kubelik by Mitchell Lurie (who only lasted one season under Kubelik).  During his first season in Chicago, Rafael Kubelik tried to replace 22 of the orchestra's musicians, so perhaps it was not surprising that he retired Robert Lindemann who was age 65.  In Chicago, Robert Lindemann also played in the Chicago Woodwind Quintet in the 1930s.  Robert Lindemann died in Everett, Washington in October, 1975, age 91, after a rich and varied career consistently at the top of his profession.

1949-1950  Mitchell Lurie

photo   Mitchell Lurie in 1982


Mitchell Lurie was born in Brooklyn, New York City on March 9, 1922.  His family moved to California, where his father Abraham Lurie (1894-1981), a Lithuanian émigré had a grocery store.   Mitchell Lurie grew up in Los Angeles.  Early in his career, Mitchell Lurie was Principal clarinet with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner.  Rafael Kubelik became Music Director of the Chicago Symphony in the 1950-1951 season, during which he tried to replace 22 of the orchestra's musicians, of which the long-term Principal clarinet Robert Lindemann was one.  In the 1949-1950 season, Kubelik appointed Mitchell Lurie as Principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony, only the fifth Principal clarinet since 1891.  However, Mitchell Lurie also did not last under Kubelik and was not rehired for the next season in 1950-1951.  Mitchell Lurie then moved back to California, to the Los Angeles area where he became an active musician in the Hollywood studios.  Films in which Lurie was a featured player included The Apartment, Dr. Zhivago, and Mary Poppins.  Lurie joined the faculty at the University of Southern California in 1952 and taught clarinet and woodwind chamber music there into the 2000s.  In California, Mitchell Lurie expanded into the design and manufacture of reeds, ligatures and mouthpieces for clarinets.  Mitchell Lurie died in Los Angeles on November 24, 2008.

1950-1951  Ignatius N. Gennusa


Ignatius Gennusa was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 26, 1920.  He studied first with his Italian-born amateur musician father Joseph Gennusa Sr. (1889-1987), an amateur musician and bandsman in Philadelphia.  Ignatius Gennusa gained admission to the Curtis Institute in 1942, but his time there was limited by World War 2, and he was officially graduated in the Class of 1943.   During the war, Gennusa served in the Philadelphia Navy Yard Band, along with colleagues such as Philadelphia Orchestra Principal clarinet Anthony Gigliotti, and later on the aircraft carrier USS Randolph.  After the war, Ignatius Gennusa was Principal clarinet of the orchestra of the Radio City Music Hall, an attractive position, since it gave year-around employment, which even Chicago, New York or Philadelphia did not offer at that time.  However, it was also a heavy work load, with multiple shows each day.  Ignatius Gennusa was then Principal clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC.  This was a less attractive post, low in salary, season, and prestige.  After the heavy musician turnover in Chicago under Rafael Kubelik, and Kubelik's dismissal of Mitchell Lurie (among others), contemporary accounts suggest that Kubelik was looking for a "stop gap" in some positions.  It was thought that the appointment of Ignatius Gennusa was one of these, and that his season as Principal clarinet in Chicago was to be limited to one season.  Perhaps Gennusa was also aware of this, since in the next season, 1951-1952, Ignatius Gennusa became Principal clarinet of the Baltimore Symphony.  This turned out to be a favorable move for him, and he served for 21 seasons, 1951-1972 in the first chair in Baltimore, retiring under Music Director Sergiu Comissiona.  While in Baltimore, Ignatius Gennusa taught at the Peabody Conservatory, where he continued until 1993, age 73.  Ignatius Gennusa was well-known also for the range of clarinet mouthpieces he developed and commercialized.  Ignatius "Iggy" Gennusa died in Bethesda, Maryland on May 17, 2003, both respected and liked by his colleagues and students.

1951-1978  Clark L. Brody, Jr.


Clark Brody was born on 9 June 1914 in Lansing, Michigan.  As a student, Clark Brody attended the Interlochen Music Camp.  His primary teacher while a teen was Marius Fossenkemper (1902-1999), Principal clarinet of the Detroit Symphony 101.  Clark Brody then studied at Michigan State University 1932-1934, BA, where he also played clarinet in the band.  His father, Clark Brody Sr. (1879-1961) was state Agricultural Commissioner and on the governing board of Michigan State University, which of course would have influenced Clark Brody's University choice.  Clark Brody then went on to the Eastman School of Music, BMus and Performance Certificate in 1937 studying with Rufus Arey.  Clark Brody was then Principal clarinet of the CBS Radio Orchestra in New York City 1941-1951, which gave him 52 week employment - not the case with leading US orchestras at that time, including the Chicago Symphony.  During World War 2, he served in the Air Force Band.  While in New York, Clark Brody also studied with the great Daniel Bonade


   Clark Brody in the 1950s


Clark Brody then won the audition for the Chicago Symphony Principal clarinet chair under Music Director Raphael Kubelik.  Brody followed a succession of Principal clarinets in Chicago following the retirement of Robert Lindemann.  His was a successful choice, "surviving" five Music Directors, including Rafael Kubelik and particularly Fritz Reiner, the bane of many musicians' careers.  Clark Brody retired under Sir Georg Solti (knighted in 1972) at the end of the 1977-1978 season.  While in Chicago, Clark Brody also performed with the Chicago Symphony Wind Octet and the Chicago Symphony Chamber Group.  After retiring, Clark Brody was a music Professor at Northwestern from 1972-1995.  Clark Brody continued active also since his retirement from Northwestern University, where he died in Evanston, Illinois on 3 November 2012, age 98 after a full and distinguished career.  His playing in recordings under Reiner, Martinon and Solti recall powerfully his transparent and luminous playing.

1978-2008 Larry Combs (Assistant Principal clarinet 1974-78, Principal clarinet 1978-2008)


    Larry Combs in 1981


Larry Combs was born in Charleston, West Virginia on December 31, 1939.  While still a High School student, at age only 16, Larry Combs became Principal clarinet with the Charleston Symphony (now the West Virginia Symphony).  The next year in 1957, Larry Combs began study at the Eastman School of Music with the great orchestral clarinetist Stanley Hasty (1920-2011).  After graduating from the Eastman School, Larry Combs played Third clarinet/bass clarinet with the New Orleans Symphony.  While in the US Army, Larry Combs was assigned to the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, New York.  This allowed Combs also to travel to New York City to continue his studies with Leon Russianoff.  After the Army, Larry Combs returned to the New Orleans Symphony, followed by his appointment as Principal clarinet in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, starting in the 1968-1969 season.  In summers, he also played with the Santa Fe Opera.  Combs remained in Montreal for six seasons.  Then, Larry Combs joined the Chicago Symphony in the 1974-1975 season as Assistant Principal clarinet, sitting in the second chair next to Clark Brody.  Combs remained in this position for four seasons, until Clark Brody retired.  Then, in the 1978-1979 season, under George Solti, Larry Combs advanced to the Principal clarinet position.  Larry Combs married another Chicago Symphony musician, Gail Marie Williams , for twenty seasons a Chicago Symphony horn player.  Gail Williams was Chicago Fourth horn from December, 1978-1984, and then advanced to Associate Principal horn 1984-1998.  At the end of the 2007-2008 season, Larry Combs retired from the Chicago Symphony.  After retirement, Larry Combs continues to teach at DePaul University in Chicago.


2008-2011 Interim period for the Principal clarinet chair and John Bruce Yeh

Following Larry Combs's retirement from the Principal clarinet position, the Chicago Symphony pursued a search for a new candidate for this high profile position.  The search, complicated, and with innumerable rumors about auditions continued during the next three seasons.  During this period, John Bruce Yeh and his colleagues Gregory Smith and J. Lawrie Bloom continued their excellent service to the Chicago Symphony and to their many fans.



John Bruce Yeh was born in Washington, D.C. in 1958.  He studied at the Juilliard School graduating with a BMus in 1980.  Yeh joined the Chicago Symphony under as Bass clarinet in the 1977-1978 season under Daniel Barenboim.  Yeh remained as Bass clarinet for two seasons 1977-1979, and then was advanced to Assistant Principal clarinet in 1979-1980.  When the Principal clarinet chair was open following the retirement of Larry Combs, John Yeh was asked to assume the first chair as Acting Principal clarinet, which he did for three seasons, with distinction.  Yeh also performed the American premiere, in 1998, of the Elliott Carter Clarinet Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony.  Upon the appointment of Stephen Williamson to the Principal position, John Bruce Yeh reverted to his former chair of Assistant Principal clarinet.

August 2011-July 2013   Stephen R. Williamson - Principal


Stephen Williamson was born on December 8, 1969.  He studied at the Eastman School of Music, where he earned his Performer’s Certificate and BMus.  Then, at the Juilliard School, he went on to his MMus.  Stephen Williamson was also a Fulbright scholar, studying at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin.  He became Principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in December, 2003-2004.  Seiji Ozawa also appointed Stephen Williamson Principal clarinet of the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra.  Stephen Williamson also teaches at Columbia University and at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.  Williamson also has been active in the MET Chamber Ensemble, making great music with James Levine.  By the summer of 2011, there were numerous reports that Chicago had offered the Principal clarinet position to Stephen Williamson.  In August, 2011, the Chicago Symphony confirmed that Stephen Williamson had accepted appointment as Principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony.  Stephen Williamson joined the Chicago Symphony under Riccardo Muti on their European Tour, August 22 to September 7, 2011.  The Principal clarinet chair of the Chicago Symphony had been open for three seasons.  Williamson's appointment was well received by both the Chicago public and Stephen Williamson's colleagues.  However, in February 2013, the Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic announced that Stephen Williamson would become Principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic effective July, 2013.  The Philharmonic had been without a Principal clarinet for 4 seasons.  At one time it had been announced that Ricardo Morales would join the New York Philharmonic, but Morales decided to remain as Philadelphia Principal clarinet.

Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras



Chicago Brass Section 1978:

Front row: Daniel Gingrich horn, Thomas Howell horn, Frank Brouk horn, Richard Oldberg third horn, Norman Schweikert horn, Dale Clevenger Principal horn (Jay Friedman Principal trombone is off-camera)

Back row: Philip Smith trumpet, William Scarlett trumpet, Charles Geyer trumpet, Adolph Herseth Principal trumpet, Jim Gilbertson Assistant Principal trombone, Frank Cristafulli second trombone, Edward Kleinhammer bass trombone, Arnold Jacobs tuba


Principal Horns of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


1891-1895  Hermann Dutschke

Hermann Dutschke was born in Obercunnersdorf, east of Dresden, Germany on July 17, 1854.  He emigrated to the U.S. in 1891 to joint the Theodore Thomas orchestra in Chicago. After four seasons as solo horn in Chicago 1891-1895, Dutschke relocated to New York City, where he became a U.S. citizen in 1901. Dutschke was a musician in New York City during the 1910s, including in chamber music concerts.  He was active in the Aschenbroedel Verein in New York in the 1900s, including conducting chamber groups.  The Aschenbroedel Verein was a private club of professional orchestral musicians.

1895-1896  Ernst Ketz

Ernst Ketz was born in Germany in 1855.  He studied in Cologne, where he was horn in the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne.  Ketz joined the Theodore Thomas orchestra as solo horn for one season, 1895-1896 and then apparently returned to Germany.  Ernst Ketz was a long-time friend of Carl Koerner Sr., also of Cologne.

1896-1922  Leopold Egbert de Maré

(Leopodus Echhentus de Maare) (Principal 1896-1922) horn 1891-1922


    Leopold de Maré in 1908


Leopold de Maré was born on February 13, 1862 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with his name sometimes rendered "Leopodus Echhentus de Maare".  His was a musical family, and Leopold de Maré studied first with his father Florentius Egbertus De Maare.  His younger brother Adrian de Maré also played horn and joined the Chicago Symphony in the 1896-1897 season.  Both Leopold de Maré and Adrian de Maré had played horn in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra in its early years in the late 1880s under under Willem Kes (1856-1934) - Willem Mengelberg did not become conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra until 1895.  Leopold de Maré also played for a season in the newly formed Berlin Philharmonic orchestra.  de Maré emigrated to the US in 1891 to join Theodore Thomas's Chicago Orchestra as Third horn, with Hermann Dutschke, Sr. joining as Principal horn in the same season.  After the five seasons, Leopold de Maré was appointed Principal horn by Theodore Thomas in 1896-1897.  He continued as Principal horn for a total of 26 seasons until his retirement at age 60 at the end of the 1921-1922 season.  Leopold de Maré became a US citizen in Chicago in 1899, a city which remained his home until his death in 1934. 

photo   Leopold de Maré in 1897

As most orchestra musicians of the era, Leopold de Maré played summer festivals, including the Ann Arbor May Festival in May/June in several summers, including 1908.  de Maré also played at the second Berkshire Music Festival in Massachusetts in the summer of 1919.  Leopold de Maré died in Chicago on January 24, 1934 of a cerebral hemorrhage.  He had been ill over the New Year holidays.   During his full career, Leopold de Maré was a horn with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 31 seasons.

1921-1922, 1930-1933  Wendell Engstrom Hoss


  Wendell Hoss in California


Wendell Hoss was born in Wichita, Kansas November 20, 1892.  His parents were both teachers, but his father, G. W. Hoss (1840-before 1910) was 24 years older than his mother May Engstrom Hoss (1861-1946), and he died by the time Wendell was 17 years old.  Wendell Hoss first performed with the Chicago orchestra in 1916 as an extra, and then played with the Chicago Symphony in the summer of 1918 at the Ravinia Festival.  He also played in the orchestra of the Olympic Theater orchestra in Chicago 174.  In 1919-1920, Wendell Hoss was a horn player in the Los Angeles Philharmonic in its founding season.  In the 1921-1922 season under Nikolai Sokoloff, Wendell Hoss was the fourth Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra in the first four seasons.  Wendell Hoss also lasted only one season; however the reason for his departure may have been salary, since except for a few four or five players, Cleveland musicians of this era had relatively low salaries and one year contracts.  Wendell Hoss them moved to the much higher-paying Chicago Symphony Orchestra as Principal horn in the 1922-1923 season.  However, Hoss left the Chicago Symphony because of the dismissal of his mentor Leopold de Maré who had been Chicago Principal horn for 26 seasons.  Thereafter, Wendell Hoss was Principal horn of the Rochester Philharmonic 1924-1930, and also freelanced in New York City.  Hoss then returned to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal horn for a further three seasons 1930-1933.  Wendell Hoss relocated to California in 1933.  He worked at Hollywood studios continuously, except for one season in Pittsburg.  Hoss was Principal horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner in the 1940-1941 season.  Moving back to California, Wendell Hoss next spent eighteen years in the 1950s and 1960s in the Walt Disney studio recording orchestra and many other Hollywood studio orchestras.  He taught at the Eastman School while in Rochester and the University of Wisconsin.  In California, he taught at the University of Southern California, Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West, San Diego State College and the California Institute for the Arts 30.   Wendell Hoss was also one of the founders of the Los Angeles Horn Club and of the International Horn Society. Wendell Hoss died in San Diego, California April 15, 1980 active in playing through the 1970s after and after a full career of performing and teaching.

1923-1927  William Phillip Frank (Principal 1923-1927) horn 1901-1932

Born January 1, 1876 in Allentown, Pennsylvania of German parents, William Frank first went to work for the Frank Holton & Co in Wisconsin, where he learned the specialty of high quality manufacture of brass instruments.  In 1910, William Frank established his own brass instrument manufacturing business in Chicago.  The William Frank and Company became a well-known manufacturer of brass instruments, particularly orchestral instruments, including French horns, trumpets, trombones and later other instruments such as Saxophones.  In the Chicago Symphony horn section, William Frank was Third horn for most of his career, including up until his early death in 1932.  William Frank died in Chicago in 1932, age only 56.

1927-1936   Pellegrino Lecce


  thanks to Susan Del Monte and Mimi La Marca for this photograph


Pellegrino Lecce was born in the Abruzzo region of Italy on July 24, 1894.  Lecce came to the United States in 1913.  The next year, Lecce was in the Mancini Opera Compnay tour of South America summer of 1914 and 1915.  Pellegrino Lecce was also Principal horn of the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York  1915-1917.  From 1919-1927, Pellegrino Lecce was was Principal horn with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under conductor Rudolph Ganz (1877-1972).  In 1927, both Pellegrino Lecce and Rudolph Ganz left Saint Louis for Chicago, where Ganz joined the Chicago Musical College, later becoming President of the school and remaining there until 1958.  Pelligrino Lecce became Principal horn with the Chicago Symphony orchestra in the 1927-1928 season.  Lecce held the Principal horn position in the Chicago Symphony for nine seasons, 1927-1936.  After leaving the Chicago Symphony, Pellegrino Lecce was horn with the NBC radio Staff Orchestra in Chicago 72, which had the advantage of being a 52 week employment position during the Depression, not the case with even the Chicago Symphony.  In 1942-1946 during World War 2 when so many musicians were in the Army, Pellegrino Lecce returned to Saint Louis.  He was fourth horn of the Saint Louis Symphony, replacing Vincent Rapini, while Rapini was performing war service.  Following World War 2, Pellegrino Lecce seems to have moved to Los Angeles, since he played in the MGM studios, including for the 1946 film Till the Clouds Roll By about Jerome Kern 127.  In the late 1940s, Pellegrino Lecce moved back to New York City, where he was third French horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  While in Chicago, Pellegrino Lecce also coached Philip Farkas and Frank Brouk, both later Principal horns of the Chicago Symphony while working with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony.  It seems that Pellegrino Lecce's last years were not prosperous: Milan Yancich recounts that Lecce became a night watchman in a factory 72.   Pellegrino died in Saint Louis sometime after 1978.

1936-1941, 1947-1960  Philip F. Farkas


Philip Farkas born March 5, 1914 in Chicago of parents of Czechoslovak origin.  Farkas described his family as not being not particularly musical, but he took piano lessons 67.  Then, in the school band, Farkas initially took up the tuba.  In a famous Farkas story, one day, boarding the street car with his large tuba, the conductor complained that the tuba took up too much space, leading Farkas to change to the horn.  He started horn study at about age 14, and was initially self-taught.  As a student, he was first horn in the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony.  Farkas described his early horn education: '...One day, while going past Carl Geyer's workshop, I heard some incredibly beautiful sounds coming out the door. Upon investigating, I found that it was Louis Dufrasne trying out a new Geyer horn [Louis Victor Dufrasne. born in Belgium in 1878, was Principal horn of the Chicago Opera Company]. At that exact moment, I determined two things; I would some day own a Geyer horn and I would have Mr. Dufrasne as my teacher. I started with Mr. Dufrasne right away, but it took quite a few months before Carl Geyer determined whether or not I was qualified to own one of his beautiful horns. But in the end, I got my Geyer horn and played it for about 23 years...'67


  Louis Dufrasne, teacher of Philip Farkas, Helen Kotas and Frank Brouk


Louis Dufrasne was also the teacher of two other CSO Principal horns: Helen Kotas Hirsh and Frank Brouk.  In 1932 at age 18, and still in High School Philip Farkas auditioned and gained the Principal horn position with the newly-formed Kansas City Philharmonic.  Extraordinary though this was, Farkas later said humorously that he had thought at the time ' studied an instrument for three or four years and then went out and procured a symphony job...'67.  Farkas remained at the Kansas City Philharmonic for three years 1933-1936.  In the 1936-1937 season, Philip Farkas became Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Frederick Stock, succeeding Pellegrino Lecce.  At age 22, Farkas was at the time the youngest musician of the Chicago Symphony in 1936. 


  Philip Farkas in 1940, age 26 (still with some hair)


Philip Farkas remained with Chicago as Principal horn until 1941.  Then, invited by Arthur Rodzinski, Philip Farkas moved to Cleveland, where 1941-1945, he was Principal horn with the Cleveland Orchestra.  Farkas then had a succession of several key orchestral posts.  First, in Boston, according to some listings, and according to Farkas 67, he was Co-Principal horn of the Boston Symphony with Willem Valkenier in the 1945-1946 season under Serge Koussevitzky.  Then, at George Szell's request (specified in his contract according to Donald Rosenberg), Philip Farkas returned to Cleveland for the 1946-1947 season during George Szell's first season as Music Director.  The next year for the 1947-1948 season, Farkas returned to Chicago as Principal horn, where he remained for 12 seasons, 1947-1960.  Then, in 1960, at what would seem the height of his career, Farkas was offered to teach at Indiana University.  Philip Farkas explained his thinking in accepting this key teaching position: '...having heard all too many players continue playing beyond their prime, I had an abhorrence of doing the same and have always felt that I would rather quit several years too soon than ten minutes too late...' 67.  So, Philip Farkas departed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to become Professor of Music at Indiana University, staying twenty-four year 1960-1984.  During this time, Farkas, an avid amateur flyer, also taught for sixteen summers at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.  Philip Farkas died on December 21, 1992 in Bloomington, Indiana, location of Indiana University, his longest serving position.

1941-1947 Helen Kotas (Helen Kotas Hirsch) (Principal 1941-1947) horn 1940-1948


Helen Kotas was born June 7, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois.  Like Philip Farkas and Frank Brouk, Helen Kotas studied horn with Chicago teacher Louis Dufrasne.  As with numerous other Chicago Symphony musicians, Helen Kotas also played in the Chicago Civic Orchestra as a student.  In the late 1930s, she toured with the Barthel Woodwind Ensemble: Alfred Barthel oboe, Harvey Noack flute, Lillian Poenisch clarinet, Helen Kotas horn, and Herman Bellfuss bassoon 190.   In 1940, Helen Kotas was selected by Leopold Stokowski as first horn in his All-American Youth Orchestra, which toured South America in the summer of 1940.  Also in about 1940, after a difficult audition with Fritz Reiner, Helen Kotas was hired as third horn in the horn section of the Pittsburgh Symphony 75.  The next season, 1941-1942, Helen Kotas was selected by Frederick Stock as Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony, replacing Philip Farkas, who had moved to Cleveland.  With this appointment, Helen Kotas was one of the first women, or the first woman to be appointed as a section Principal of a major US orchestra (not counting harp positions to which women were often appointed even in the early years of the twentieth century).  This distinction was claimed for other pioneers, such as Doriot Anthony Dwyer , Boston Symphony Principal flute in 1952, but is retained by Helen Kotas.  Kotas remained Principal horn for seven seasons, 1941-1947.  In the 1947-1948 season, Artur Rodzinski wanted Philip Farkas to return to Chicago as Principal trumpet.  Therefore, in the 1947-1948, season, Rodzinski told Helen Kotas to move to the Associate Principal horn chair, a position she refused.  Rodzinski then required Helen Kotas to sit out the 1947-1948 season, while still drawing her salary.  Helen Kotas then moved to the Chicago Lyric Opera as Principal horn.  Also, and during summers she was Principal horn of the Grant Park Symphony concerts.  Helen Kotas also returned to university to gain her Master's degree in psychology.  About this time, she married a Chicago physician, Dr. Edwin Hirsch.  Sadly, Helen Kotas was struck by a car on October 27, 2000, on her way to a reunion of former CSO musicians.  She subsequently died of her injuries on December 15, 2000, age 84, greatly respected and admired.

1960-1962 Julian Christopher Leuba


Christopher Leuba was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 28, 1929.  Leuba was relatively late in starting French horn study in his senior year of High School (about age 17).  Leuba studied horn with Aubrey Brain (1893-1955) and Philip Farkas (1914-1992).  Chris Leuba joined the Minneapolis Symphony, where he was advanced to Principal horn.  Upon the departure of Philip Farkas to teach at Indiana University, Fritz Reiner, nearing the end of his Music Directorship appointed Christopher Leuba as Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony.  After leaving Chicago, Christopher Leuba taught at the University of Washington for eleven years, 1968-1979.  Christopher Leuba for 23 seasons was Principal horn of the Portland Opera in Oregon.

1962-1963, 1965-1966 Frank Joseph Brouk


Frank Brouk was born in Chicago on July 27, 1913, son of parents who had emigrated from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic.  Frank Brouk first took up the trombone, followed by the French horn while at Harrison High School in Chicago.  His early teacher was Frank Kryl, also a horn player from Bohemia and a well-known teacher in the Chicago area.  As a teen in the early 1930s, Frank Brouk played in local dance bands, using both French horn and trombone.  He also played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago-area training orchestra supervised by CSO musicians, and studied horn with Louis Dufrasne (brother of Chicago bass Gaston Dufrasne) who also was horn teacher of Philip Farkas, Helen Kotas, and Clyde Miller.  Frank Brouk was then Principal horn in the Indianapolis Symphony under Fabian Sevitsky, although Brouk did not move from Chicago, but rather commuted during the week.  In 1941-1942, Frank Brouk joined the Rochester Symphony under Howard Hansen.  With the US entry into World War 2, Frank Brouk entered the US Army in 1942.  Following discharge in 1946, Frank Brouk was Principal horn of the Grant Park Symphony summer season, succeeding Philip Farkas.  In the 1946-1947 season, Frank Brouk joined the Cleveland Orchestra horn section under the newly-appointed Music Director George Szell.  The next season, 1947-1948, Szell appointed Frank Brouk as Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra, a position he retained for four seasons, 1946-1950.  Frank Brouk then returned to Chicago to play in the staff orchestra of radio station WGN.  Like Emerson Both, Frank Brouk was attracted to radio orchestra work by the year-around employment and security not found in any US orchestra of the era other than the Boston Symphony.  In the 1950s, Frank Brouk was Principal horn of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.   Also in the 1950s, Brouk was joint owner of the Carl Geyer horn store in Chicago.  Then, in the last season of Fritz Reiner's direction, 1961-1962, Frank Brouk joined the Chicago Symphony horn section, after repeated requests by Reiner that Frank Brouk audition for the Orchestra 73.  The next season, 1962-1963, Frank Brouk was appointed Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony by Jean Martinon.  Frank Brouk was Principal horn 1962-1963 and 1965-1966, and remained in the Chicago Symphony horn section through the end of the 1977-1978 season.  Frank Brouk taught in Chicago at Roosevelt University from 1958-1965, and at Northwestern University 1965-1974, where he was appointed Professor of Horn.  Frank Brouk played Greyer horns during the first part of his career, switching later to Schmidt models.  After retirement, Frank Brouk moved to Arizona, where he died in Mesa Arizona on February 21, 2004, age 91.

1963-1965  Clarendon Ess Van Norman Jr.


Clarendon Van Norman was born in Illinois on August 23, 1930.  He grew up in Galesburg, a rural town some 100 km south west of Chicago.  He went on to study for one year at the Eastman School of Music.  Van Norman then relocated to the Juilliard School.  For two seasons, 1958-1960, Van Norman was Principal horn of the Buffalo Philharmonic under Josef Krips.  He then joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as Third horn and later Principal horn during the 1960-1962 seasons.  In the 1963-1964 season, Van Norman was selected as Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony during the first season of the new Chicago Symphony Music Director Jean Martinon.  He remained in the Principal position for two seasons 1963-1965, and was succeeded by Dale Clevenger.  After Chicago, Van Norman organized the Clarion Wind Quintet: Philip Dunigan flute, Stephen Adelstein oboe, Robert Listokin clarinet, Mark Popkin bassoon and Clarendon Van Norman horn 107, which was mainly based in New York City.  The Clarion Wind Quintet was also resident at the North Carolina School of the Arts in the later 1960s.  Back in New York City, Van Norman rejoined the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera as Principal horn in 1964.  He remained Principal for 18 further seasons until 1982.  Carendon Van Norman then took the MET Third horn chair 1982-1990 after which he retired.  Also while in New York, Van Norman studied at the Teachers College of Columbia University to support his work in music education.  He earned his Ed.D. degree in 1965.  Van Norman also chaired the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Committee for several years and was active in the negotiation of contracts for the orchestra.  While in New York City, Clarendon Van Norman also taught at the Manhattan School of Music.  Van Norman's father, Clarendon Van Norman Sr. was a collector of Americana, and particularly items of Abraham Lincoln.  This collection in Galesburg was expanded by Van Norman father and son.  The collection was particularly strong in Americana of Abraham Lincoln, the State of Illinois, and more generally in western Americana antiquarian books, pamphlets and manuscripts.  Clare Van Norman moved this large collection to his home in Sullivan County in rural New York, organizing the Wantagh Rare Book Company. 


Clarendon Van Norman reviewing the Knox College collection


Much of this collection was later donated by Clarendon Van Norman to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, to Knox College in his native Galesburg, Illinois and in 2010 donated to the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

1966-2013 (Michael) Dale Clevenger


Dale Clevenger was born in Tennessee on July 2, 1940 and grew up in Chattanooga.  He studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  In the 1960s, Clevenger was in the American Symphony Orchestra horn section under Leopold Stokowski.  While in New York, Clevenger also was a sessions musician and played in Broadway shows.  He had also been Principal horn of the Kansas City Philharmonic.  Dale Clevenger became Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in February 1966, appointed by Jean Martinon.  As well as being one of the world's great orchestra horns for more than 45 seasons, Dale Clevenger enjoys the stimulation of also playing jazz.  He has been active in "EARS" a band of musicians, including from the Chicago Symphony playing jazz of all eras.  Clevenger has also been active as a conductor being Music Director of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra (Illinois) for fourteen years 1981-1995. 


    Dale Clevenger in the 1980s

In November, 2003, Dale Clevenger performed the premiere of the John Williams Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, with the composer 94.  Clevenger's horn-playing wife, Alice Render, is a frequent extra with the Chicago Symphony horn section.  In April, 2013, Dale Clevenger announced his retirement from the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 2012-2013 season - after 47 seasons of service! (Daniel Gingrich has been named acting Principal horn of the CSO, pending auditions for the position)  Dale Clevenger's legacy promises to continue, since he will become fulltime at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music following his CSO retirement 199.


Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet 1957

Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet formed in 1957

initial members left to right: Reynold Schilke, Arnold Jacobs, Hugh Cowden, Frank Crisafulli, Bud Herseth


Principal Trumpets of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra


The trumpet section of the Chicago Orchestra 1891-1898 was divided into the first two chairs being cornet players and the second desk being two trumpets.  During this period, the "Solo Cornet" was the Principal of the trumpet section, followed by the second chair cornet being what we might now refer to as "Assistant Principal".  The first chair trumpet was third in the section seating, followed by the remaining trumpet in the fourth position.  Beginning in the 1898-1899 season, all the section musicians were listed at trumpets.  During this period, Christian Rodenkirchen is listed here as Principal trumpet, indicating that he was section head during his tenure, and I use the title "Principal trumpet" for all his successors in the leadership position. 


1891-1902    Christian Hubert Rodenkirchen


Christian Rodenkirchen was born in Hennef, 30 km south of Cologne, Germany on February 19, 1858.  Rodenkirchen played cornet in a regimental band in Cologne in 1883 34.  He also played cornet and trumpet in the Cologne Municipal Orchestra, in which Frederick Stock also played.  Christian Rodenkirchen then emigrated to the US, and seems to have settled first in the Chicago area.  During his constantly changing career Rodenkirchen was first trumpet of a number of leading American Orchestras from 1891 to 1915.  In 1890, he was a member of a mid-west touring orchestra, the Aamold Concert Company, conducted by August Aamold (1863-after 1930).  Rodenkirchen joined the trumpet section at the founding of the Chicago Symphony in the 1891-1892 season as first cornet.  Rodenkirchen was first cornet and then Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony for eleven seasons, 1891-1902.  Note that in this era, the Principal of the section was Principal cornet, and the third chair of the section was Principal trumpet, so Rodenkirchen was section Principal.  Rodenkirchen then seems to have had a falling-out with Theodore Thomas, and Rodenkirchen's contract for the next season was not renewed.  Rodenkirchen then became Principal trumpet of the New York Symphony during the 1903-1904 season under Walter Damrosch.  The next season, Rodenkirchen became Principal Trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera for the 1904-1905 season.  Continuing his peripatetic career journey, Christian Rodenkirchen then joined the New York Philharmonic as first trumpet from 1905-1907.  In New York in 1907, Rodenkirchen married his second wife, Mary McNally, 20 years younger.

photo Christian Rodenkirchen with wife Mary McNally in about 1910

He moved to the Philadelphia Orchestra for two seasons as Principal trumpet under Karl Pohlig 1907-1909.  Rodenkirchen then returned to the New York Philharmonic (it would seem as first trumpet) from 1909-1911 during the years of Gustav Mahler as Music Director 34. Rodenkirchen then returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra as second trumpet from 1911 until his early death on February 6, 1915, just days before his 57th birthday.  Because of his early death, Christian Rodenkirchen did not finish the Philadelphia Orchestra 1914-1915 season, ending his restless career.  Christian Rodenkirchen, through his many students was, like Max Schlossberg (1873-1936), an early creator of what became to be considered an American school of trumpet playing 95.

1902-1903 Paul Steffens

Paul Steffens was a member of the Helsinki Orchestral Society trumpet section 1900-1902 95


1903-1907  Paul August Handke


Paul Handke was born in Vienna, Austria November 23, 1867, where he also studied.  At age 24, Paul Handke was trumpet at the Munich Hofoper for five seasons 1894-1899.  At that time, he studied with his orchestra colleague Albert Meichelt Sr. (1850-1914) 129, who was also later his father-in-law.  Handke was first trumpet in the Vienna Hofoper Orchestra and in the related Vienna Philharmonic in the 1899-1900 season 108 when Gustav Mahler was Vienna's conductor.  Paul Handke emigrated to the U.S. in 1901, perhaps invited by Fritz Scheel to join the Philadelphia Orchestra.  At that time, Handke also brought with him his hand transcriptions of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E flat major composed in 1796.  Handke joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1901-1902 season, and became Principal the following season 1902-1903.  At this time, Handke also played in the Spring Bethlehem Bach Festival one hour outside Philadelphia.  He played in the Cincinnati May Festival in 1903.  Paul Handke then joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Theodore Thomas in the 1903-1904 season.  Handke was Principal trumpet in Chicago 1903-1907.  Following the death of Theodore Thomas and the accession of Frederick Stock, Stock decided to appoint Otto Schubert as Chicago Principal trumpet in 1907-1908.  Paul Handke then moved to the second trumpet position where he served for five additional seasons from 1907-1912.  During the period 1912-1916, Paul Handke was a musician in Chicago playing among other groups as a substitute with the Chicago Opera Company 129.  In the 1916-1917 season, Paul Handke rejoined the Chicago Symphony as Librarian and trumpet.  From 1926-1933, Paul Handke was also second Cornet, the fifth chair position in the Chicago Symphony trumpet section.  He retired from the orchestra at the end of the 1942-1943 season just before his 76th birthday.  During the Chicago Symphony years, Paul Handke also performed outside the Chicago Symphony.  Prior to World War 1, Handke played summer season tours with the Ballmann Symphonic Band under Martin Ballmann.  By 1920 Handke was also a part-time theater musician in Chicago, and played with various entertainment groups.  Paul Handke's service in Chicago, although not continuous, covered 36 seasons.  Paul Handke died in Chicago on February 14, 1944.

1907-1911 Otto Schubert


  detail of photo Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1908


Otto Schubert was born in Germany in 1888.  He and his French-Swiss wife Emma came to Chicago in 1907 to join the Chicago Symphony under Frederick Stock.  According to Emile of the Netherlands posting in the site, Otto Schubert was Principal trumpet of the symphony orchestra of Basel - Switzerland from 1899 - 1901.  Also that Otto Schubert had a successful period as a trumpet soloist in Amsterdam, where he traveled as part of a German travelling opera-company.  This would be in the early years of the first decade of the 1900s.  Otto Schubert emigrated to Chicago in 1907, perhaps at the invitation of Frederick Stock, who visited Europe each summer.  Otto Schubert succeeded Paul Hanke, who moved to the second chair.  (note: at this time, the first four positions were titled: first or solo cornet, second cornet, first trumpet and second trumpet.  The Principal of the section was the first cornet, the position Otto Schubert assumed, with Paul Handke becoming second cornet, a position we would term today " Associate Principal").  Otto Schubert was Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony for four seasons 1907-1911.  Following his last season with the Chicago Symphony 1910-1911, Otto Schubert died young in 1912, still not yet 30 years old.

1911-1912 Jacob Borodkin partial season

Jacob Borodkin born in Minsk, then in Russia and now the capital of Belarus in May 1886.  His family emigrated to New York City in two waves in 1891 and 1893 when Jacob was a child.  His was a musical family and father Max Borodkin was also a musician.  At age 21, Jacob Borodkin was named Principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic in the 1907-1908 season under conductor Wassily Safonoff (1852-1918).  The next season 1908-1909, Borodkin was second trumpet in the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera under Gustav Mahler who made his New York debut January 1,1908 and also Arturo Toscanini who joined the MET in 1908-1909.  In 1910-1911, Jacob Borodkin relocated to Chicago, where he was Second trumpet of the orchestra of the Chicago Grand Opera.  Then in the 1911-1912 season, Jacob Borodkin was appointed as Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony under Frederick Stock.  However, his tenure limited by illness.  In January 1912, because of this illness Frederick Stock appointed John Hartl to finish out the 1911-1912 season as Principal trumpet 143.  However, Tom Crown in his definitive article on the CSO trumpet section in the International Trumpet Guild Journal of June, 2011 provides another reason for Jacob Borodkin's replacement.  He wrote: "...[Borodkin] played a French Besson B-flat piston valve trumpet, which would have had a much brighter, more brilliant tone than the traditional German rotary-valve trumpets played in the orchestra since 1891..." 129.  Contemporary critics objected to Barodkin's tone as being "too penetrating" to blend with the section.  In any case, January-March 1912, John Hartl performed in the Principal trumpet chair of the Chicago Symphony.  The next season, 1912-1913, Jacob Borodkin remained in Chicago by returning to the Chicago Grand Opera as Second trumpet for that 1912-1913 season.  Then, after Chicago, most of Borodkin's career was in New York City.  He was active in bands, including the Alessandro Liberati Band and the Arthur Pryor Band.  While in New York, Borodkin was also a teacher of Harry Glantz.  In the 1930s, "Jake" Borodkin also was a lead trumpet in the orchestra of the Radio City Music Hall, which had the advantage of year-around employment, not the case in any US symphony orchestra of that era.  Jacob Borodkin died in Brooklyn, New York on February 21, 1954 after a varied and generally successful career.

1911-1912  John Hartl (Johann Franz Hart'l)


John Hartl, or sometimes given as Johann Hart'l was born in the state of Niederösterreich, Austria, about 100 km west of Vienna on August 2, 1878.  Hartl emigrated to the US in 1909.  When Jacob Borodkin became ill, or was otherwise replaced by Frederick Stock, as described above, in January 1912 129,143, John Hartl was appointed Principal trumpet to complete the 1911-1912 season.  This seems to have been only an interim appointment.  In the next season, 1912-1913, Edward Llewellyn was named Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony, and John Hartl moved to the second trumpet position.  John Hartl served the Chicago Symphony for three additional seasons, 1912-1915.  In 1915-1916, John Hartl moved to the Saint Louis Symphony in the second trumpet position.  Then, John Hartl was appointed Principal trumpet of the Minneapolis Symphony from 1917 to about 1921.  In 1921, John Hartl moved back to the Saint Louis Symphony.  John Hartl was in the trumpet section of the Saint Louis Symphony for a further 21 seasons, serving from 1921-1942.  John Hartl died in Saint Louis in 1956.

1912-1933  Edward Beach Llewellyn


Edward Llewellyn was born in Missouri January 11, 1879 of an Welsh musician father, James D. Llewellyn (1854-1920) and Illinois musician mother, Anna Llewellyn.  After emigrating to the US in 1869, father James Llewellyn played cornet in Saint Louis where Edward was born.  The family moved to Chicago in 1885.  In 1890, Edward began to study the cornet with his father, and also studied piano, violin, and harmony at Chicago Music College, a successor of which Rudolph Ganz later became President.  In 1893, father and son played in the orchestra of the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition Fair.  Edward Llewellyn also played in the Chicago Marine Band 1895-1899, and in which later became solo trumpet 1900-1904 35.  He played, again with his father, at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York in 1901.  After this, Edward Llewellyn became solo cornet with the U.S. Marine Band in Washington 1905-1906.  During two seasons, 1908-1910, Edward Llewellyn became Principal trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Emil Paur (1855-1932).  In the 1911-1912 season, he was appointed Principal trumpet of the Minneapolis Symphony under Emil Oberhoffer 132.  Edward Llewellyn joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1912-1913 season.  During the summers, Edward Llewellyn was solo trumpet for the Rochester (Wisconsin) Municipal Band 1908-1912.  Edward B. Llewellyn remained with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 23 seasons, first as Principal trumpet 1912-1933.  In 1933, Llewellyn apparently suffered an embouchure problem which required the sudden appointment of Elden Benge as Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony.  Edward Llewellyn then became Personnel Manager, succeeding Albert Ulrich Sr..  Llewellyn remained Personnel manager 1933-1936.  During his Chicago years, Edward Llewellyn was an active teacher.  For example, Renold Schilke (1910–1982) was one of his notable students.  In the 1920s, Llewellyn gave his name to the Holton Llewellyn Trumpet which has a large bore, which he preferred.  In the 1925-1926 season, Edward Llewellyn as Personnel Manager of the Chicago Symphony.  Edward Llewellyn died in an automobile accident in Texas just before the 1936-1937 season on September 26, 1936 131, when pipes fell off a truck in front of his car and penetrated his windshield.  He died at the relatively young age of 57.

1933-1939  Elden Eugene Benge


Elden Benge was born in Winterset, Iowa December 12, 1904.  He is said to be self-taught in trumpet playing as a youth, later studying with William Eby, a teacher based in Kansas City.  In his early career, Eldon Benge played in silent movie houses and dance halls.  Then at age 24, Eldon Benge was selected by Ossip Gabrilowitsch as Principal trumpet of the Detroit Symphony.  Benge was Principal trumpet in Detroit for five season 1928-1933.  Then, in 1933, Edward Llewellyn apparently suffered an embouchure problem which required his sudden replacement.  Elden Benge then moved from Detroit to succeed Edward Llewellyn as Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony.  Elden Benge was Principal trumpet in Chicago for six seasons 1933-1939.  Then, Benge moved to Chicago radio station WGN where he played in the staff orchestra which had the advantage of year-around employment (not yet the case with the Chicago Symphony, or any other US symphony other than Boston).  Also in the 1930s, Benge began experimenting in trumpet construction.  In 1937, he sold selling his first hand-manufactured trumpets to fellow musicians. 


From 1937-1953, Elden Benge continued to manufacture his trumpets in Chicago.  Then i n 1952, for health reasons, Elden Benge relocated to Burbank, California where he continued trumpet manufacture until his death in 1960.  It is said that in California, Elden Benge was a close friend of Hollywood star John Wayne.

1939-1941 Renold Otto Schilke 1936-1951


Renold Schilke was born June 30, 1910 in Green Bay, Wisconsin into a musical family. At age only 11, Renold Schilke was a cornet player in the Band of the Frank Holton Company (band instrument maker) in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.  Schilke later said that being at the Frank Holton plant as a youth,'...the old German workmen at the plant insisted that 'if you play the instrument, you should know how to make it...', and with their help, Schilke made his first instrument at age eleven 45.  In 1927, Schilke went to Belgium, to study at the Brussels Conservatory, during which time he also examined the manufacture of the factory originally created by brass instrument manufacturer Victor-Charles Mahillon (1841-1924).  Returning to the U.S., Renold Schilke studied with Edward Llewellyn, CSO Principal trumpet.  In the 1936-1937 season, on the death of Edward Llewellyn, Renold Schilke joined the Chicago Symphony as second trumpet, sitting next to Elden Benge.  The Chicago Symphony trumpet section then was: Eldon Benge Principal, Renold Schilke second, Edward Masacek third (or Third/Assistant Principal trumpet to use today's titles), and Frank Holz fourth trumpet.  Elden Benge and Renold Schilke were also neighbors, and as Elden Benge worked to develop and improved trumpet model, Renold Schilke helped.  Schilke worked with Benge, providing the tooling and craftsmanship necessary to craft Benge's experiments.  After Eldon Benge left the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 1938-1939 season, Renold Schilke succeeded him as Principal trumpet.  Schilke performed as Principal in the 1939-1941 seasons, Renold Schilke after which he joined the US Army following Pearl Harbor, and Sydney Baker succeeded him for one season.  In the 1942-1943 season, Renold Schilke took up the Second trumpet position, under Gerald Huffman, Principal.  From 1943-1950, Renold Schilke was in the position we would today call Third/Assistant Principal trumpet.   Also during the 1940s, Renold Schilke continued with the development and manufacture of trumpets with his neighbor Eldon Benge.  Schilke also left the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 1950-1951 season in which he was fourth trumpet, but continued to play with the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra from 1954-1964.  Renold Schilke taught at Roosevelt University 1945-1968.


After the CSO, Renold Schilke continued to develop instrument manufacture and distribution, forming Schilke Music Products, Inc.  Schilke was a great innovator in trumpet design, according to his colleagues.  Schilke later became a consultant to Yamaha of Japan as Yamaha sought to develop superior instruments.  Early Yamaha trumpets are said to have had clear Schilke design influences.  After Renold Schilke's death, the Schilke family sold the instrument company to Andrew Naumann, a baroque trumpet maker.  Renold Schilke died in September, 1982 in West Chicago, Illinois after a fill and innovative career.

1941-1942, 1946-1948 Sydney Baker (Sidney Beckerman)


Sidney Beckerman was born on July 25, 1921 in New York City into a musical family.  He was related to the musical Fishberg family, his mother being Rebecca Fishberg (1892-1985).  Interestingly, Rebecca Fishberg's father, Isaac Beckerman Fishberg (1848-1949) was originally a Beckerman, until he adopted the Fishberg name.  Isaac Beckerman Fishberg was brother to Boruch Beckerman, grandfather to Sidney Beckerman-Sydney Baker 66.  So, Sidney Beckerman-Sydney Baker was related to the musical Fishbergs on both sides of his family.  (Note that Mischa Mischakoff and Harry Glantz were both Fishbergs, and Mischa Mischakoff's grandfather was indeed Solomon Beckerman, father of Isaac Beckerman Fishberg 67 - hopefully not too confusing.)  In 1939, Sidney Beckerman changed his name to Sydney Baker 65, his name used hereafter.  Sydney's father, Harry Beckerman (1891-1985) was a clarinet and saxophone musician who played saxophone as an extra in the New York Philharmonic 65.  In the 1930s, Sydney gained a NY Philharmonic scholarship, allowing him to study with Max Schlossberg.  Sydney than gain entrance to the Juilliard School, where he studied trumpet 1936-1940 with two legendary teachers: Ernest Williams and William Vacchiano.  In April, 1940, Sydney Baker joined Stokowski's newly-formed All-American Youth Orchestra and toured with them in South American.  In the 1940-1941 season, Sydney Baker was Principal trumpet in the Civic Orchestra or Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony.  The next season, in 1941, aged only 19, Sydney Baker was appointed Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony by Frederick Stock.  Baker was Principal trumpet for one season, 1941-1942 before his war service with the US Army Air Force.  In January, 1946 returning from the army, Sydney Baker again joined the Chicago Symphony as Principal trumpet for two seasons, 1946-1948.  In 1948, Sydney Baker moved to New York City where he played in the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra.  This had the advantage of year-around employment, unlike either the Chicago Symphony or the New York Philharmonic in that era.  Baker also was an extra musician with the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera and played with the Goldman Band.  Sydney Baker also was a regular musician in Broadway orchestras.  Baker played in the Broadway shows Paint Your Wagon, Kismet, and the entire Broadway run of My Fair Lady 65.  At the time, My Fair Lady achieved a new Broadway record, playing from March 15, 1956 to September 29, 1962 after 2,717 performances.  Sydney Baker also recorded the music for the MGM movie The Hollow Men.  In New York City, Sydney Baker taught at the LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts from 1966 until his retirement in 1989.  Sydney Baker died in New York City on June 8, 2010, at the age of 88 after a full career.

1942-1946  Gerald Clemmie S. Huffman

Gerald Huffman was born in Hamilton County, Indiana in on January 3, 1903.  Gerald Huffman studied first in Indiana with his music teacher father Isaac Newton Huffman (1883-1963).  Then, as a teen, Huffman studied at the Dana Institute of Music in Warren, Ohio.  He also studied with Herbert L. Clarke in Ontario, Canada.  Huffman had an extensive band career.  In World War 1, Huffman played in the 129th Infantry Band in Illinois.  He also played with the US Navy band. Gerald Huffman played trumpet in the John Philip Sousa Band 1925-1930.  In the late 1930s, Gerald Huffman was bandmaster of the Kable Brothers Band, a private band in Illinois 44.  Huffman joined the Chicago Symphony trumpet section in the 1939-1940 season.  In 1940, he was trumpet in the Little Symphony Orchestra of Chicago, led by Hans Lange, Associate Conductor of the Chicago Symphony 221.  Huffman was advanced to Prinicpal trumpet during 1942-1946, during World War 2.  Following the war, Gerald Huffman was then second trumpet 1946-1950, and third trumpet of the Chicago Symphony 1950-1951.  Later, after his orchestral career, Gerald Huffman ran a variety store in Denton, Maryland 1951-1959 143, and then worked in a warehouse 44, showing the vulnerability of following a musician's career.  Gerald Huffman then retired to Texas, where he died in Fulton, Texas December 19, 1981.

1966 Chicago Symphony Brass


Arnold Jacobs tuba, Jay Friedman trombone, Dale Clevenger horn, Frank Crisafulli tenor trombone, Vincent Cichowicz trumpet, Adolph Herseth trumpet


1948-2001  Adolph Sylvester Herseth 


Adolph "Bud" Herseth was born on July 25, 1921 in Lake Park, Minnesota.  His father was, Adolf Sylvester Herseth, senior, was Minnesota-born of Norwegian parents, who was a music teacher.  Herseth's mother was North Dakota-born Carah Herseth, also of Norwegian heritage.  Bud Herseth grew up in rural northern Minnesota.  His first music teacher, other than his father was James Greco, when Herseth went to the Minnesota state high school band camp in the Summer of 1937, held at the University of Minnesota 43.  He also studied with Ernest Williams.  Bud Herseth graduated from with a mathematics degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  During World War 2, Herseth was a musician in the US Navy band.  After the War, Bud Herseth studied at the New England Conservatory with Boston Symphony trumpet players Marcel LaFosse (second trumpet 1926-1958, and uncle and teacher of BSO trumpet André Côme) and Georges Mager (BSO Principal trumpet 1919-1950). 



After graduation from the New England Conservatory in 1948, Bud Herseth auditioned and won appointment as Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Artur Rodzinski, an astute 'picker' of musicians.  Bud Herseth remained Principal trumpet in Chicago for an unprecedented 53 seasons 1948-2001.  Bud Herseth was then named Emeritus Principal trumpet 2001-2004.

2001-2003 Craig Alan Morris


Craig Morris was born in July 8, 1968 Odessa, Texas, west Texas near Midland, but grew up in San Antonio.  His was a musical family, his father Cecil Morris being a band director and tuba player.  He studied with Raymond Crisara at the University of Texas, Austin.  Morris earned his Master degree in music in 1991 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with Glenn Fischthal, Principal Trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony.  Morris then returned to Texas for further study.  Returning to San Francisco, Craig Morris was Associate Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony for three seasons, 1998-2001.  In 2001, Craig Morris won the audition to succeed Adolph Herseth as Principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony.  Craig Morris left the orchestra after two seasons as Principal trumpet.  He was active in Sacramento, California, as Principal Trumpet of the Sacramento Symphony.  Morris also during his career toured with Dallas Brass, a quintet.  Craig Morris then devoted his time to teaching, becoming Professor of Trumpet at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music.

2003-2005 Mark Ridenour (Acting Principal)


Mark Ridenour was born in Kentucky in 1959.  He studied at Asbury College (now Asbury University) in Wilmore, Kentucky, earning his BA.  While still at Asbury, Ridenour was appointed third trumpet of the Lexington Philharmonic in about 1980.  Ridenour then went on to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, still playing in the Lexington Philharmonic.  He also added the Dayton (Ohio) Philharmonic to his activities.  Dayton is about 60 miles north of Cincinnati, and Lexington is about 80 miles south.  Ridenour gained his MMus at Cincinnati and completed 2 years of the doctoral program.  After Cincinnati, Mark Ridenour joined the trumpet section of the Memphis Symphony (Tennessee).  He was then appointed Principal trumpet of the Florida Orchestra (Tampa) 1990-1994.  Ridenour joined the Chicago Symphony as Assistant Principal trumpet in the 1994-1995 season.  After Craig Morris left the Chicago Symphony, Mark Ridenour served as Principal trumpet for two seasons, 2003-2005.  After Chris Martin joined the Chicago Symphony, the trumpet section consisted of Chris Martin, Principal Trumpet, Mark Ridenour, Assistant Principal, John Hagstrom, third and Tage Larsen fourth trumpet.  With this lineup, the Chicago Symphony continued the strong tradition of its brass section heritage.

2005-present  Christopher Martin


Chris Martin was born in Marietta, Georgia in 1975.  He comes from a musical family, his father, Freddy Martin being a band director, his mother Lynda Martin sings in the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, and his brother Michael Martin was just named Fourth/Utility trumpet of the Boston Symphony in the 2010-2011 season.  Chris Martin studied at the Eastman School of Music, where he earned a BMus in 1997.  Both Christopher Martin and his brother Michael Martin have been auditioned by numerous orchestras.  On graduation from Eastman, Chris Martin was offered the Principal Trumpet position with the Buffalo Philharmonic.  At the same time, Martin won the audition for Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Principal trumpet position, in which he served for three seasons, 1997-2000.  In early 2001, Christopher Martin joined the Atlanta Symphony as Principal trumpet.  Martin served in his home town of Atlanta for nearly five season, early 2001-2005.  During 2005, Chris Martin performed regularly with the Chicago Symphony, including at the Ravinia Festival, before being appointed Principal horn in the Adolph Herseth Chair for the 2005-2006 season, where he continues to serve, fulfilling the rich tradition of the Chicago brass section.


Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Chicago Symphony Orchestra Trombones and Tuba



Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet in 2013

Oto Carrillo horn, Christopher Martin and Tage Larsen, trumpet, Gene Pokorny tuba, Michael Mulcahy trombone



1891-1895  Anders Christian August Helleberg Bass trombone and tuba


photo thanks to BSO musician Douglas Yeo - visit his excellent trombone website


To read about the great Bass trombone and tuba musician August Helleberg see the description in the tuba section.

1940-June, 1985  Edward Marck Kleinhammer Bass trombone


Edward Kleinhammer was born in Illinois in 1919, and his early education was first in the violin and later at age 14 in the trombone.  Kleinhammer then studied with two Chicago Symphony trombones: David Anderson, including in bass trombone, and with Edward Geffert.  As a student, Kleinhammer followed many of his orchestral colleagues in playing in the Chicago area training orchestra: the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 1938 and 1939.  Then, in 1940 following a nation-wide competition, Edward Kleinhammer was selected by Leopold Stokowski to play in the All-American Youth Symphony in their 1940 South America tour. 


  Edward Kleinhammer at the beginning of his great career in 1940


This led directly to Edward Kleinhammer's selection to join Frederick Stock's Chicago Symphony as Bass trombone in the 1940-1941 season.  Later, during World War 2, when Edward Kleinhammer was in the US Army, Elmer Janes temporarily took the bass trombone position 1942-1945.  Edward Kleinhammer then returned to the Chicago Symphony for a further forty seasons retiring at the end of 1984-1985.  With his student, Boston Symphony bass trombone Douglas Yeo, they wrote Mastering the Trombone, published by EMKO Publications, Hayward, Wisconsin.  Kleinhammer was one of the very few Chicago Symphony trombones to survive the repeated musician dismissals under Fritz Reiner.

April 1965-present   Jay Friedman Principal trombone


Jay Friedman was born in Chicago in 1939.  As a student, he played trombone with his high school band and later with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the Chicago area student orchestra) for 4 seasons.  He was then appointed trombone with the Florida Symphony (before the creation of the New World Symphony) for 2 seasons.  Friedman attended the Music School of Yale University then studied composition at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University.  Jay Friedman was appointed to the trombone section of the Chicago Symphony in the 1962-1963 season.  Then, in April, 1965, he was appointed Principal trombone of the Chicago Symphony under Jean Martinon.  Jay Friedman can be heard, of course, in all the major works of the repertoire in the many great recordings under Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, and now with Riccardo Muti.  He has also performed the premiere of several works, including on February 2, 1989, the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra


    Jay Friedman, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Sir Georg Solti in 1989


This concerto had been commissioned for Jay Friedman, and was performed for the first time under Sir Georg Solti at that 1989 concert.  Jay Friedman has also pursued an active conducting career, including as Music Director of the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest, near Chicago, beginning in 1995.  He has guest-conducted a number of orchestras in the USA and in Europe.


1891-1895  Anders Christian August Helleberg tuba and bass trombone


August Helleberg was born on March 7, 1861 in Aalborg in the north of the mainland of Denmark.  He studied brass instruments first in Aalborg with his musician father Christen Helleberg Pedersen.   In 1878, Helleberg moved from Norway, where his family had relocated, to New York City, where Helleberg sought to earn a living as a musician.  He soon developed a leading reputation as a tuba player.  When Theodore Thomas became conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1879, he soon hired Helleberg as tubas of the orchestra.  Also, when Theodore Thomas moved to Chicago in 1891 to create the Chicago Orchestra, as it was then called, he took August Helleberg with him as Principal tuba and bass trombone.  August Helleberg remained in Chicago for five seasons 1891-1895.  He later played in the John Philip Sousa Band 1898-1903 and in the Goldman Band.  In New York, he also played in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  August Helleberg's older brother John or Johannes (1856-after 1910) was also tuba player in the Sousa Band, as was his son August Helleberg, Jr. 1892-1978.  Based in New York City, August Helleberg was recognized as one of the leading tuba musicians of the US, well into the 1920s.  In his later years, Helleberg musical instrument store in North Arlington, New Jersey, west of New York City.  August Helleberg died on November 17, 1936 in Newark, New Jersey. Visit interesting website to read more about the August Helleburg 114.

1944-1988   Arnold M. Jacobs


Arnold Jacobs with Wayne Barrington and Renold Schilke in the foreground circa 1960


Arnold Jacobs was born in Philadelphia on 11 June 1915, but raised in California.  From a musicial family, in interviews, Arnold Jacobs would cite his pianist mother as providing his early musical inspiration.  During his youth, Arnold Jacobs passed from cornet to trumpet to trombone to tuba.  He gained admittance to the Curtis Institute, where he graduated in the Class of 1936.  Following Curtis, Jacobs served as tuba for the Indianapolis Symphony for two seasons 1937-1939, followed by the Pittsburgh Symphony tuba 1939-1944 under Fritz Reiner.  Arnold Jacobs also joined Leopold Stokowski's the second All-American Youth Orchestra tour in 1941.  He was then appointed tuba of the Chicago Symphony in the 1944-1945 season.  Arnold Jacobs served the Chicago Symphony for 44 seasons 1944-1988.  During this time, he was a founding member of the Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet.  He also took leave from the symphony in the spring of 1949 to tour England and Scotland with the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Arnold Jacobs overcame the lung limitations of asthma to become one of the great tuba artists.  Arnold "Jake" Jacobs died in Chicago on 7 October 1998.

1989-1992, 1993-present   Gene Pokorny


    Gene Pokorny practicing on tour.  photo: Todd Rosenberg


Gene Pokorny was born John Eugene Pokorny in Downey, California several miles south of Los Angeles on 15 May 1953.  He played in the varsity band in Warren High School in his home town.  He studied at University of Redlands, California for 2 years before transferring to the University of Southern California where he earned his BMus in 1975 228.  He did his military service in the President's Own Marine Band.  After graduation from USC, Pokorny played in the Israel Philharmonic 1975-1978, selected by Zubin Mehta who was at the time music director of both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic.  Returning to the US, Gene Pokorny was tuba of the Utah Symphony 1978-1983.  He then succeeded John MacEnulty as Principal tuba of the Saint Louis Symphony serving 1983-1989.  Gene Pokorny joined the Chicago Symphony under Sir George Solti in the 1989-1990 season succeeding Arnold Jacobs.  Gene Pokorny briefly returned to his home town to play in the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the 1992-1993 season.  While in Los Angeles, Gene Pokorny also played in Hollywood studios, including for the film Jurassic Park.  After one season in Los Angeles, Gene Pokorny returned to the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim in 1993.  During the 2010-2011 season, Gene Pokorny was on sabbatical teaching in Utah. 

photo   photo: Todd Rosenberg

In June 2000, Pokorny played the premiere of John D. Stevens Journey - Concerto for Contrabass Tuba and Orchestra with the Chicago Symphony, which the orchestra commissioned in 1997.  As well as his many Chicago Symphony recordings, he has recorded several CDs including Tuba Tracks on Summit Records.  Gene Pokorny also believes that personal physical fitness is important to an orchestra musician, which promises to give his fans many further years of enjoyment.


  Chicago Symphony 'Low Brass' in 2004

  left to right: Jay Friedman, Michael Mulcahy, Pete Elefson, Jeff Taylor, Charlie Vernon, Gene Pokorny tuba

Timpani and Percussion


1932-1963  Edward M. Metzenger


Edward Metzenger was born in Chicago on April 9, 1902.  During the 1920s, Metzenger was a theater orchestra musician in Chicago.  In the 1930-1931 season, he was appointed as Principal percussion of the Chicago Symphony by Frederick Stock.  Two seasons later upon Max Wintrich retiring from the orchestra, Edward Metzenger was appointed Principal timpani in the 1932-1933 season at age 30.  During his tenure with the orchestra, Metzenger taught at Northwestern University for three decades 215.  His students have written in particular of Metzenger's variation of playing away from the playing spot for certain effects.  In this instruction, he divided the timpani head into four different zones, in order to gain different combinations of resonance and articulation. 


After 33 seasons of service, Metzenger retired from the Chicago Symphony at the end of the 1962-1963 season.  Metzenger's art can be heard in particular in the Mercury recordings with Raphael Kubelik and the RCA Victor recordings with Fritz Reiner.  Edward Metzenger died in Muncie, Indiana where he had moved after retirement on April 9, 1987.

1963-February 2010  Donald Koss


photo: Todd Rosenberg

Donald Koss was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1939.  His early exposure to music was at Senn High School in Chicago, where he played percussion, including timpani in the high school band.  His university studies were in mathematics at Northwestern University both undergraduate and graduate.  For his military service, Koss played in the US Fifth Army Band 1954-1957.  Donald Koss was a mathematics teacher at Evanston High School in 1958, prior to the Chicago Symphony.  Donald Koss is sometimes said to be self-taught as a timpanist, but his experience in a series of Chicago-area symphony orchestras clearly aided his development.  In parallel with mathematics study and teaching, Koss was active in several Chicago-area orchestras, starting with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra, and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, the North Side Symphony of Chicago, and the Grant Park Symphony.  As well as the Chicago Symphony, Donald Koss was active in the Chicago Pro Musica.  Their Chicago Pro Musica recording of the difficult Stravinsky L'Histoire du soldat won a Grammy Award as "Best New Classical Artist".  During most of his Chicago Symphony career, Donald Koss was active on the Orchestra Players’ Committee, elected by his colleagues.  Wife Mary McDonald is also a orchestral percussionist.

Double Basses

Quick Navigation: Click Below to Jump to Desired Location
  Chicago Music Directors    
Concertmasters Cellos Violas
Basses Oboes Bassoons
Clarinets Flutes Horns
Trumpets Trombones/Tubas Timpini-Percussion
  navigation of site  
List of all Chicago Symphony Musicians Return to Top of Page Musicians of Other US Orchestras


Navigation of Stokowski - Philadelphia Pages
click here to go to the Home Page of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra
Listings of Orchestra Musicians: Click on the link below
Boston Symphony Principal Musicians
Boston Symphony List All Musicians
Chicago Symphony Principal Musicians
Chicago Symphony List All Musicians
Cleveland Orchestra Principal Musicians
Cleveland Orchestra List All Musicians
Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Musicians
Philadelphia Orchestra List All Musicians
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Musicians
Saint Louis Symphony Musicians
San Francisco Symphony Principal Musicians
San Francisco Symphony List All Musicians



If you have any comments or questions about this Leopold Stokowski site, please e-mail me (Larry Huffman) at e-mail address:  



1  Chicago Symphony website, Rosenthal Archives, collected November, 2010. Former CSO Musicians.
2  Heiles, Anne Mischakoff.  America's Concertmasters.  Harmonie Park Press.  Sterling Heights, MI. 2007.  ISBN-13 978-0-89990-139-8
One of the few truly great books on Concertmasters and musicians of US orchestras.  A wealth of information, carefully researched and entertainingly written.
3   page 98.  Heiles, Anne Mischakoff.  Mischa Mischakoff, Journeys of a Concertmaster. Harmonie Park Press.  Sterling Heights, MI. 2006.  ISBN 0-89990-131-X
6   page 60.  Hubbard, William L., editor.  The American History and Encyclopedia of Music.  Irving Squire Company.  New York. 1910
7   pages 212-236.  Russell, Charles Edward.  The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas.  William Heinemann, Ltd.  London.  1927.
8  Adorno, Theodor W., Lonitz, Henri, Hoban, Wieland. Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction.  Translated by Wieland Hoban.  Published by Polity. 2006.  ISBN 0745631983
9   page 195.  The Musical Times.  Published by Novello. London. March 1913.
10  page 15.  Davenport Democrat and Leader.  Published Davenport, Iowa  March 19, 1925.
11  page 48.  Hubbard, William L., editor.  The American History and Encyclopedia of Music. op. cit.
12   pages 236-285.  Russell, Charles Edward.  The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas.  William Heinemann, Ltd.  London.  1927.
13  page 332.  Medicus, Emile.   The Flutist Magazine.  Published by E. Medicus Asheville, N.C. 1921
14  page 16.  New York Times.  January 30, 1895.  New York, NY.
15   page 18.  Dzapo, Kyle J.  Joachim Anderson, a Bio-biography.  Greenwood Press. Westport, CN.  1999.  ISBN 0-31330-8896 
16   page 4.  Daily Northwestern.   April 15, 1972. 
17  Second Section.  Berkshire Evening Eagle.  Pittsfield, MA.  February 25, 1946.
18  page X1 Music Section.  New York Times.  New York. December 31, 1904. 
19  page 1.  The Olean Herald Newspaper.  Olean, NY June 3, 1930.
20   "The American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, Completes Forty-three Years of Service ".  The Musical Courier. New York. June 1, 1929
21  Tucker, Ernest.  Interview with Victor Aitay: Answers sought on Wallenberg.  Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.  Chicago January 19, 2000.
22  Kobayashi, Hikari.  "The Reception of Grieg’s Music in Japan".   The International Grieg Society International research conference.  Bergen, Norway.  2007.
23  page 225.  Galliano, Luciana.  Venice University “Ca’Foscari,” Venice, Italy.  Manfred Gurlitt and the Japanese Operatic Scene, 1939-1972  The pages 215-248
24   page 2.  Penang Daily News.  (An English language propaganda newspaper published by the Japanese in Malaya during the occupation.) December 6, 1942.
25   page 4   Wakefield Michigan News.  September 28, 1956.
26   page 5   Ironwood Michigan Daily News.  April 12, 1958.
27   page 4.  The Dalton Illinois Pointer.  April 30, 1942.
28  page 28.   The Miami Helmet, Piqua, Ohio.  November 27, 1897.
29   page 19 Arts section.  New York Times.   January 25, 1934.
30   McBeth, Amy A discography of 78 rpm era recordings of the horn.   University of Michigan
31  page 4.  Oshkosh Wisconsin Daily Northwestern.  August 7, 1958.
32  page 246.  Adorno, Theodor W., Lonitz, Henri, Hoban, Weiland.  Towards a Theory of Music Reproduction. op. cit.
33   page 9.  The New York Times.  April 15, 1912.
34 page 429-430.  Keim, Friedel.  Das grosse Buch der Trompete  Instrument, Geschichte, Trompeterlexikon.  Schott.  Mainz, Germany.   September, 2005.  ISBN 3-7957-0560-4.
35  Schwartz, Richard I.  Well-known Soloists from All Walks of Life  The Coronet Compendium.  2000, 2001.
36   Kallman, H. and Potvin, G. Encyclopédie de la musique au Canada  University of Toronto Press. 1992.
37   page 19.  Thomas, Theodore.  Theodore Thomas: A Musical Autobiography  Edited by George Putnam Upton.  A. C. McClurg & Co.  1905.
38  Page 10.  Russell, Charles Edward.  The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas.  William Heinemann, Ltd.  1927.   London.
39   page 21.  Russell.  op. cit.
40  pages 104-111.  Kenneson, Claude.  Musical Prodigies: Perilous Journeys, Remarkable Lives.   Amadeus Press.  March 2003.  ISBN-13: 9781574670462.
40  Schweikert, Norman (CSO horn section musician).  The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Oboe Sections.  International Double Reed Society. Volume II number 3.  (an excellent source - thanks Norman Schweikert!)
41  Page 6.  Woodwind Ensemble Will Appear Here April 28.  Ironwood Daily Globe. Ironwood, Michigan. April 20, 1938.
42  Page 62.  Furlong, William Barry.  Season with Solti: A Year in the Life of the Chicago Symphony.  Alpha Books.  1974.  ISBN-13: 9780025420007.
43  Davidson, Lewis.  Trumpet profiles.  Published privately by Louis Davidson. 1975.
44  page 2. Freeport Journal-Standard. Freeport Illinois July 6, 1938.
45  Lewis, H. M. Interview: Renold Schilke.  International Trumpet Guild.  May 1980.
46  Biographical Nore: Artur Rodzinski.  Artur Rodzinski Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.  2007.
47  page 226.  Ewen, David.  Dictators of the Baton.  Alliance Book Corp. Chicago. 1943.
48  page 308.  Horowitz, Joseph Horowitz.  Classical Music in America: a History of its Rise and Fall.  W. W. Norton. New York. 2005. ISBN 0-393-05717-8.
49  page 298-299.  Peyser, Joan.  The Music of My Time.  Pro Am Music.  White Plains, NY. 1995.  ISBN-13: 9780912483993
50  page 131.  John Canarina, John.  Pierre Monteux, Maître.  2003.  Hal Leonard Corporation.  ISBN-13: 9781574670820.
51  page 15.  Musician's Wife a Suicide.  New York Times.  New York. March 7, 1921.
52 page 3.  Concert Wins High Approval.  Daily Free Press. Carbondale, Illinois.  December 9, 1919.

53 page 6.  Bruno Steindel Noted Cellist.  Waterloo Evening Courier. Waterloo, Iowa.  April 1, 1911.
54 page 58.  Brilliant Music Festival.  Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba.  February 7, 1920.
55   page 301.  Shanet, Howard.  Philharmonic: A History of New York's Orchestra.   Doubleday and Company.  New York. 1975. ISBN: 0-385-08861-2.
56  Rhein, John.  Dufour's Decision.  Chicago Tribune. Chicago. January 10, 2010.
57  Concours internationaux de la Ville de Paris.   Concours de de flûte Jean-Pierre Rampal - Tous les palmarès
58  Gresset, Pascal.   Flûtistes solistes des Orchestres nationaux et professeurs des Conservatoires nationaux supérieurs.  November, 2009.
59  Fédération Mondiale des Concours Internationaux de Musique.   Fourth Kobe International Flute Competition.  August 2-9, 1997.
60 business directory   Donald Peck's Biography.  2008.
61  page 8.  Clark, Anne D. Friendly New Mexicans.  The New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico.  August 14, 1957.
62  Peck, Donald.  The Right Place, The Right Time.  Indiana University Press.  Bloomington, Indiana.  2007.  ISBN-13: 978-0-253-34914-9.
63  page 163.  Watts, Alan.  In My Own Way: An Autobiography.  New World Library. 2007. ISBN-13: 9781577315841.
64  De Lorenzo, Leonardo. My Complete Story of the Flute: The Instrument, the Performer, the Music.  Texas Tech University.  Lubbock, Texas.  1992.  ISBN 978-0-89672-277-5.
65  e-mail information from Mr. Jonathan Baker, son of Sydney Baker, January 27, 2010.
66  Baker, Jonathan.  Long Yisroel's Journey Into Levite.  Jonathan Baker Blog. September 16, 2007.
67  page 6.  Heiles, Anne Mischakoff.  Mischa Mischakoff, Journeys of a Concertmaster.  Harmonie Park Press.  Sterling Heights, Michigan.  2006.  ISBN 0-89990-131-X.
68  Sotheby's Auctions.  The Collection of Eleanore & Daniel Saidenberg.   Sotheby's Auctions.  New York, New York.   November 10, 1999.
69  Previous Competition Winners: 1927. Walter W. Naumburg Foundation. 
70  page 455.  Colby, Frank Moore, Churchill, Allen Leon.  The New international Year Book  Volume 1919.  Dodd, Mead and Company.  New York, New York. 1919.
71  Hartford Symphony Orchestra Information.   1930–1939: Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Community Beginnings.
72  Yancich, Milan.  An Orchestra Musician's Odyssey: A View from the Rear.  Wind Music, Inc.  Rocheser, NY.  1995.
73  pages 37-38.  Greer, Lowell. A Tribute to Frank Brouk (1913-2004). The Horn Call.  The International Horn Society.  Volume 35 no 1 October 2004.
74  pages 43-47.  Cowan, Tom . Profile Interview with Philip Farkas. The Horn Call.  The International Horn Society.  Volume 30 no 4 August 2000.
75  Janega, James.  Ex-CSO Musician Helen Kotas Hirsch, 84.  Chicago Tribune. Chicago. December 21, 2000.
76  page 5.  Philadelphia Symphony Names Winnipeg Cellist.   Winnipeg Free Press. Winnepeg, Manitoba. May 28, 1951.
77  page 4.  Concertgoers Hear Prominent Cellist.  Benton Harbor News-Palladium. Benton Harbor, Michigan. February 4, 1957.
78  Maxim Olefsky, 90, pianist, conductor.  Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago, Illinois. December 26, 1989.
79  Gillespie, John and Anna.  Notable Twentieth-century Pianists.   Greenwood Press. Chicago, Illinois. 1995. ISBN-13: 9780313296956.
80  Ng, David.  Principal Flutist Mathieu Dufour Leaves L.A. Phil.  Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. January 6, 2010.
81  page 8.  Thomas, Theodore.  Theodore Thomas: A Musical Autobiography  Edited by George Putnam Upton.  A. C. McClurg & Co.  1905.
82  page 8.  Thomas, Theodore.  Theodore Thomas: A Musical Autobiography  op. cit.
83 page 33-34.  Thomas, Rose Fay.  Memoirs of Theodore Thomas.  Moffat, Yard & Company.  New York, New York.1911.
84  page 22.  Thomas, Rose Fay.  Memoirs of Theodore Thomas.  op. cit.
85 page 510-526.  Thomas, Rose Fay.  Memoirs of Theodore Thomas.  op. cit.
86  page 62.  Thomas, Theodore.  Theodore Thomas: A Musical Autobiography  op. cit.
87  pages 97-127.  Heiles, Anne Mischakoff.  Mischa Mischakoff, Journeys of a Concertmaster.  op. cit.
88  page 167.  Lebrecht, Norman.  Covent Garden, the Untold Story: Dispatches from the English Culture War, 1945-2000.  Northeastern University.  Boston, Massachusetts. September 2001.  ISBN-13: 9781555534882
89  Critics: Exit of the Executioner.   Time Magazine.  New York, New York. September 3, 1965.
90  Hill, Brad.  American Popular Music: Classical.  Facts On File, Inc. New York, New York.  2006. ISBN 0-8160-5211-1.
91  pages 76-79.  The Met's First Music Director. New York Magazine New York, New York. Sep 17, 1973.
92   Kozinn, Allan.  Rafael Kubelik Dies at 82; Championed Czech Music.   New York Times. New York, New York. August 12, 1996.
93  Violinist Holds Interest, Shows Fine Technique.   Ogden Standard-Examiner. Ogden, Utah. February 20, 1936.
94   Delacoma, Wynne.  John Williams' CSO Program Builds to a Hollywood ending.   Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago, Illinois. December 1, 2003.
95   Tarr, Edward H. (Stewart Carter, editor).  East Meets West: The Russian Trumpet Tradition  Historical Brass Society Series number 4. Pendragon Press, 2004. ISBN-13 978-1576470282
96  Kozinn, Allan.  Sir Georg Solti, 84, Chicago's Virtuoso Conductor.   New York Times. New York, New York. September 6, 1997.
97  Block, Adrienne Fried  Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian  Oxford University Press. New York 1998. ISBN: 0-19-507408-4.
98   Otis, Philo Adams.  The Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Its Organization, Growth and Development 1891-1924. Clayton F. Summy Company.  Chicago, Illinois. 1924. 
99   page 3.  The Coming Musical Event - Chicago Orchestra. Logansport Journal.  Logansport, Indiana. April 15, 1893. 
100  page 9.  Death: Oscar Chausow. Deseret News.  Salt Lake City, Utah. September 18, 1992. 
101  page 4.  Clark Brody Jr. to Teach Music.  Ludington Daily News.  Ludington, Michigan. June 23, 1934. 
102  page 15.  Noted Cellist Dies.   Albuquerque Journal.  Albuquerque, New Mexico. February 3, 1952. 
103   page 21.  Chicago Symphony Boasts 4 Women. Salt Lake Tribune.  Salt Lake City, Utah. May 3, 1965.
104   Schmidt, Paul William.  History of the Ludwig Drum Company. Centerstream Publishing.  1991.  ISBN-13: 9780931759499.
105  page 8.  Hungarian-Born Couple to be Presented at ISC.  Indiana Evening Gazette.  Indiana, Pennsylvania.  April 14, 1961.
106  Rasmussen, Frederick N.  Mihaly 'Misi' Virizlay.  Baltimore Sun.  Baltimore, Maryland.  October 16, 2008.
107  page 17.  First State Supported Arts School.  Racine Journal Times.  Racine, Wisconsin.  March 16, 1965.
108  Chicago Orchestra's Loss.   New York Times.  New York, New York.  April 1, 1898. 
109  Caro, Mark.  Musicians swap notes.  Chicago Tribune. Chicago. August 30, 2011.
110  Dooley, Louise.  In the World of Music.  Atlanta Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia. December 11, 1904.
111   page 437.   Heiles, Anne Mischakoff.  America's Concertmasters.  Harmonie Park Press. Sterling Heights, MI. 2007. ISBN-13 978-0-89990-139-8.
112   page 30.  Ensemble Set.  News Palladium.  Benton Harbor, Michigan.  August 24, 1966.
113  Delacoma, Wynne.  CSO's `Requiem' Fails to Radiate.  Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago. September 19, 1993.
114  Jørgen Voigt Arnsted.The great Danish/American tubist August C. Helleberg.    information collected 2010.
115  Hanaford, Harry Prescott, Hines, Dixie.  Who's who in Music and Drama: An Encyclopedia of Biography.  H.P. Hanaford, New York, New York 1914.
116  Herringshaw, Mae Fells.  Herringshaw's City Blue Book of Biography.  Clark J. Herringshaw.  Chicago, Illinois. 1916.
117 page 412-418.  Thomas, Rose Fay.  Memoirs of Theodore Thomas.  op. cit.
118 page 10B.  Negro Violinist, 23, Performs Despite Racial Controversy.  Racine Journal Times.  Racine, Wisconsin.  February 18, 1963.
119 page 500.  Music.  Black And White magazine.  London, England.  April 8, 1905.
120 page 10.  Artist's Recital.  Fort Wayne News.  Fort Wayne, Indiana.  March 22, 1913.
121 page 18.  Johnson, Mimi Interview: Charles R. Hoffer.  University of Florida Oral History Program.  Gainesville, Florida.  February 17, 1987.
122 pages 100-102.  Gienow-Hecht, Jessica C. E.  Sound Diplomacy: Music and Emotions in Transatlantic Relations, 1850-1920.  University of Chicago Press.  Chicago, Illinois.  2009.  ISBN-13: 978-0226292151
123 page 4.  Firm Produces Fine Woodwinds.  Kokomo Tribune.  Kokomo, Indiana.  October 5, 1983.
124 Sherlock, Barbara.  Joseph E. Mourek, 93.  Chicago Tribune.  Chicago, Illinois.  October 22, 2003.
125 Norbert Mueller.  Chicago Tribune.  Chicago, Illinois.  May, 1999.
126 page 10.  Flutist Workshop, Concert Feb. 13.  Lima News.  Lima, Ohio.  January 31, 1960.
127 according to an email of Susan Del Monte, relative of Pellegrino Lecce, received January 3, 2012.
128  page 6.  Bohemian Violinist Gets Important Post.  Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette.  Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  March 24, 1910.
129  Crown, Tom.  Chicago Symphony Orchestra Trumpet Section 1902-1932.  International Trumpet Guild Journal.  Manhattan, Kansas.  June, 2011.
130  page 52.  Philadelphia - Changes in the Orchestra.  The Violinist, Volume 16.  Chicago, Illinois.  October, 1913.
131  page 1.  Chicago Symphony Official Dies In Texas Car Crash.  Laredo Times.  Laredo, Texas.  September 27, 1936.
132  pages 293-313 Appendix.  Sherman, John K.  Music and Maestros: The Story of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.  University of Minnesota Press.  Minneapolis, Minnesota.  January 1, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0816658695.
133   pages 96-121.  Heiles, Anne Mischakoff.  America's Concertmasters  op. cit.
134  page 18.  Pavley-Oukrainsky Ballet.  Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.  Fort Wayne, Indiana.  October 31, 1920.
135  Joseph B. Elson.  Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago, Illinois.  February 4, 1986.
136  page 3.  The Coming Musical Event.  Logansport Journal.  Logansport, Indiana.  April 15, 1893.
137  page 17.  Krehbiel, Henry Edward.  Review of the New York Musical Season 1885-1886.  Novello, Ewer & Co.  New York, New York.  1886.
138  page 6.  Frank Kryl and His Band Coming Here.  Robinson Constitution.  Robinson, Illinois.  June 14, 1916.
139  page 22.  Faculty of Ithaca Conservatory of Music Headed by Patrick Conway.  Presto American Music Trade Weekly.  Chicago, Illinois.  May 12, 1923.
140  Daniel Barenboim biographical information cited by Daniel Barenboim on his site viewed 2010, 2011 and 2012.
141  page 26.  Musical Notes.  Atlanta Constitution.  Atlanta, Georgia.  January 28, 1900.
142  Finley, Larry.  Played Cello in CSO for 22 Years.  Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago, Illinois. May 28, 2009.
143  Clark, Keith C.  Trumpet Sections of American Orchestras: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  International Trumpet Guild Journal.  Manhattan, Kansas.  December 1983.
144  Holland, Josiah Gilbert.  Life of Abraham Lincoln.  Gurdon Bill.  Springfield, Massachusetts.  1866.
145  Starker, Janos.  The World of Music According to Starker.  Indiana University Press.  Bloomington, Indiana.  2004.  ISBN-13: 9780253344526.
146  Zingel, Hans Joachim, Palkovic, Mark editor and translator.  Harp Music in the Nineteenth Century.   Indiana University Press.  Bloomington, Indiana.  1992. ISBN-13: 9780253368706.
147  Randel, Don Michael.  Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music.  Harvard University Press.  Cambridge, Massachusetts.  1996. ISBN-13: 9780674372993.
148  page 7.  Claremont Quartet to Be Heard at Delhi Tech.  Oneonta Star.  Oneonta, New York.  April 13, 1961.
149  page 2.  Orchestra Principals All American Trained .  Daytona Beach Morning Journal.  Daytona Beach, Florida.  May 19, 1964.
150  page 2.  Marion Hall Soloist with Illinois Symphony Sunday.  Greeley Daily Tribune.  Greeley, Colorado.  March 25, 1937.
151  page 5.  From the Advocate's World's Fair Correspondent.  Newark Daily Advertiser.  Newark, Ohio.  August 12, 1893.
152  Gates, Willey Francis. Who's Who in Music in California.  Colby and Pryibil.  Los Angeles, California.  1920.
153  The Flute Geneology Project.  accessed May, 2012
154  page 2.  String Trio Concert at Barn Gallery.  Portsmouth Herald.  Portsmouth, New Hampshire. July 6, 1974.
155  page 10.  Lehnhoff School of Music.  Southeast Economist.  Chicago, Illinois. June 25, 1959.
156  page 5.  Weber Concert Company.  Oak Park Reporter.  Chicago, Illinois.  December 13, 1889. June 25, 1959.
157  page 4.  Master Harry Dimond, Boy Violinist.  Janesville Gazette.  Janesville, Wisconsin.  March 24, 1890.
158  page 39.  Windham Harpist Strums Her Way Through a Busy Life.  Nashua Telegraph.  Nashua, New Hampshire.  Feb 11, 1988.
159  Page 2.  Orchestra School Faculty Announced.  Florence Morning News.  Florence, South Carolina.  November 10, 1939.
160  Page 13.  Womens Club League Entertainment Course.  Fort Wayne Journal.  Fort Wayne, Indiana.  September 25, 1898.
161  Page 9.  Artists Save Instruments in Fire on Way to Concert.  North Adams Transcript.  North Adams, Massachusetts.  May 11, 1955.
162  Page 2.  Native of Lincoln Murdered .  Columbus Telegram.  Columbus, Nebraska.  December 26, 1969.
163   page 290.  Otis, Philo Adams.  The Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Its Organization, Growth and Development 1891-1924. Clayton F. Summy Company.  Chicago, Illinois. 1924. 
164  Harpists In Demand.  Etude Magazine.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  March, 1900.
165   page 218.  Otis, Philo Adams.  The Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Its Organization, Growth and Development 1891-1924. Clayton F. Summy Company.  Chicago, Illinois. 1924. 
166  pages 80-246.  Gloucester Choral Concert.  Boston Globe.  Boston, Massachusetts.  April 25, 1897.
167  pages 181-183.  Michigan Musicians.  Michigan Library Bulletin.  Lansing, Michigan.  Volume 17 number 4. September-October 1926.
168  page 2.  May Reinstate Musicians.  Des Moines Daily News.  Des Moines, Iowa.  February 24, 1919.
169 von Rhein, John.  Grover Schiltz, Longtime CSO Principal English horn, oboist, Dies.  Chicago Tribune.  Chicago, Illinois.  February 10, 2012.
170 Mazzola, Sandy R.  Bands, Early and Golden Age.  Encyclopedia of Chicago.  Chicago Historical Society.  Chicago, Illinois.  2005.
171  page 8.  Grand Concert.  Racine Daily Journal.  Racine, Wisconsin.  March 16, 1900.
172  page 4.  Listemann String Quartette.  Fort Wayne News.  Fort Wayne, Indiana.  February 26, 1898.
173  page 4.  The Roney Concert.  Janesville Gazette.  Janesville, Wisconsin.  February 27, 1892.
174  page 94.  Schonemann, A. C. E. Notes From Chicago.  Jacobs' Band Monthly.  Boston, Massachusetts.  1921.
175  page 37.  Changes in the Ranks.  Musical America.  Volume 28 no 25.  New York, New York.  October 19, 1918.
176  charcoal sketches by Bettina Steinke.  The NBC Symphony Orchestra.  National Broadcasting Company  New York, New York.  1938.
177  page 1  Fayetteville (Arkansas) Daily Democrat June 14, 1937.
178  page 1  Musical Courier.  New York, New York.  October 1, 1917.
179  page 10  Salt Lake Tribune.  Salt Lake City, Utah.  July 14, 1935.
180  page 20-G  They Are Just Stringing Along.  San Antonio Light.  San Antonio, Texas.  September 25, 1966
181  Woodland (California) Daily Democrat October 20, 1924. 
182  page 4.  Oshkosh Daily Northwestern September 30, 1940.
183  page 12.  Iowa City (Iowa) Press Citizen.  April 10, 1926.
184  page 3.  Independent - Helena Montana.  May 12, 1938.
185  page 5.  Oak Park Oak Leaves.  Oak Park, Illinois.  March 20, 1931.
186  page 4.  Oak Park Reporter.  Oak Park, Illinois.  March 6, 1896.
187  page 18  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.  Fort Wayne, Indiana.  May 24, 1912.
188  page 18  The Michigan Argonaut, number XXVI.  Ann Arbor, Michigan.  April 24, 1886.
189  page 39.  Chicago Orchestra Loses Six to Radio.  The Milwaukee Journal.  Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  May 25, 1944.
190  page 14.  Ensemble and Soloists Give Enjoyable Concert.  Ironwood Daily Globe.  Ironwood, Michigan.  April 29, 1938.
191  page 14.  The Hamilton Daily News.  Hamilton, Ohio.  February 19, 1926.
192  page 14.  The Sandusky Star Journal.  Sandusky, Ohio.  August 11, 1930.
193  page 4.  The Charleston Daily Mail.  Charleston, West Virginia.  April 2, 1929.
194  page 21  Official Record of the International Centennial Exhibition: Melbourne 1888-1889.  Sands & Mcdougall Ltd..  Melbourne, Australia.  1890.
195  page 9  Fine Concert by Symphony Society.  Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle.  Poughkeepsie, New York.  1912.
196  page 4.  Florence Morning News.  Florence, South Carolina.  April 19, 1940.
197  Page 12.  Herbert's Easter Concert.  New York Times. New York, New York.  April 24, 1905.
198  page 1.  Funeral Rites Held For Clarke S. Kessler, 58.  Southeast Economist.  Chicago, Illinois.  August 10, 1958.
199  von Rhein, John.  Dale Clevenger leaves impressive legacy at CSO.  Chicago Tribune.  Chicago, Illinois.  February 21, 2013.
200  page 68.  Detroit Philharmonic Club.  Musical Courier.  New York, New York.  Volume 18, January 2, 1889.
201  page 38.  Washington Symphony Concert.  The Washington Post.  Washington, DC.  January 8, 1905.
202  pages 3-791.  Lassabathie, Théodore.  Histoire du Conservatoire impérial de musique.  Michel Lévy frères.  Paris, France.  1900. 
203  Chicago, Illinois. March 22, 2013.
204  page 385.  Simms,Bryan R. editor  Pro Mundo - Pro Domo: The Writings of Alban Berg.  Oxford University Press.  New York, New York.  January 8, 1914.
205  page 37. Auxiliary Program.  Oak Park Oak Leaves.  Oak Park, Illinois.  May 6, 1916.
206  page 20.  Chamber Music Association.  The Oak Leaves.  Oak Park, Illinois.  April 3, 1909.
207  Gedenkbuch - Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945.  Bundesarchiv.  Koblenz, Germany.  1986.
208  George Schick, 76, Is Dead; President of Music School.  New York Times.  New York, New York.  March 8, 1985. 
209   Page 291-298.  Russell, Charles Edward.  The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas.  William Heinemann, Ltd.  London.  1927.
210   pages 291-298.  Russell, Charles Edward.  The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas.  William Heinemann, Ltd.  London.  1927.
211   pages 179-181.  Roth, Leland M. Roth.  A Concise History of American Architecture.  Harper & Row.  1979.  ISBN-13: 9780064300865.
212  page 34.  Announcement.  Albuquerque Journal .  Albuquerque, New Mexico.  February 2, 1958.
213  pages 201-213.  Gienow-Hecht, Jessica C. E.  Sound Diplomacy, Music and Emotions in Transatlantic Relations 1850-1920.  University of Chicago Press.  Urbana, Illinois.  June 2009.  ISBN: 9780226292151.
214  page 4.  Chicago Auditorium.  Oak Park Vindicator.  Oak Park, Illinois.  October 21, 1892.
215  Edward M. Metzenger.  Chicago Tribune.  Chicago, Illinois.  April 11, 1987.
216  page 4. Our Music Festival.  Daily Index Appeal.  Petersburg, Virginia.  May 14, 1885.
217  page 404.  Du Moulin Quartet.  The Violinist, Volumes 28-29.  Chicago, Illinois.  October, 1913.
218  page 110.  Du Moulin Trio.  Directory and Register of Women's Clubs.  Chicago, Illinois.  October, 1914.
219  page 18  Predicts Great Future.  Berkeley Daily Gazette.  Berkeley, California.  August 6, 1938.
220   page 6.  New York Times.  New York.  November 18, 1944.
221   page 4.  Little Symphony Orchestra Plays at College.  The Oshkosh Northwestern.  Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  30 September 1940.
222  page 33.  Southwestern Debut of Quartet.  Scottsdale Progress.  Scottsdale, Arizona.  4 May 1973. 
223  page 1.  News of the Community.  Riverdale Pointer.  Riverdale, Illinois.  16 February 1912. 
224  page 12.  Harold L. Carnes.  Chicago Tribune.  Chicago, Illinois.  7 December 2008.
225 Moore, Edward.  Scottish Spirit Told in Music.  Chicago Tribune.  Chicago, Illinois.  March 27, 1931.
226 Hillyer, Stephen.  Interview with Edward Druzinsky.  The Podium.  Fritz Reiner Society.  Chicago, Illinois.  Fall/Winter 1983.
227 pages 166-167.  Spruytenburg, Robert.  The LaSalle Quartet: Conversations with Walter Levin.  Boydell & Brewer, Limited.  Suffolk, UK.  2014.  ISBN-13: 9781843838357
228 page 362.  El Rodeo Volume 69: records of the University of Southern California 1975.  University of Southern California.  Los Angeles, California.
229 page 4.  Violinist Szpinalski Plays in Carnegie Hall Sunday.  Newport Daily News.  Newport, Rhode Island.  January 12, 1954.


Full Navigation Menu of site (click any button below):


Rosters of Musicians of some Great Orchestras:



Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Acoustic Recordings 1917-1924:


Leopold Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Electrical Recordings 1925-1940:


Leopold Stokowski Recording Discographies and Listing of Concerts:


Other Information about Leopold Stokowski:


Leopold Stokowski and Development of Recording:


Fritz Reiner:



Tableau de navigation: site


L'Héritage de Stokowski - Accueil français

Victor Talking Machine Company, Eldridge Johnson, et le développement de la technologie d'enregistrement acoustique

1917 - 1924 les enregistrements acoustique Victor de Leopold Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

1917 -  Premiers enregistrements acoustique de Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1917 - 1919 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1920 - 1921 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1922 - 1924 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1919 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique Russe Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1920 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique français - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1921 -1924 enregistrements acoustique Tchaïkovski - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1921 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique Wagner - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1924 enregistrements acoustique Rachmaninov - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

Développement de l'enregistrement électrique

Permis d'exploitation du système Westrex donné à Victor et Columbia

1925 Premier enregistrement électrique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1925 autres enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1926 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1927 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

Encore des enregistrements 1927 électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1928 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1929 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1930 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1931 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1932 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1933 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1934 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

Encore des enregistrements 1934 électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1935 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1936 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1937 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1939-1940 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

D'autres documents sur Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

Camden église studio - Victor Talking Machine studio d'enregistrement

Leopold Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie Enregistrement à l'Académie de musique de Philadelphie

Interviews avec Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski Orchestrations

Leopold Stokowski, Harvey Fletcher et les laboratoires Bell expérimental enregistrements

Maîtres de restauration moderne de disques historique

CDs de Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

Leopold Stokowski Discographies chronologique

      Leopold Stokowski Discographie chronologique - enregistrements acoustique

      Leopold Stokowski Discographie chronologique - enregistrements électriques

Leopold Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie bibliographie, des sources et crédits

L'Orchestre symphonique de Boston - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de Chicago - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre de Cleveland - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre du Metropolitan Opera de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre philharmonique de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre de Philadelphie - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique Russe de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de San Francisco - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de St. Louis - musiciens principaux