Principal Musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra
with brief biographical remarks
Principal Musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra: A Chronological Listing
George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall - 1946
Musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra
This website has two listings of musicians of the great Cleveland Orchestra:
- A listing of ALL the Musicians of the Cleveland from its creation in 1918 until today. This list includes the names, location and date of birth and death, instruments, positions and dates of service of all known full-time Cleveland Orchestra musicians. To go to this list of all BSO musicians, click: Cleveland Orchestra Musicians List
- A listing of the Principal Musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra covering the Principal, or first chair musicians, with short biographical notes and photographs. This listing is the subject of this webpage, shown below. The principal conductors or Music Directors of the Cleveland Orchestra are also featured.
Any corrections or updates to this www.stokowski.org site are welcome by contacting me, at the link below.
Also, the Cleveland Orchestra has descriptions and photographs of all the current Orchestra musicians on its excellent website. You can visit the BSO website by clicking the link: GO TO THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA WEBSITE
History and Growth of the Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra opened its first 1918-1919 season on December 11, 1918 with a performance at Grays Armory 122. Grays Armory had been the usual location for visiting orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. For this first concert, the Orchestra fielded 54 players 1. By the 1921-1922 season, the Cleveland Orchestra had increased to 87 musicians 6.
Grays Armory, location of the Cleveland Orchestra Concerts in its first season
After the Grays Armory, in October 1919, the Cleveland Orchestra moved to the Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland. The orchestra continued to present its Cleveland concerts in the Masonic Auditorium until 1931. Meanwhile, the construction of Severance Hall, a new home for the Cleveland Orchestra was planned in 1928 and 1929. Ground breaking for Severance Hall was begun by John Severance (1863-1936), one of the key financiers of the hall along with Dudley S. Blossom (1879-1938) on November 14, 1929 17.
Severance Hall as planned in 1929
The Cleveland Orchestra performed its first concert in Severance Hall on February 5, 1931.
Nikolai Sokoloff in the 1920s in Cleveland
Nikolai Sokoloff was born in Kiev, then in Russia, now the capital of the Ukraine probably on May 26, 1886 (not May 26, 1885 or May 28, 1886 as Sokoloff sometimes gave the date on various official documents. Somewhat like Leopold Stokowski, Nikolai Sokoloff seems to have varied the dates and other biographical details he provided during his career, perhaps depending on his intended effect.) Nikolai Sokoloff first studied violin with his musician father, Gregory Sokoloff. At a young age, probably about 10, Nikolai played violin with the Kiev Municipal Orchestra, which his father conducted 7. Nikolai Sokoloff emigrated with his family to the US in the summer of 1901 going first to Boston and then to Westport, Connecticut. In Connecticut, he studied with teachers from Yale University 7. Sokoloff studied violin in New Haven, and music with Charles Martin Loeffler in Boston. Nikolai Sokoloff was in the first violin section of the Boston Symphony beginning at age 18 for three seasons, 1904-1907. During 1910-1912, studied violin in France, where he met Vincent d’Indy and studied with Eugene Ysaÿe in France. Sokoloff played in a regional orchestra in Manchester, England. Returning to the US, Nikolai Sokoloff was Concertmaster of the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York for the 1912-1913 season under Modest Altschuler. Sokoloff was also assistant conductor to Altschuler, the founder and conductor of the Russian Symphony. In 1916, Nikolai Sokoloff went to San Francisco to join a string quartet. In 1917-1918, Nikolai Sokoloff was in France during World War 1, seeking to aid by music the allied cause. After the war, 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" 4. They invited Nikolai Sokoloff 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 (1866-1945), long term Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony as their conductor, presenting popular concerts in San Francisco, but eventually failed 4. Just before this venture, Nikolai Sokoloff, who had been searching widely for an orchestra, had met Adella Prentiss Hughes (1869-1950), impresario and founder of Cleveland's Musical Arts Association.
Adella Prentiss Hughes (1869-1950)
Hughes, Sokoloff and the association intended to create a symphony orchestra to replace the series of visiting orchestras that Adella Prentiss Hughes had been bringing to Cleveland. The orchestra was to provide concerts and to improve musical education in Cleveland. Nikolai Sokoloff and Adella Prentiss Hughes hired musicians and Sokoloff organized the initial season of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1918-1919. Continuously building, Nikolai Sokoloff conducted the Cleveland Orchestra for fifteen seasons, 1918-1933. During his tenure, Nikolai Sokoloff was also an early conductor of recordings of a complete symphony orchestra by the acoustic recording process. Given the limit of about 4 minutes for each 78 RPM recorded side, all these performances were heavily cut as was usual for that period. For Brunswick, Sokoloff and the Cleveland Orchestra recorded Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture on January 23, 1924 (Brunswick 12 inch - 30 cm disk 7850047). In May, 1924, during another acoustic recording session, they recorded Nicolai's Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor (Brunswick) and the Saint-Saëns Danse macabre (two sides of Brunswick 50089). In October, 1924, still acoustically, Sokoloff and the Cleveland Orchestra recorded the Brahms Hungarian Dance no 5 (Brunswick 15092), and the third movement of the Brahms Symphony no 5 (Brunswick 50053). On the other side of the Brahms was the first recording of Sibelius's Finlandia (cut to one side; four minutes, versus the seven minutes usual with this work), also recorded October, 1924 at the end of the acoustic recording era.
Sokoloff's programs during his Cleveland tenure were adventurous, and critics found his conducting vigorous and exciting. However, the critic William Osborne summarizing Sokoloff's programming wrote: "...During his fifteen-year tenure Sokoloff slighted the classical and early romantic standards in favor of works by late romantic and neo-romantic Frenchmen and Russians..." 10. Following his Cleveland tenure, during the Great Depression, Nikolai Sokoloff was 1935-1937, the Administrator of the Federal Music Project, part of the Work Projects Administration, a Roosevelt program to increase employment. Nikolai Sokoloff resigned from the Federal Music Project in May 1939 8, and by autumn, became Music Director of the Seattle Symphony for three seasons, 1938-1941. In La Jolla, California, Nikolai Sokoloff founded the La Jolla Musical Arts Society Orchestra in the 1941 9. Sokoloff continued to conduct the group, which also commissioned new works until the end of the 1961-1962 season. Nikolai Sokoloff died in La Jolla (suburban San Diego), California September 25, 1965. If Nikolai Sokoloff was not among the handful of greatest orchestral conductors of the twentieth century, still he was an inspired organizer who built the Cleveland Orchestra into an ensemble capable of performing with distinction the full breadth of the symphonic repertoire. He also expanded the symphony's work in new contemporary works and saw the Cleveland Orchestra into its new home in Severance Hall.
As part of the efforts of President Roosevelt to combat the unemployment resulting from the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was funded by Congress with passage in 1935. Within the WPA, the Federal Music Project (FMP) Orchestras In July, 1935, Nikolai Sokoloff was appointed director of the Federal Music Project 11. The Federal Music Project sponsored a variety of musical activities, including musical instruction, and the investigation of folk music, including by Charles Seeger, the father of folk musician Peter Seeger 11. The FMP organized and funded regional orchestras, primarily in Boston, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles,8. These regional orchestras provided employment for orchestra musicians at a time when funding for professional groups had dried up. A number of famed orchestral musicians participated. For example, Modest Altschuler became conductor of WPA Federal Symphony number 1 of Los Angeles 12. Thaddeus Rich, former Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted a WPA Orchestra in Philadelphia 14. Nathan Abas, Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1931-1932 season played in and conducted the San Francisco-based WPA orchestra. Jacques Gordon, Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was Concertmaster of the Chicago-based WPA Orchestra 1936-1939, and of the WPA supported Hartford Symphony Orchestra 15. Reading the correspondence of the Federal Music Project, it is evident that Nikolai Sokoloff experienced the personal and political in-fighting that might be expected from an organization dispensing monies to competing groups, musical and non-musical. Nikolai Sokoloff resigned as Director of the Federal Music Project in May 1939 8.
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.
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 premier 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 only difficult, but rather paranoid. For orchestras, this would develop into a conflicting choice between the great musical inspiration engendered by Rodzinski's conducting, versus the destructive tendencies of his conduct and relations with the Boards of his orchestras and with his musicians. During Rodzinski's New York years, Rodzinski clashed with the orchestra (dismissing 14 musicians, including five Principals in his first season) and with management. There 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.
Rodzinski with the Cleveland Orchestra 1933
Erich Leinsdorf was born Erich J. Landauer in Vienna, Austria on February 4, 1912. Leinsdorf studied piano, cello and conducting at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, followed by the University of Vienna and the Vienna Conservatory. At the Salzburg Festival, 1934-1938, Leinsdorf was conducting assistant first to Bruno Walter and then Arturo Toscanini. Leinsdorf's ability to sight read scores at the piano, his memory, and his Italian language skills were advantages at Salzburg, and Toscanini became something of a mentor to Leinsdorf. During these years, Leinsdorf also conducted opera Italy, in Bologna, Trieste, Florence, and San Remo. In 1938, Leinsdorf left Vienna and Europe because of the rise of the Nazi influence and went to New York. At the recommendation of Lotte Lehmann to Artur Bodanzky 18, Leinsdorf joined the Metropolitan Opera in the 1938-1939 season. Beginning in the 1939-1940 season, following the death or Artur Bodanzky, Erich Leinsdorf was named principal MET conductor of the German repertory, which gave Leinsdorf's career an immediate boost during 1939-1942. Leinsdorf found the Metropolitan Opera progressively more frustrating, with the few rehearsals and the negative atmosphere of opera house politics. In 1942 in a controversial selection process in which candidates George Szell and Vladimir Golschmann were turned down 17, Erich Leinsdorf was named Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra. Leinsdorf happily departed from the MET, but he was unlucky at Cleveland. First, in the 1942-1943 season, with the US entering World War 2, Cleveland lost 22 musicians, whom Leinsdorf needed to replace. One of Leinsdorf's hires was George Goslee, Principal bassoon, who remained with the orchestra for 44 seasons. Then, Leinsdorf himself was drafted into the U.S. Army 1943-1945, and so was not able to make his mark in Cleveland. Leinsdorf received his Army discharge in September, 1944. Meanwhile, the 1944-1945 Cleveland Orchestra season had already been programmed with guest conductors including George Szell who had very successful series of November 1944 concerts. The 1945-1946 Cleveland season became a horserace between Leinsdorf, Szell, and Vladimir Golschmann as to who would become permanent Music Director. Szell made a strong impression on Cleveland that season, and Erich Leinsdorf gradually lost our to Szell. This may have seemed the destiny of George Szell, who continued with 24 seasons of greatness with the Cleveland Orchestra. Leinsdorf then went on to the Rochester Philharmonic, where he was Music Director for eight seasons, 1947-1955. Then, after a brief period at the New York City Opera, Leinsdorf returned as a leading conductor of the Metropolitan Opera during 1957-1962.
Cleveland Orchestra in 1945 under Erich Leinsdorf
Erich Leinsdorf was appointed Music Director of the Boston Symphony in the 1962-1963 season. During his seven seasons with the BSO until 1969, Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony made many recordings for RCA Victor, including an excellent series of Prokofiev symphonies and concerti. 1978-1980, Erich Leinsdorf was conductor of the Berlin Radio Orchestra. After the departure of Lorin Maazel from his stormy Cleveland tenure in 1982, Erich Leinsdorf returned to Cleveland frequently to provide continuity prior to the arrival of Christoph von Dohnányi in the 1984-1985 season. Erich Leinsdorf in his last years divided his residence among Sarasota, Florida, Zurich, Switzerland, and New York. Erich Leinsdorf died in a Zurich hospital, suffering from cancer on September 11, 1993. His musical erudition and generous personality gained respect, and during his most inspired performances, particularly in the opera house, he was often the equal of any of his contemporaries.
George Szell rehearsing in his first season with the Cleveland Orchestra 1947
George Szell was born in Budapest, Hungary on June 7, 1897. Before he was six, his family had moved to Vienna, and George Szell considered himself Viennese in origin. He showed early musical talent and was taken as a piano student by Richard Robert (1861-1924), who also taught Rudolf Serkin and Clara Haskill, and who had been a friend of Brahms. Georg Szell (as he was then) toured a number of European cities in 1909 as a piano prodigy. By his mid-teens, Szell said later that he had determined to become a conductor. His first conducting opportunity came, it seems in a Bavarian spa, Bad Kissingen in either 1913 or 1914 according to different sources. He had been vacationing there, where members of the Vienna Symphony were also performing. The Vienna Symphony conductor was injured, and Szell substituted, with success. In 1915, he conducted the Blüthner Orchestra, sponsored by the piano company, in Berlin. Also in 1915, at age 18, Szell gained appointment as one of the conductors at the Berlin Royal Opera or "Königliche Kapelle", after 1919 named "Staatsoper Berlin". There, Richard Strauss became something of a mentor to Szell, whom he saw had great talents, including in the performance of Strauss's own compositions. A famous story, often retold, from about this time was of the 1917 acoustic recording of Strauss's Don Juan, opus 20. The recording with the Königliche Kapelle orchestra was to be rehearsed by Szell, so that Strauss could sleep later. After the rehearsal, with Strauss still not arriving, the Gramophon engineers instructed Szell to continue to conduct the recording. After Szell had recorded two of the four 78 RPM sides of about 4 minutes each, Strauss who had arrived conducted the other two sides. This recording, issued on Gramophon disks 69525, 69526, 65856, and 65857 74 shows Szell more fiery and rapid, and Strauss more lyrical. In later years, Szell said that he learned much about music and conducting from Strauss, although he also told amusing stories about Strauss's occasional lack of involvement with his conducting if other things were on Strauss's mind.
After the Berlin Royal Opera, in 1917, Szell had the opportunity to become conductor of the Municipal Theatre, Strasbourg on the recommendation of Otto Klemperer, whom he succeeded. In 1918, Szell went to the German Opera (Neues deutsches Theater) in Prague. This experience was followed in about 1921-1924 by conducting appointments of the Darmstadt Theater and of the Deutsche Oper - Düsseldorf. In 1924, Georg Szell returned to the renamed Berlin State Opera - Staatsoper Berlin as a conductor under Erich Kleiber. In 1929, Georg Szell returned to Prague now as Music Director of the German Opera and of the Philharmonic. The next season 1930-1931 saw his US premier as a guest conductor of the St. Louis Symphony in 1930, where he returned in 1931.
George Szell in 1942
Szell was considered a candidate for the St. Louis Symphony music directorship, vacant since the 1927 departure of Rudolph Ganz to the Chicago Musical College. Meanwhile, Szell continued his posts in Prague until 1937, when he accepted two concurrent orchestra responsibilities: the Residente Orchestra in the Hague - Netherlands and the Scottish Orchestra (later the Scottish National Orchestra) in Glasgow. In 1938 and 1939, George Szell performed extensively in Australia with the Australian Broadcasting Company. Returning from Australia in 1939, with war beginning in Europe, George Szell stayed in New York City, where he initially taught at the Mannes School of Music. In the summers of 1939 and 1940, Szell was a conductor at the Hollywood Bowl. An important break for Szell was Toscanini's invitation conduct the NBC Symphony in 1941. Toscanini is said to have been impressed previously when he guest-conducted Szell's Residente Orchestra and found it much improved. Szell was hired for the German repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1942-1943 season, succeeding Erich Leinsdorf. George Szell continued at the Metropolitan Opera for four seasons 1942-1946. After Arthur Rodzinski accepted the Music Director position of the New York Philharmonic in December, 1942, George Szell was a candidate, along with Erich Leinsdorf and Vladimir Golschmann to become Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra. As described above , Erich Leinsdorf was selected for Cleveland, but within a year, Leinsdorf entered the US Army, so making little impression in Cleveland. In the 1944-1945 season, when Leinsdorf was available to conduct, the Cleveland Orchestra season had already been programmed with guest conductors including George Szell. The 1945-1946 Cleveland season became a horserace between Leinsdorf, Szell, and Vladimir Golschmann as to who would become permanent conductor. George Szell gradually emerged during that season as the favorite, and was appointed Music Director beginning with the 1946-1947 season. This began one of the legendary Conductor - Orchestra partnerships of the twentieth century.
Pierre Boulez was born in Montbrison, France, about 50 km west of Lyon on March 26, 1925. As a child, he studied piano and music, and also studied mathematics in Lyon. Boulez entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1944, where he studied harmony with Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). However, in 1945, Boulez left the Conservatoire to study composition with René Leibowitz (1913-1972). Boulez became dissatisfied with what he later said was Liebowitz's rigid serialism approach to musical composition, and returned to work with Messiaen. Elements of serialism continued in Boulez's compositions of the the later 1940s and 1950s, but with greater freedom. This freedom included a serial approach not only to the musical tone of notes, but also serialism of duration of notes, dynamics, and other characteristics. Boulez also introduced concepts of musique concrète in his compositions. His experimentation with freer compositional techniques produced Boulez's famous Le marteau sans maître composed and changed during the mid 1950s. During 1957-1962, Boulez introduced a sort of controlled improvisation into such compositions as his multi-section Pli selon pli. Later works in the 1970s seem to have been in continuous evolution, growth and expansion extending over a number of years. In 1970, Georges Pompidou, then President of France asked Boulez to organize an institute for the research in music, which became IRCAM - Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique, which Boulez directed 1970-1992. During this time, Boulez also became progressively more active in conducting. After guest conducting groups in Germany and France in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Boulez conducted a production of Parsifal at Bayreuth in the summer of 1966. For Cleveland, Boulez became principal guest conductor in 1968, invited by George Szell, and was regularly advised by Szell as to conducting US orchestras including both Cleveland and New York 1. During this time, into the 1970s, Boulez's conducting duties exploded, when he was in overlapping years Musical Advisor of the Cleveland Orchestra 1970-1972, Chief Conductor the BBC Symphony 1971-1975, and Music Director of the New York Philharmonic 1971-1977. Again at Bayreuth, Boulez conducted the 1976 Centenary production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, a famous production with staging by Patrice Chéreau. Although some New York Philharmonic musicians were unhappy with Boulez's music programming, Boulez expanded the audiences with his famous "Rug Concerts" featuring a mix of music aimed at a new generation of listeners. Since 2000, even though well into his eighties, Pierre Boulez continued to conduct regularly in Chicago and Cleveland and opera at Bayreuth, in the UK and in France. Pierre Boulez died on 6 January 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany at age 90 after a full and diverse career.
Lorin Maazel was born in Neuilly, just on the edge of Paris on March 6, 1930, and grew up in Pittsburgh. His father, Lincoln Maazel (1903–2009), born in New York City, was an actor both on stage and in movies. His mother, Marie Maazel (1884- ) was active in music and helped organize the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. Maazel's grandfather, Isaac Mannacy Maazel (1873-1925) emigrated from Russia and played violin in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the 1900s and 1910s. Lorin Maazel was raised as a child prodegy, studying conducting with in the 1930s with Vladimir Bakaleinikov (1885-1953) who had been assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. Maazel made his conducting debut at age eight, and in 1941 at age eleven, he conducted an NBC Symphony Orchestra concert. In Pittsburgh, Maazel studied music at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1960, he was the first American conductor at the Bayreuth summer festival. Maazel then became Music Director of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin 1965-1971, and in parallel with the Berlin Radio Symphony 1965-1975. In the 1972-1973 season, after a search, Lorin Maazel was appointed Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra. Two of the notable recordings by Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra during his tenure were of complete recordings of Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, and the ballet music of Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet. 1982-1984, Lorin Maazel was General Manager and Chief Conductor of the Vienna State Opera, but the famous opera politics in Vienna seems not to have suited him, and he departed after two seasons. Returning to Pittsburgh, Lorin Maazel was Music Consultant to the Pittsburgh Symphony 1984-1988, and then Music Director 1988-1996. In the same period, Maazel was Chief Conductor of the Bavarien Radio Symphony in Munich 1993-2002. In January 2001 it was announced that Lorin Maazel would succeed Kurt Mazur as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, which he began in the 2002-2003 season. One of the noteworthy events during his New York tenure was the Philharmonic Asian tour in 2008, including a visit to North Korea in February, 2008. Lorin Maazel retired from the New York Philharmonic at the end of the 2008-2009 season. Maazel remained active in opera, serving as Music Director the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana of the opera in Valencia, Spain 2006-2011. At his last performance in Valencia, Lorin Maazel led a performance of his only opera 1984. After leaving the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel founded the Castleton Festival, presenting both symphonic performance and opera, on the grounds of his farm in Castleton, Virginia. Lorin Maazel died there on 13 July 2014, soon after rehearsing for the festival. Lorin Maazel completed an remarkable career, beginning with his conducting as a boy prodigy at age 8, and continuing until his passing at age 84.
Christoph von Dohnányi was born in Berlin, Germany on September 8, 1929. His father Hans von Dohnányi was a lawyer and his mother, Christine Bonhoeffer was brother of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the philosopher and theologian. His grandfather was the composer and piano virtuoso Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960). Christoph von Dohnányi's father and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and other family were part of the German resistance against the Nazi regime, and were placed in concentration camps and executed. Following the traumatic war, Christoph von Dohnányi followed his father's path and studied law. However, he soon transferred to the Hochschule für Musik in Munich in 1948. At the Munich Opera, von Dohnányi followed the traditional training path of being a répétiteur. Ernst von Dohnányi had relocated in 1946 to the Florida State University School of Music, where Christoph von Dohnányi followed him for further study. In about 1953, Christoph von Dohnányi was appointed assistant to Georg Solti at the Frankfurt Opera. He next moved to Lübeck in northern German, to the Lübeck Opera where he was General Music Director from 1957–1963. Christoph von Dohnányi then became chief conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne. During 1963-1966 in Kassel, 150 km from Frankfurt, von Dohnányi was conductor of the State Orchestra (Hessen state). In 1967, back in Frankfurt, Christoph von Dohnányi followed Georg Solti as General Music Director of the Frankfurt Opera. von Dohnányi held the Frankfurt post during ten seasons, 1967–1977 made his conducting debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in December 1981.
2002-present Franz Welser-Möst
Franz Welser-Möst was born Franz Leopold Maria Möst in Linz, Austria on August 16, 1960. As was the case with a number of other musicians, Welser-Möst assumed a stage name early in his career in 1984 at age 2476. In his youth, he studied the violin, played in the youth orchestra in Linz, and also had conducting opportunities with that orchestra. However, as a youth, as Welser-Möst stated in a London Telegraph interview 77 "...I had a very bad car crash, and I had some nerve damage in my hands. So I had to abandon the violin and went more and more towards conducting...". From this experience of conducting the Linz youth orchestra, Welser-Möst was noticed by the Chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic who recommended Welser-Möst to a London agent. This was following a cancellation when the London Philharmonic suddenly needed a replacement conductor. So at age only 25, Franz Welser-Möst had his first break, conducting in London. This later lead to Welser-Möst being appointed Principal conductor of the London Philharmonic for six seasons 1990-1996 77. Also in the summer of 1985, Welser-Möst had the opportunity to conduct at the at the Salzburg Festival. His US debut was with the Saint Louis Symphony in 1989. In this early stage of his career, also conducted several leading US orchestras: the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony. Toward the end of his tenure with the London Philharmonic, Franz Welser-Möst became Music Director of the Zurich Opera 1995-2000, where he performed several premieres as well as a Ring cycle. In the 2002-2003 season, Franz Welser-Möst was appointed Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra. His contract was extended several times, with the latest extension covering the orchestra through the end of the 2017-2018 season. At Cleveland, Welser-Möst has begun several summer events which the orchestra bills as "biennial", intending them to occur every second year. These include a residency at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, and the Salzburg Festival in his native Austria. The biennial residency of Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra at the Vienna Musikverein has received rave reviews. Beginning in 2010-2011, Franz Welser-Möst became General Music Director of the Wiener Staatsoper, when Welser-Möst had only reached his 50th birthday. It would seem that Franz Welser-Möst has many years of musical leadership yet ahead of him.
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 complete listing of all of the musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra, since its inception in 1918 is given on the page titled ' Cleveland Orchestra Musicians List '. This listing seeks to provide the names, instruments, titles and dates of service of all known Cleveland Orchestra musicians. Please have a look, and in case of any corrections of updates to these data, or any other information contained in this www.stokowski.org site, please contact me, at the link below .
Click here to go to the Cleveland Orchestra Musicians List
Sol Marcosson in 1909
Sol Marcosson was born in Kentucky in 1869. He studied at the Berlin Akademische Hochschule für Musik with Heinrich Karl Hermann de Ahna (1835-1892) where de Ahna taught and also with Joseph Joachim (1831-1907). Sol Marcosson later told the story of finding the umbrella of Mark Twain (1835-1910) while Twain was touring Germany, and Marcosson was a Joachim student. This resulted in Mark Twain meeting Joseph Joachim, and being invited to Joachim's Berlin concert that evening in about 1890 72. Marcosson was studying with de Ahna at about the same time as his US-born contemporary violin virtuoso Nahan Franco (1861-1930). In Berlin, as well as meeting Mark Twain, Marcosson met in 1890 Adella Prentiss Hughes (also born in 1869) who was touring Europe following her graduation from Vassar College. Adella Prentiss Hughes, through her interest in music gradually developed into a Cleveland impresario, booking musicians and then orchestras to play in Cleveland in the 1890s, 1900s and 1910s. After graduation from the Hochschule für Musik, Sol Marcosson toured Europe as a soloist before returning to the US. Marcosson was active in Chicago and Cleveland, not far from his Kentucky birthplace. He was a founder led the Marcosson Quartette, later renamed the Cleveland Philharmonic String Quartet under the sponsorship of the women's club the Philharmonic Club of Cleveland. This string quartet was active beginning 1908, a decade prior to the first concerts of the Cleveland Orchestra. The initial composition of the Marcosson Quartette was: Sol Marcosson first, Charles Rychlik second, James Johnston viola, Charles Heydler cello. Click on the thumbnail picture below to see the Marcosson Quartette in 1908.
Marcosson Quartette in 1908 (click on image to enlarge)
Prior to the formation of the Cleveland Orchestra, Marcosson also a guest soloist with the Russian Symphony of New York in 1917 and with the New York Symphony in 1919 and 1920. Back in Cleveland, Sol Marcosson played with the various unsuccessful symphony orchestras during 1900-1920: The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Grand Orchestra, and the Cleveland Municipal Orchestra. Then in the 1918-1919 season, due to the persistence and resourcefulness of Adella Prentiss Hughes, the Cleveland Symphony was organized, with Sol Marcosson as Concertmaster. The new Cleveland Orchestra had several groups of leading Cleveland classical musicians: the Barnes brothers, the Fiore brothers, the 5 Hruby brothers and 1 sister, the McGibeny brothers, the Spitalny brothers, the Stein brothers, the 3 Ungar brothers, and a young Carlton Cooley as Principal viola. However, according to Anne Mischakoff Heiles in her scholarly (and a 'good read') book on America's Concertmasters 2, "...Unfortunately for Marcosson, Sokoloff seemed intent on competing with him as violinist...In Cleveland Sokoloff played the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto no. 4 as soloist, conducting the rest of the program. He soon had Marcosson replaced as Concertmaster..." 2. It seems that Sol Marcosson did not finish the 1918-1919 season, since Louis Edlin became Concertmaster in March, 1919 2. Following the Cleveland Orchestra, Sol Marcosson continued as a popular teacher of violin. He also returned to the orchestra as a sub, and in 1928-1931 playing in the viola section. Sol Marcosson died in Cleveland on January 10, 1940.
Louis Edlin, right with Victor de Gomez, Principal cello, left.
Louis Edlin was born in New York City on September 30, 1889 of Russian-Jewish parents, Boris and Mary Edlin. His younger sister Sophie was a pianist. After starting violin studies young, Louis Edlin studied with Arnold D. Volpe (1869-1940) at age 9 63, violinist and orchestra conductor in New York City. Arnold Volpe organized and conducted his Volpe orchestra, a training orchestra in the years prior to World War 1 62, and Louis Edlin gained his first orchestral experience there. He also appeared in New York with the Young Men's Symphony and with the Duss Band 63. Louis Edlin then spent four years studying in Europe. 1906-1908, Edlin studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Guillaume Rémy. Louis Edlin then went to Berlin in 1909-1910 where he studied with Fritz Kreisler, among other teachers 67. Louis Edlin returned to New York in 1911 and played in the first violin section of the New York Symphony for two seasons, 1911-1913. In the 1913-1914 season, Louis Edlin become Concertmaster of the Russian Symphony of New York, following Nikolai Sokoloff in that position. In the 1914-1915 season, Louis Edlin moved to the first violin section of the Philharmonic Society of New York 1,67, where he stayed for four seasons until the end of the 1918-1919. Then, at the recommendation of the Philharmonic conductor Josef Stransky, Louis Edlin became became Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra in March, 1919 2 at age 25, succeeding Sol Marcosson. Louis Edlin stayed in Cleveland until the end of the 1922-1923 season. During his Cleveland years, Edlin taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music 64. He also played in the Cleveland String Quartet, at that time consisting of the conductor Nikolai Sokoloff first, Louis Edlin second, Herman Kolodkin viola, Victor de Gomez cello In 1923, Louis Edlin returned to New York City and joined the faculty of the Institute of Musical Art (Juilliard). Edlin was also a founding member of the New York Trio, Louis Edlin violin, Cornelius Van Vliet (1886-1963) cello, Clarence Adler (1886-1969) piano. The Trio also recorded for Edison records in 1928 65. In 1926-1927 Louis Edlin he became a radio conductor of the Atwater-Kent radio orchestra. Louis Edlin later served as a section head of violins and a conductor at the National Orchestral Association, a training orchestra for orchestral musicians in New York City in the 1940s. Louis Edlin died at a date not yet identified, but after 1950.
Arthur Beckwith was a British musician born in Croydon, a suburb of London, in June, 1887 68. He seems to have taken his early violin lessons from his musician father, Arthur Beckwith Sr., a music teacher in London. Arthur Beckwith was Concertmaster (Leader) of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and of the Royal Philharmonic Society 67, (not the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra formed by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946). Arthur Beckwith also played with the Queen's Hall Orchestra, London under Sir Henry Wood. Beckwith was also musical director of the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne 67, a British seaside resort hotel. In 1920, Arthur Beckwith made an acoustic recording of the British conductor (later Sir) Landon Ronald (1873-1938) Beni Mora, Oriental Suite. Anne Mischakoff Heiles in her superb book America's Concertmasters writes "...When the first violinist of the London String Quartet was taken ill, Beckwith replaced him for a tour in the United States, including Cleveland..." 67. Nikolai Sokoloff, hearing Beckwith hired him to replace Louis Edlin as Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra beginning with the 1923-1924 season. Sokoloff may have been motivated also by Beckwith's chamber music experience, since Beckwith also joined the Cleveland String Quartet, in which Sokoloff continued to play. In the 1926-1927 season, Nikolai Sokoloff hired 26 new players including 13 new string players and more than half of the horn section. Among these changes were the replacement of Arthur Beckwith by Joseph Fuchs as Concertmaster, Louis deSantis as Principal clarinet succeeding Walter Thalin, and Walter Macdonald succeeding Alphonse Pelletier as Principal horn. After departing the Cleveland Orchestra, Arthur Beckwith returned to England with his wife and three children. Arthur Beckwith died in December, 1928 in Wandsworth, South London at the early age of 41 68 (the cause does not seem recorded).
photo: Peter Kaufmann, n.d.
Joseph Fuchs was born in New York City on April 26, 1899 (not in 1900 as given in several sources). His parents, Phillip and Kate Fuchs had emigrated from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1897. Phillip Fuchs was a gifted teacher of violin, viola and cello, and his three children all had very successful careers as string players 97. His sister being Lillian Fuchs (1901-1995) was a famous violist and his younger brother Harry Fuchs (1908-1986) was a cellist, and of course later Principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra. When as a youth Joseph broke his left arm, his father was advised to begin violin lessons with his son 97. The violin practice as was to be his therapy 2. Joseph Fuchs went on to study with Louis Svecenski at the Institute of Musical Arts (Juilliard), beginning at the early age of seven, 1907-1919 97. Joseph Fuchs then went to Berlin in 1921-1922 to study, and to play with orchestras in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin. On his return to the US, success as a soloist eluded Fuchs, so he played in the orchestra of the Capital Theater in New York City, then conducted by Erno Rapée (1891-1945) and where Eugene Ormandy was also a violinist. Then, in the 1926-1927 season, Nikolai Sokoloff hired 26 new players for the Cleveland Orchestra, including Joseph Fuchs to replace Arthur Beckwith as Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. The Cleveland Orchestra was the only orchestral (non-solo) position which Joseph Fuchs held, and he remained in Cleveland for fifteen seasons, 1926-1941, under Sokoloff and the demanding Artur Rodzinski. However, in 1940, the pain caused by bone fragments from his childhood broken arm became so serious that Joseph Fuchs decided to undergo surgery. Rodzinski and the orchestra stood by Fuchs, and he returned to the orchestra in 1941. Thereafter, Joseph Fuchs retired from his orchestral career to pursue solo work.
Joseph and Lillian Fuchs in New York City in the 1950s
In the 1950s, Fuchs toured extensively in the US and Europe, including playing in Pablo Casals festivals in Prades in 1953 and 1954. During this time, Joseph Fuchs premiered many new works, including the Martinu Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola (1947) and the Walter Piston Second Violin Concerto which Fuchs commissioned and which he performed the premier in Pittsburgh in 1960. Joseph Fuchs also taught at the Juilliard School 1946-1972. Joseph Fuchs died in New York on March 14, 1997 just before his 98th birthday.
1941-1942 Hugo Kolberg
Hugo Kolberg was born in Warsaw, Poland on August 29, 1898. As a youth, Kolberg was a violin prodigy, beginning studies at age 5, and playing as a child for the King Alfonso XIII of Spain 75. Kolberg was later a student of Bronislaw Huberman76. In 1921, age only 19, Hugo Kolberg became Concertmaster of the Oslo Philharmonic. He then was Concertmaster of Paris and Copenhagen orchestras. In about 1931, Hugo Kolberg was appointed Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, alternating as Concertmaster with the great Szymon Goldberg (1909-1993). In 1934, after being Concertmaster for five seasons, Szymon Goldberg resigned from the Berlin Philharmonic in part due to Nazi pressure, and ironically Hugo Kolberg, not Jewish but married to a Jewish wife, was appointed sole Concertmaster. With the ascension of the Nazi government, political control became more and more dominant in the policies of the Berlin Philharmonic. Consequently, Hugo Kolberg and his wife Rosa left Germany and relocated to England in 1938. Kolberg then came to the U.S. in January, 1939. Hugo Kolberg became Concertmaster of the Pittsburg Symphony under Fritz Reiner in the 1940-1941 season. Fritz Reiner, always demanding was said to have had a particular appreciation for the musicianship of Kohlberg. The next year, Kohlberg was Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra for one season 1941-1942, the last full Cleveland season Artur Rodzinski, who departed for New York in December, 1942. Kohlberg reportedly left Cleveland following a salary dispute 77. Hugo Kolberg was replaced at Cleveland the next season by another former Berlin Philharmonic Concertmaster (1925-1926) under Wilhelm Furtwängler, Tossy Spivakovsky. During the next two seasons, 1942-1944, Hugo Kolberg was Concertmaster of the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera. It is said that his recommendation came from Fritz Reiner. Hugo Kolberg then returned to the Pittsburgh Symphony as Concertmaster under Reiner for three seasons, 1946-1949. Kolberg was later Concertmaster of the Lyric Theatre of Chicago (The Chicago Opera). After 35 years as a concertmaster of leading orchestras in Europe and the U.S., Hugo Kolberg retired and devoted his activities to teaching. In the 1950s, Kohlberg was head of the violin department at the Chicago Musical College 76. His teaching continued until 18 months prior to his death, when Kolberg was teaching at Juniata College in central Pennsylvania, and making solo appearances with local orchestras 75. Hugo Kolberg died in Hempstead, Long Island, New York on February 27, 1979, age 80.
"Tossy" Spivakovsky was born Nathan Spivakovsky in Odessa, then Russia, now the Ukraine on 23 December 1906. As a youth, he moved to Berlin to pursue his studies, first with Arrigo Serato (1877-1948) and then at the Berlin Akademische Hochschule für Musik with Willy Hess. Following World War 1, when he was still a teen, he toured Europe promoted as a child prodigy and now billed with the more virtuouso name of "Tossy" Spivakovsky. He toured with his brother his elder brother Jacob Spivakovsky (1896-1970), who adopted the name "Jascha". In 1925, Tossy Spivakovsky was appointed Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic by Wilhelm Furtwängler. In 1930, Spivakovsky formed the Spivakovsky-Kurtz Trio with his brother Jascha Spivakovsky (1896-1970) and Edmund Kurtz cello, which toured Europe and then Australia. With the accession to power of the Nazis in Germany, the group decided to remain in Australia, where they taught at the University of Melbourne Conservatory 1933-1940. Jascha Spivakovsky spent most of his career in Australia thereafter in concerts and radio broadcasts. Tossy Spivakovsky married Dr. Erika Lipsker Zarden, a German-born Australian who had studied in Argentina and Germany, and who in Melbourne was a Spanish teacher and historian 158. They were married for 63 years. Then, in 1940, Tossy Spivakovsky relocated to the US and made his debut in Town Hall, New York. In the 1942-1943 season, Artur Rodzinski appointed Spivakovsky as Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. Anne Mischakoff Heiles in her excellent and highly recommended book America's Concertmasters 2 writes of Spivakovsky's impact on the Orchestra:
"...Spivakovsky was an eccentric violinist with a highly unconventional violin and bow hold (he held the thumb across from the pinky)...When Rodzinski left [for the New York Philharmonic] he asked the Principal violist William Lincer and the Principal cellist Leonard Rose also to go to New York. Leinsdorf complained: 'On the other hand he [Rodzinski] left me generously a concertmaster who was an unmitigated nuisance...' ".
This last comment was related to Spivakovsky's playing style, which because of his unconventional technique could not easily be followed by the rest of the violin section. After Cleveland, Tossy Spivakovsky pursued a solo career and had a series of successes performing the Bartok Violin Concerto. Spivakovsky also recorded frequently in his later career. Long-lived, Tossy Spivakovsky died in Westport, Connecticut on July 20, 1998, age 91.
Joseph Knitzer was born in New York in 1913. Knitzer spent much of his youth in Detroit where he was considered a prodigy. Knitzer studied with Leopold Auer (1845-1930) in New York City from about 1923 until Auer's death in 1930. In 1927, Joseph Knitzer made his debut with the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch and with the Detroit Symphony in 1930. Knitzer also studied in the early 1930s with Louis Persinger (1887-1966), the teacher of Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), Ruggiero Ricci (1918- ), and Isaac Stern (1920-2001) among others. In 1934, Mr. Knitzer won the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation prize in violin 106. In the later 1930s, Joseph Knitzer pursued a solo violin career, but with limited success. Although playing with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, many of his engagements were with regional orchestras, and smaller chamber groups. By the early 1940s, Joseph Knitzer was head of the violin department at the Cleveland Institute of Music prior to joining the Cleveland Orchestra. Knitzer's contact with George Szell including playing chamber music with him resulted in Szell appointing Joseph Knitzer as Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1945-1946 season, following the departure of Tossy Spivakovsky. However, according to Donald Rosenberg in his The Cleveland Orchestra Story, 'Second to None', Szell quickly became dissatisfied with his Concertmaster, whom he "...dismissed...for being a 'sourpuss' as concertmaster..." 1. This was in spite of Knitzer's general reputation as being a gentle and supportive teacher of his violin students. Following the Cleveland Orchestra, Joseph Knitzer had a rich experience as a violin teacher. He taught successively at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern University in Chicago, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the University of Michigan. Joseph Knitzer died in 1967.
Samuel Thaviu was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 18, 1909. His father, Alexander F. Thaviu, a Russian Jewish emigrant, was a contractor of musicians for band and theater concerts in the Midwest 105. In Chicago, Thaviu studied with Harry Diamond, Leon Sametini, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Jacques Gordon and later with Mischa Mischakoff 104. In the Summer of 1931, Samuel Thaviu won the National Young Artists contest held in San Francisco105. In 1932, Samuel Thaviu was selected as Concertmaster of the Chicago Little Symphony 104. Samuel Thaviu joined the first violin section of the Chicago Symphony 1934-1937. In the 1937-1938 season, Thaviu was Concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony. In Kansas City 1937-1942 in Kansas City, Samuel Thaviu was associate conductor as well as Concertmaster 2. Thaviu was then appointed Concertmaster as well as associate conductor of the Baltimore Symphony in the 1942-1943 season. In his first season 1946-1947, George Szell invited Samuel Thaviu to become Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. However, Szell apparently intended that Thaviu's tenure would be for only one season, without telling Thaviu 2. This of course led to some embarrassment. as described in Michael Charry's interesting book George Szell: A Life of Music 134, "... a scandal that drew national attention erupted. Cleveland concertmaster Samuel Thaviu had resigned in January  shortly after learning that in November, Szell had secretly signed Joseph Gingold for the next season...". The next season, Thaviu then returned to Pittsburgh. Samuel Thaviu was Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony twice, 1943-1946 under Fritz Reiner and for seventeen seasons, and following Cleveland 1949-1966 under William Steinberg. While in Pittsburgh, Samuel Thaviu conducted the Carnegie-Mellon University student orchestra and the Altoona Symphony in suburban Pittsburgh. After retiring from the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1966, Samuel Thaviu was appointed Chairman of the strings department at Northwestern University in Chicago from with he retired in 1977. Samuel Thaviu died in Evanston, Illinois on July 1, 2000 of cancer - multiple myeloma.
Josef Gingold was born on October 28, 1909 in Brest-Litovsk, Russia, now Brest in the Belarus. He and his family emigrated to New York City in 1920, following the Russian revolution. In New York City, Gingold studied with Vladimir Graffman, father of the pianist Gary Graffman. Josef Gingold then went to Belgium in 1926-1928 to study with Eugène Ysaye (1858-1931), the great violin pedagogue. In Europe, Gingold toured for at least one year. He returned to the USA by 1934 and played freelance in New York City, including in the Broadway pit of Jerome Kern's "The Cat and the Fiddle" in 1931-1932.
In 1936 Gingold joined the Kreiner String Quartet: Sylvan Shulman first, Josef Gingold second, Edward Kreiner viola, Alan Shulman cello.
the Kreiner String Quartet in the 1940s
Then, in 1937 when Artur Rodzinski was auditioning musicians in order to form the NBC Symphony for Arturo Toscanini, Josef Gingold gained a position in the first violins. In fact, Artur Rodzinski accepted the entire Kreiner String Quartet into the new NBC Symphony. Then, in the 1944-1945 season, Josef Gingold moved to the Detroit Symphony as Concertmaster under Karl Krueger.
In 1947, George Szell, who had already decided to replace Samuel Thaviu as Concertmaster, had begun negotiations with Josef Gingold, with whom he had worked at the NBC Symphony and the Detroit Symphony. In the 1947-1948 season, Szell hired Josef Gingold as his Concertmaster. Josef Gingold remained with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra for thirteen seasons, 1947-1960. He taught at Indiana University from about 1961 until his death. He was both loved and respected as a teacher, in part because of his patient mentoring of his students. Among his students were William Preucil, Ulf Hoelscher, Miriam Fried, Jaime Laredo, Joseph Silverstein, and Joshua Bell. Josef Gingold died in Bloomington, Indiana on January 11, 1995.
Rafael Druian, right, with Pierre Boulez when they were together at the New York Philharmonic.
Rafael Druian was born in Vologda, Russia 250 km east of St. Petersburg (then Petrograd) on January 20, 1922. With the upheaval of the Revolution, Druian's family emigrated to Havana, Cuba grew up in Havana, when Rafael was an infant. In 1930, at age 8 he Rafael Druian began studies with the Paris-born Cuban composer Amadeo Roldán (1900-1939) 85, Concertmaster and later conductor of the Havana Philharmonic. In about 1933, Rafael Druian was admitted to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where he remained until his graduation in the Class of 1942. Druian's Curtis classmates included violist Joseph de Pasquale , cellist Robert Ripley (also later of the Cleveland Orchestra) and trumpet Seymour Rosenfeld. When he served in the US Army during World War 2, Rafael Druian played the mellophone (a 3 valved horn) in the Army band 85. Following the war, Rafael Druian was Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony 1947-1949 under Antal Dorati. Druian followed Dorati to the Minneapolis Symphony in the 1949-1950 season, when Dorati became Music Director. Druian remained in Minneapolis as Concertmaster 1949-1960, the same as Dorati's tenure there. In 1960-1961, George Szell appointed Raphael Druian to succeed Josef Gingold as Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. Raphael Druian served as Cleveland Concertmaster for nine seasons, 1960-1969. However, Druian felt insulted during rehearsals for a series of Brahms concerti recordings with David Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich in May, 1969. As a consequence, Rafael Druian suddenly resigned just before the EMI recording sessions. Daniel Majeske moved up to the Concertmaster chair for the recordings and continued in that role for the remainder of the 1968-1969 season. After Cleveland, Rafael Druian taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California 85. Druian returned to orchestral life, being appointed Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic by Pierre Boulez 1971-1974. Druian then pursued conducting, including festivals in New York and Alaska. Druian also continued teaching conducting and violin at Boston University and at his alma mater, the Curtis Institute. Rafael Druian died in Philadelphia on Sept. 6, 2002, age 80.
Daniel Majeske was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 17, 1932. He made his debut with the Detroit Symphony in 1949. Daniel Majeske won admission to the the Curtis Institute in about 1946m and graduated in the Class of 1950. Following Curtis at the time of the Korean War, Daniel Majeske joined the US Navy Band in Washington, DC in 1951. While with the Band in Washington, Daniel Majeske also studied theology with the idea of possibly entering the ministry. In 1955, Daniel Majeske won an audition with George Szell to join the Cleveland Orchestra first violin section. After serving 1955-1959 in the first violins, in the 1959-1960 season, Daniel Majeske was elevated to Assistant Concertmaster. He served in this position for eight seasons, 1959-1967. Then, succeeding , Daniel Majeske was promoted to Associate Concertmaster in the 1967-1968 season. Upon the sudden departure of Rafael Druian described above, in May 1969, Daniel Majeske assumed the Concertmaster position for the remainder of the 1968-1969 season. Majeske was then given an extended contract as Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. He served in that position for fourteen seasons under four more Music Directors. In 1992 and 1993, Daniel Majeske was often unable to play with the orchestra, due to the effects of his battle with prostate cancer. Majeske missed the October, 1993 Cleveland Orchestra tour of Japan. The next month, Daniel Majeske died on November 28, 1993, age 61 from cancer, one of the last musicians connected with the years of George Szell.
Martin Chalifour in Los Angeles
Martin Chalifour was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada on June 15,1961. He studied at the Montréal Conservatoire beginning in about 1973, graduating in 1979. Chalifour was then admitted to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia in 1981, where he graduated in the Class of 1984. After Curtis, Chalifour did well in international competitions, gaining a Certificate of Honor at the Tchaikovsky Competition - Moscow in 1986, and becoming laureate of the Montreal International Competition in 1987. Martin Chalifour was Associate Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony 1984-1990. He then won the competition to join the Cleveland Orchestra, first as acting Associate Concertmaster 1989-1990, then Associate Concertmaster 1990-1995, with frequent duties as Concertmaster, since Daniel Majeske was suffering from Cancer. During his last three seasons at the Cleveland Orchestra, Martin Chalifour was acting Concertmaster 1993-1995 following the death of Daniel Majeske. He is Principal Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to 1995-present. In Los Angeles, Martin Chalifour joined with two Curtis Institute classmates, Joanne Pearce Martin and Peter Stumpf to form the Los Angeles Philharmonic Piano Trio. Martin Chalifour enjoys contemporary and innovative music; an example was his performance in Winnipeg of Karl Amadeus Hartmann's (1905-1963) Concerto Funebre for Violin and String Orchestra with Timothy Vernon and the Manitoba Symphony.
William Preucil was born in Dearborn, Michigan on January 30, 1958. Preucil comes from a musical family, and he first studied violin with his mother, using the Suzuki method. His father was also a violinist. Preucil's wife, Gwen Starker Preucil is a violinist and is daughter to the great cellist Janos Starker . At age 16, William Preucil graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. He then entered Indiana University in 1974, where he received his performer's award in about 1978. Following university, William Preucil was Concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony and of the Utah Symphony. William Preucil was Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony 1982-1989. He has been active in chamber music throughout his career, including the Lanier Trio beginning in 1986. Preucil was then first violin of the Cleveland Quartet 1989-1995 which performed and recorded intensively during these years. The Cleveland Quartet in this period consisted of William Preucil first, Peter Salaff second, James Dunham viola, and Paul Katz cello. In about 1993-1996, while the Cleveland Quartet was in residency in Rochester, New York, William Preucil taught at the Eastman School of Music. Preucil was appointed Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra in April 1995. Also in 1995, William Preucil became Concertmaster of the Orchestra of the Mostly Mozart Festival of San Diego, California, a position he still continues, along with the Concertmaster post in Cleveland. William Preucil has recorded frequently, including the interesting Stephen Paulus Violin Concerto (New World Records) dedicated to Preucil, and performed with the Atlanta Symphony.
On August 16, 2018, the Cleveland Orchestra announced that it had hired the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm to conduct an independent investigation of William Preucil following accusations of sexual misconduct with certain of his students. Preucil admitted to "engaging in sexual contact with three female students during or after lessons" and was subsequently dismissed by the orchestra and from the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music in October 2018.
Principal Cellos of the Cleveland Orchestra
Oscar Eiler was born in Wisconsin on September 8, 1883. He studied cello in Germany with Carl Schroeder (1848-1935). Returning to Wisconsin Oscare Eiler was in 1905 a music teacher in Appleton in central Wisconsin. In 1910, Eiler played in the orchestra of Cleveland's Statler Hotel. Then for two seasons, 1912-1914, Oscar Eiler played in the cello section of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. From 1917-1928, Oscar Eiler was active in the Philharmonic Quartet, which membership changed during its life 1886-1928, but which at that time was Sol Marcosson first, Charles Rychlik second, Johann Beck viola, Oscar Eiler cello. In the first season of the Cleveland Orchestra 1918-1919, Nikolai Sokoloff appointed Oscar Eiler as Principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra. After serving in the first chair during this inaugural season of the Cleveland Orchestra, in June, 1919 1, Oscar Eiler moved to what we would today call the Associate Principal cello position. When Victor de Gomez was appointed Principal cello, Oscar Eiler continued in the Cleveland Orchestra for two more seasons, 1919-1921. In the 1930s, Oscar Eiler was a theater orchestra musician in Chicago. In the 1930s, Oscar Eiler was active in the Russian Trio, consisting of Ninia Mesirow piano, Michel Wilkomlrsky violin and Oscar Eiler cello. Eiler also played in the Civic Opera Company of Chicago. Oscar Eiler played cello in the Cincinnati Orchestra and the Nashville Symphony, but the years of his performances with these orchestra are not yet documented. Returning to his native Wisconsin, Oscar Eiler also helped train the Oshkosh Youth Orchestra in the late 1930s 115.
Victor de Gomez, Principal cello, left, with Louis Edlin Concertmaster circa 1920.
Victor de Gomez was born in Auburn, California, northeast of Sacramento on May 7, 1891. Auburn was (and is) a farming area rich with fruits, olives and nuts, and Victor's father, Fermin de Gomez, born in Philadelphia of a Spanish father, was a fruit shipper. In his teenage years, Victor de Gomez studied cello at the University of California, Berkeley from about 1908-1911. de Gomez then joined the cello section of the newly formed San Francisco Symphony in the 1911-1912 season. Victor de Gomez continued in the San Francisco Symphony 1911-1915. In 1914-1916, Victor de Gomez was active in concerts and chamber music, including with a quartet of San Francisco musicians comprising Louis Ford first, Emil Rossett second, Clarence Evans viola (who was Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony) and Victor de Gomez cello 66. In the 1916-1917 season, Victor de Gomez joined the Philadelphia Orchestra cello section under Leopold Stokowski, playing with Principal cello Hans Kindler. Victor De Gomez remained in Philadelphia for three seasons until the end of the 1918-1919 season, when Stokowski released de Gomez for the Cleveland Orchestra 1. De Gomez arrived in Cleveland in June 1919 and was one of the four highest paid players1. Victor de Gomez was named Principal cello upon the formation of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1919. He served as Principal cello for twenty seasons, 1919-1939. In the summers of 1938 and 1939, Victor de Gomez then moved back to California where he played in Hollywood at the Paramount Studios orchestra 1 and other Hollywood studio orchestras in the 1940s and 1950s. Victor de Gomez died in California in about 1969 or shortly thereafter.
photo: Bruno Bernard, circa 1952
Leonard Rose was born in Washington DC on July 27, 1918, son of immigrants Harry Rose (originally Gdal Rosovsky) and Jennie Frankel from Kiev, then Russia, now Belarus. Leonard Rose's first lessons on the cello were from his amatuer cellist father, Harry Rose. Harry Rose's sister had a cellist son Frank Miller - later famous as Principal cello of Chicago Symphony and of the NBC Orchestra. In 1933, Leonard Rose studied with Frank Miller in Philadelphia - in fact, moved in with Frank and his parents - preparing for the Curtis Institute entrance audition. Leonard Rose gained admittance to the Curtis Institute in 1934, where he studied with Felix Salmond (1888-1952). Rose graduated from Curtis in the Class of 1939. However, even before the graduation ceremony, Leonard Rose played briefly with Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony in 1938-1939. Consequent to a confused contract renewal with the NBC Orchestra, Leonard Rose accepted the offer of Artur Rodzinski to appoint Leonard Rose as Principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1939-1940 season. Quite a step up for the 21 year old cellist. In 1943, Leonard Rose followed Artur Rodzinski to the New York Philharmonic as Assistant Principal cello in the 1943-1944 season. Rodzinski wanted Rose as Principal. However, during his first New York season, Rodzinski had tried to dismiss 14 musicians, including five Principals. Rodzinski had to proceed more cautiously. Rodzinski arranged for Rose to take the second cello chair of the New York Philharmonic, under Principal cello Joseph Schuster. Then, Leonard Rose was be appointed Principal cello of the New York Philharmonic in 1944-1945. Beginning in 1951, Leonard Rose pursued a career as concert soloist, a difficult and hazardous objective, as shown by many gifted previous musicians. Leonard Rose was remarkably successful, both in concert performance, chamber music and in recordings, particularly with US Columbia Records. At the Casals festival in Prades, France in 1952, Leonard Rose, Isaac Stern and Eugene Istomin performed together for the first time. Their favorable chemistry caused them to form a trio which again was successful in concerts and in recordings. Leonard Rose in New York taught at Juilliard, and when Gregor Piatigorsky retired from the Curtis Institute, Leonard Rose succeeded him. Leonard Rose was to teach at Curtis 1951-1963. Leonard Rose's career was shorter than many of his great colleagues, due to health. Leonard Rose suffered from leukemia, which led to his death in Westchester County, New York on November 16, 1984, age 66.
Harry Fuchs was born in 1908. His was a musical family, his sister being Lillian Fuchs (1901-1995), a famous violist and his older brother Joseph Fuchs (1899-1997) being a violinist, and of course later Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. In fact, during their careers, both Lillian Fuchs and Joseph Fuchs were more famous than Harry. Harry Fuchs trained in his youth as both a violinist and a cellist 97, beginning first with his father, Philip Fuchs, a gifted teacher. Harry Fuchs was admitted to the Juilliard Graduate School under a scholarship in 1932. He graduated from Juilliard Graduate in 1935 after studying with Felix Salmond. Fuchs then played cello in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra 1935-1937. Selected by Artur Rodzinski, Harry Fuchs joined the cello section of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1937-1938 season. Except for a break of two seasons 1947-1949, he was to serve in the Cleveland Orchestra under five Music Directors until the end of the 1978-1979 season. After the departure of Leonard Rose to the New York Philharmonic, Harry Fuchs was elevated to the Principal cello chair. He served as Principal for four seasons, 1943-1947. When George Szell selected Ernst Silberstein to become Principal cello in 1947-1948, Harry Fuchs decided to go into business for himself 97. Amédée Daryl Williams in an interesting biography of Lillian Fuchs 164 wrote about Harry's business activities: "...Fuch's love of dogs actually resulted in a rather profitable enterprise. He developed a special kind of lotion to ease a dog's skin irritation... Fuchs took out a patent for the lotion and then successfully marketed it under the name Fox Salve..." 97. Two seasons later, Harry Fuchs returned to the Cleveland Orchestra as Assistant Principal cello in 1949-1950. Harry Fuchs remained in the second cello chair for a further three decades. Harry Fuchs enjoyed restoring antique automobiles, and owned 8 different cars in different stages of restoration 97. In 1979, Harry Fuchs retired from the Cleveland Orchestra at the same time as two other 45 year Cleveland veterans: English horn Harvey McGuire and violinist and sometime Assistant Concertmaster James Barrett. Five years after his 1979 retirement from the Cleveland Orchestra, Harry Fuchs died on January 4, 1986 in the affluent Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Ernst S. Silberstein was born in Germany on 15 October 1900. After early studies with his family, Silberstein studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin where he was a student of the cellist and famously demanding teacher Hugo Becker (1863-1941). He then became Principal cello of the Berlin Städtische Oper (Berlin State Opera) 167. In Berlin, he also became a member of the Klingler Quartet, succeeding cellist Francesco von Mendelssohn (1901-1972). With the rise of the Nazi regime, Karl Klingler was under sustained pressure to replace the Jewish Ernst Silberstein. In the end, the Klinger Quartet was forced to disband in 1934 165. Ernst Silberstein then emigrated to the United states in April, 1936. He made his New York debut in the Town Hall on December 10, 1936 168. Then, Silberstein joined Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony. He and his wife Clara living in New York City became US citizens in 1944. At the same time as the NBC Symphony, Silberstein became a member during 1937-1942 of the New York based Perolé Quartet, Joseph Coleman first, Max Hollander second, Lillian Fuchs viola, and Ernst Silberstein cello 164. In another connection, Lillian Fuchs was the sister of Cleveland Orchestra Principal cello Harry Fuchs. In New York, After the NBC Symphony, Ernst Silberstein became Principal cello of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra 167. George Szell, after conducting the NBC Symphony had recommended Silberstein for the MET Orchestra 166. Ernst Silberstein's service as Principal cello of the Metropolitan opera was from about 1942 until 1947. In George Szell's second season at the Cleveland Orchestra, he appointed Ernst Silberstein Principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra beginning the 1947-1948. He remained Principal cello 1947-1959. In the 1959-1960 season, when Szell appointed Adolphe Frezin as "Co-Principal" cello in the 1959-1960 season, Ernst Silberstein moved to the second chair, and accepted the Co-Principal cello title for eight further seasons: 1959-1967. Ernst Silberstein taught for many years at the Cleveland Institute of Music and in summers at the Interlochen Music Camp. Interestingly, Cleveland Orchestra Principal cello Mark Kosower's father Paul R. Kosower studied under Silberstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Ernst Silberstein died in the Cleveland suburbs on 26 September 1985 some weeks before his 85th birthday.
Lorne Munroe at Lincoln Center, New York
Lorne Munroe was born in Manitoba, Canada on November 24, 1924. Munroe won the Winnipeg Music Competition Festival at age 10. When 14, Lorne Munroe was taken to London by his sponsor, the Australian composer and pianist Arthur Benjamin (1893-1960), who also taught at the Royal College of Music. In London, Munroe he studied at the Royal College of Music under the famous cello teacher Ivor James (1882-1963). Lorne Munroe then studied at the Curtis Institute in the same class as Paul Olefsky, graduating in 1947. As did Olefsky, Lorne Munroe studied cello with Gregor Piatigorsky. After graduation from Curtis, Monroe went to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal cello for one season 1949-1950 under George Szell. While with the Cleveland Orchestra, interestingly Lorne Munroe appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra142. Lorne Munroe then played for one season with the Minneapolis Symphony 1950-1951. In December, 1950, Paul Olefsky left the Philadelphia Orchestra as a result of the Korean War to join the US Navy Band. The Principal cello chair of the Philadelphia Orchestra was then open until September of the following season when Lorne Munroe was appointed Principal cello by Eugene Ormandy. Lorne Munroe left the Philadelphia Orchestra at the end of the 1963-1964 season to join the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. Lorne Munroe was then for 32 seasons Principal cello with the New York Philharmonic from 1964-1996. In New York, Munroe also taught at Juilliard. At age 72, in February, 1996, Lorne Munroe and his wife Janee retired to their home in Warren, Maine.
Adolphe Clément Jules Louis Frezin was born on December 28, 1906 in Lessines, Belgium in the Flemish region 20 km west of Brussels. He studied first with his violinist father before taking up the cello. Adolphe Frezin studied cello at the Begian Royal Conservatory. He then became Principal cello of the National Orchestra of Belgium. After emigrating to the US in the summer of 1949, Frezin was a member of the Paganini Quartet in California and New York City until late 1954.
Paganini Quartet: Henri Temianka first, Gustav Roseels second, Adolphe Frezin cello, Robert Courte viola
While touring with the Paganini Quartet, Frezin was also able to perform as lead cello with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Beginning in 1953, Frezin also sought to develop a career as a touring cello soloist with US regional orchestras. In 1955 in New York City, Frezin was also Principal cello of the Symphony of the Air, organized after the NBC Symphony of Toscanini was disbanded. Prior to the Cleveland Orchestra, Adolphe Frezin was Principal cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in about 1956-1959, where he served with Bert Gassman, former Principal oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra. George Szell recruited Adolphe Frezin first as "Co-Principal" cello of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1959-1960 season, advancing him to Principal cello in the 1960-1961 season. Following the Cleveland Orchestra, beginning in 1963, Frezin taught at the University of Texas, Austin. He died in Santa Barbara, California on 5 April 1978 at the age of 71.
Jules Eskin was born in Philadelphia on 20 October 1931. Jules Eskin’s father was an amateur cellist who gave Jules his first lessons, followed by instruction at the Philadelphia Settlement Music School. In 1948, at age 16, Jules Eskin joined the Dallas Symphony cello section under Antal Dorati. While in Dallas, Eskin studied with Janos Starker (1924-1913) who was then Principal cello for Dallas in the 1948-1949 season. In the summers of 1947 and 1948, Eskin studied at the Tanglewood Music Center. Jules Eskin was then accepted into the Curtis Institute in his home town Philadelphia, where he studied with Gregor Piatigorsky and Leonard Rose. In the early 1950s, Eskin took master classes with Pablo Casals. In 1954, Jules Eskin won first prize for cello in the Walter Naumburg International Competition (which Joseph Silverstein also won for violin in 1960). This led to his 1954 New York Town Hall debut and a 1954-1955 concert tour in Europe. Since then Jules Eskin was Principal cello in the each of the orchestra sections which he led. Jules Eskin was Principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra 1961-1964 under George Szell.
Eskin then joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Principal cello in the 1964-1965 season, following the departure of Samuel and Winifred Mayes to the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jules Eskin was one of the founding members of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in 1964. He taught cello at the Boston University College of Fine Arts and in the summers at the Tanglewood Music Center. Jules Eskin was married to the Boston Symphony first violin Aza Raykhtsaum , a graduate of the St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) Conservatory.
After more than four decades with the Boston Symphony, under five Music Directors, Jules Eskin, still Principal cello of the Boston Symphony passed on 15 November 2016 after a full, rich, and long career.
Gerald Appleman while a New York Philharmonic musician
Gerald Appleman was born on July 19, 1936 in Los Angeles, California. After study in Los Angeles, Gerald Appleman was admitted to the Juilliard School, where he studied with Leonard Rose, graduating in 1959 BA in Music. In the US Army, Gerald Appleman played in the Seventh Army Symphony - Germany in which a number of other later famous US orchestral musicians also played. After the Army, Gerald Appleman was cellist in the Pittsburgh Symphony and the San Antonio Symphony. Then, in the 1964-1965 season, after Jules Eskin left for the Boston Symphony, George Szell selected Gerald Appleman as Principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra. The next season in 1965-1966 season, George Szell named Gerald Appleman and Lynn Harrell to be alternating Principal cellos. In that season, Gerald Appleman and Lynn Harrell alternated in the first chair. After that season, Gerald Appleman joined the New York Philharmonic cello section in the 1966-1967 season. Appleman was soon advanced to the Assistant Principal cello chair 102. All during his career, Gerald Appleman was active in chamber music, particularly the New Jersey Chamber Music Society. He has also been continuously active in summer music festivals, including the Allegheny Music Festival - Pennsylvania, the Marlboro Festival - Vermont, and the Festival Casals - Puerto Rico.
Lynn Harrell in 1999
Lynn Harrell was born in New York City on January 30, 1944. His was a musical family, his father Mack Harrell being a singer, and his mother Marjorie Fulton Harrell a violinist. Unfortunately, by age 17, Lynn Harrell had lost both his parents; his father dying of cancer in 1960 and his mother in 1962 of an automobile accident. His family had moved to Texas, and after high school, Lynn Harrell gained admittance first to the Juilliard School and then to the Curtis Institute. He graduated from Curtis in the Class of 1963. Following Curtis, he was appointed to the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1963-1964 season by George Szell. He played in the Cleveland cello section for two seasons, 1963-1965. Szell then named Lynn Harrell as alternating Principal cello in the 1965-1966 season. Harrell alternated with Gerald Appleman in the first chair. In the next season, Szell appointed Lynn Harrell as the Principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra. At the end of the 1970-1971 season, Lynn Harrell decided to pursue a solo career, a challenging task for any orchestral musician - many have tried and few succeeded. Lynn Harrell made his New York debut recital in 1971 and went on to success. In 1975, Murray Perahia and Lynn Harrell, two future superstars, won the first Avery Fisher Prize. Lynn Harrell went on to a career appearing with every great conductor and orchestra around the world, yet still finding time for outreach to young musicians and would-be musicians. This continues today. Throughout his career, Lynn Harrell has been active in summer music festivals, including the Verbier Festival - Switzerland, the Aspen Festival - Colorado, the Grand Tetons Festivals - Wyoming, and the Amelia Island Festival - Texas. Harrell has also been active in chamber music, including a famous piano trio of Anne-Sophie Mutter violin, Lynn Harrell cello and André Previn piano. He also nominated for a Grammy for his recording of the Beethoven String Trios with Itzhak Perlman violin, Pinchas Zukerman viola, and Lynn Harrell cello. No doubt Lynn Harrell has much more of his artistry to share with us.
William Stokking Jr. was born in Ventnor, New Jersey, near Atlantic City on April 6, 1933. His Dutch-born father, William Stokking Sr. was a professional violinist, playing in theater orchestras who gave his son his first musical instruction. His mother was Swedish-born. Stokking studied with Gregor Piatigorsky at the Curtis Institute, graduating in the Class of 1949. William Stokking joined the cello section of the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell in the 1958-1959 season, and remained for two seasons until 1960. William Stokking returned to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal cello in the 1971-1972 in the interim between George Szell's death and the appointment of Lorin Maazel, when Pierre Boulez was Musical Advisor. Stokking remained Principal cello until the end of Lorin Maazel's first season in Cleveland 1972-1973. William Stokking then returned to Philadelphia, appointed Principal cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy in the 1973-1974 season. William Stokking served as Principal cello in Philadelphia for 33 seasons, retiring at the end of 2002-2003. In the early 2000s, William Stokking, a long-time New Jersey resident was Principal cello of the Princeton Chamber Symphony. William Stokking's wife Nancy is also a cellist, playing freelance and teaching.
Stephen Geber was born in Los Angeles, California on August 17, 1942. His mother and father were both professional cellists 82. Stephen Geber grew up in Van Nuys, California and was successful even in his teens, winning at age 17 the "$300 Annual Young Artists Competition Award of the San Fernando Valley Symphony Association" 82. Because of the award, as a soloist, Geber played the Boccherini Cello Concerto with the Symphony. Stephen Geber went on to study at the Eastman School of Music, gaining his BMus in 1965. Following Eastman, Stephen Geber joined the cello section of the Boston Symphony 1965-1973. During this time, he was also a member of the Music Guild String Quartet consisting of BSO musicians Max Winder first, Gerald Gelbloom second, Bernard Kadinoff viola, and Stephen Geber cello 83. In the 1973, Stephen Geber won the audition for the Principal cello position of the Cleveland Orchestra, succeeding William Stokking. Stephen Geber went on to the longest tenure (to date) of the Cleveland Orchestra Principal cello position, earning consistently excellent critical reviews, while still being one of the most liked and respected Principals by his colleagues. During this tenure, Stephen Geber also continued active in chamber music, including his membership in the Cleveland Orchestra String Quartet. Following his retirement from the Cleveland Orchestra, Stephen Geber has become Head of the Cello Department of the Cleveland Institute of Music, continuing his active teaching career. Also, every May, Stephen Geber conducts a cello festival for advanced young cellists in Carmel in his native California.
Mark Kosower was born in Wisconsin on December 17, 1976, and grew up in Eau Claire, 100 km east of Minneapolis. He began cello studies early with his cellist father Paul R. Kosower (who was a student of Cleveland Orchestra Principal cello Ernst Silberstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mark Kosower studied at Indiana University, graduating in about 1998 with a BMus and artist diploma. At IU, Kosower studied with Janos Starker, father-in-law of William Preucil. Mark Kosower then went on for further studies at the Juilliard School, earning a MMus in about 2001. Mark Kosower was Principal cello of the Bamberg Symphony in northern Bavaria, Germany 2006-2010. Mark Kosower is actively interested in contemporary compositions as well, and in Bamberg, recorded actively. For NAXOS in 2009-2010, Mark Kosower recorded the Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) Cello Concerto no 1 performed with Lothar Zagrosek and the Bamberg Symphony. Kosower was the first cellist to record the complete catalogue of works for solo cello by the great Argentine composer Ginastera. During the period in which Kosower was Principal cello in Bamberg, he also taught cello and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory 2005-2007. As well as his orchestral career, Mark Kosower continues to be an active performer with world orchestras and at recitals, including with his pianist wife Jee-Won Oh (who is also an Indiana University graduate). Mark Kosower's achievements at what is still an early stage of his career promises yet more creative attainments over the coming decades.
Principal Violas of the Cleveland Orchestra
James D. Johnston in 1919
James D. Johnston was the first Principal viola of the Cleveland Orchestra. A decade before the founding of the Cleveland Orchestra, James Johnston was also a founding member of the Marcosson Quartette: Sol Marcosson first, Charles Rychlik second, James Johnston viola, Charles Heydler cello. Click on the thumbnail picture below to see the Marcosson Quartette in 1908.
Marcosson Quartette in 1908 (click on image to enlarge)
The Marcosson Quartette was later renamed the Cleveland Philharmonic String Quartet under the sponsorship of the women's club the Philharmonic Club of Cleveland, and active 1908-1928.
Herman Kolodkin was born in New York City 29 November 1894. After the departure of James D. Johnston, Kolodkin was named Principal viola of the Cleveland Orchestra in March 1919. He served only until the end of the 1919-1920 season. He was active in chamber music, including touring in the later 1920s with the Russian String Quartet: Calmon Lubovisky first, Morris Stoloff second, Herman Kolodkin viola, Ossip Giskin cello. Kolodkin was also Principal viola of Detroit Symphony in the 1927-1928 season. Kolodkin was released from the Detroit Symphony in November 1927 after an argument with Victor Kolar Associate conductor. He then was viola with the New York Symphony 1928-1929.
While in Cleveland he played with the conductor and first chair musicians in the Cleveland String Quartet: Nicholai Sokoloff first, Louis Edlin second, Herman Kolodkin viola, Victor de Gomez cello. While in Detroit, he played with the Detroit Symphony String Quartet: Ilya Scholnick first, William King second, Herman Kolodkin viola, Philip Abbas cello.
After relocating to Hollywood to perform in the film studio orchestras, Herman Kolodkin died in September 1965 in Beverly Hills.
Carlton Cooley in a 1938 NBC publicity drawing 145
Carlton Cooley was born in Milford, New Jersey (west of New York City) on April 15, 1898. Cooley studied at the Philadelphia Musical Academy with Frederick Hahn (formerly of the Boston Symphony) and Camille Zeckwer, and later with the famous violin teacher Percy Goetschius (1853-1943) at the Institute of Musical Art (Juilliard) 42. In the 1919-1920 season, the 21 year old Carlton Cooley joined the viola section of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Cooley then moved to the Cleveland Orchestra, selected by Nikolai Sokoloff to be Principal viola, succeeding Herman Kolodkin in the 1920-1921 season. The next season, Sokoloff moved Cooley to the first stand of the first violins, next to Concertmaster Louis Edlin, as what we would call today Associate Concertmaster. This was for one season. Then, in the 1922-1923 season, Nikolai Sokoloff moved Cooley back to the Principal viola position of the Cleveland Orchestra where he remained under Sokoloff and then Artur Rodzinski until the end of the 1936-1937 season. Cooley left Cleveland to become Principal viola of the NBC Symphony. He would have been hired by Artur Rodzinski, who know Cooley from Cleveland, and selected Carlton Cooley even though he was raiding his own Cleveland Orchestra. Rodzinski, already known as an orchestra-builder had been appointed to organize and prepare the NBC Symphony for Arturo Toscanini. Carlton Cooley remained Principal viola of the NBC from 1937-1954 during all the years of Maestro Toscanini's tenure. Cooley of course participated in the South American tour of the NBC Symphony in the Summer of 1940. After leaving the NBC Symphony upon Toscanini's retirement, Carlton Cooley joined the Philadelphia Orchestra viola section under Ormandy in the 1954-1955 season at the same time as Harry Zaratzian moved from the New York Philharmonic to become Principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Two seasons later, beginning 1956-1957, Carlton Cooley was appointed Principal viola, succeeding the departing Harry Zaratzian. Carlton Cooley remained with the Philadelphia Orchestra for 9 seasons (plus a tenth, counting 1919-1920), until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 in the 1962-1963 season. Cooley is particularly remembered for his recording of Berlioz Harold in Italy under Toscanini, as well as the 1951 Toscanini Enigma Variations and for Cooley's solos in the Richard Strauss Don Quixote under Ormandy, with Lorne Monroe, cello. Carlton Cooley also recorded with Ormandy his own composition: the Aria and Dance for Viola and Orchestra, which Nikolai Sokoloff had also performed in 1926 with the Cleveland Orchestra. Carlton Cooley died in Stockton, New Jersey (about 15 miles from his birth place) in November 1981.
Samuel Lifschey in 1919
Samuel Lifschey was born in New York City on May 6, 1889. He studied violin under Arnold Volpe (1869-1940) in the 1910s. By 1917, Lifschey was a viola player in the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch. Lifschey also played at the Maverick Festival at Woodstock, New York during the summers in the early 1920s. For two seasons, 1921-1923, Samuel Lifschey was Principal viola of the Cleveland Orchestra. Samuel Lifschey then was appointed Principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra by Leopold Stokowski in the 1925-1926 season. Lifsched served as Principal viola in Philadelphia for thirty seasons, 1925-1955. Elias Lifschey, father of Marc Lifschey the oboe Principal of the San Francisco Symphony, was also a viola player. Elias Lifschey played viola in the NBC Symphony under Toscanini. However, the relationship of Elias Lifschey to Samuel Lifschey, although probably is still subject to research. In 1936, Time Magazine in a breezy article reported "...Samuel Lifschey, leader of the viola section, has been a six-day bicycle racer, a dentist, a pharmacist, an engineer..." 38. Although interesting, the information about Lifschey "being a dentist, a pharmacist, and engineer" is not further elucidated. Samuel Lifschey died in Philadelphia in 1961.
Leon Frengut was born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 8, 1904 of Russian-Jewish parents who had emigrated from the Ukraine in 1892 (perhaps following the cholera epidemic of that year in the Ukraine). Already by age 15 at the end of 1919, Leon Frengut was a professional musician in Baltimore. In the late 1920s, Leon Frengut succeeded in gaining admission to the Curtis Institute, where he graduated in the Class of 1932. In 1937, Artur Rodzinski, who had taught at Curtis while Frengut was studying there hired two new viola players for the Cleveland Orchestra: Leon Frengut as Principal viola and Tom Brennand in the second viola chair. Leon Frengut was Principal viola for two seasons, 1937-1939. When Leon Frengut left the Cleveland Orchestra at the end of the 1938-1939 season, Tom Brennand succeeded him in the Principal viola position. In the 1950s, Leon Frengut also played in the Symphony of the Air's Far East tour in May and June, 1955. Leon Frengut was active in the Stuyvesant Quartet, whose membership changed over time, but with Frengut was: Sylvan Shulman first, Rona Robbins second, Leon Frengut viola, Harvey Shapiro cello. This group recorded a number of chamber works for the Nonesuch label in the 1960s. Leon Frengut was an active recording sessions musician in New York City in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He recorded orchestra support for Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, tony Bennett and other leading singers of that time. Leon Frengut died in Long Island, New York in August 1970.
Tom Brennand joined the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1937-1938 season in the viola section, at the same time as the selection of his stand partner, Leon Frengut as Principal viola. Upon the departure of Frengut, Tom Brennard was promoted to the Principal viola position during three seasons, 1939-1942. Then, on the selection of William Lincer as Principal cello, Tom Brennard was in the second viola chair for a further twenty-three seasons, 1942-1965.
William Lincer was born in Malverne on Long Island, New York on April 6, 1907. His early musical studies were as a violinist. Lincer was admitted to the Institute of Musical Art (later Juilliard) in about 1915. William Lincer also studied at Harvard University. William Lincer played with the Gordon String Quartet for seven seasons, 1940-1947: Jacques Gordon first, David Sackson second, William Lincer viola, Naoum Benditzky cello. The quartet was disbanded when Jacques Gordon (1899-1948) suffered his stroke. William Lincer was appointed Principal viola of the Cleveland Orchestra by Artur Rodzinski in the 1942-1943 season. Following Cleveland, William Lincer was Principal viola of the New York Philharmonic beginning in the 1943-1944 season, probably at the request of Rodzinski, who had just become Music Director of the Philharmonic. In New York, William Lincer succeeded Zoltan Kurthy as Principal viola. In his twenty-nine seasons at the Philharmonic, 1943-1972, Lincer served under seven Music Directors: Artur Rodziński, Bruno Walter (Music Advisor), Leopold Stokowski (Co-Principal Conductor with Mitropoulos), Dimitri Mitropoulos, Leonard Bernstein, George Szell (Music Advisor) and Pierre Boulez. William Lincer died on July 31, 1997 in New York City consequent to an aortic aneurysm.
Marcel Dick was born on August 28, 1898 in Miskolc, Hungary, 150 km from Budapest. Marcel Dick was a child prodigy. He was admitted to the Royal Academy, Budapest in about 1912, studying violin and with Zoltan Kodaly, he studied composition. Following service in World War 1, Marcel Dick played violin with the Budapest Opera and with the Budapest Philharmonic. In the 1920s, Marcel Dick became Concertmaster (Principal) of the Vienna Symphony. In Vienna, Marcel Dick was one of the founding members of the Kolisch String Quartet. At that time, in the early 1920s, the Kolisch String Quartet consisted Rudolf Kolisch first, Fritz Rothschild second, Marcel Dick viola, Joachim Stutschewsky cello. In May, 1934, with the rise of Nazi influence, Marcel Dick decided to emigrate to the United States with his with his American wife Ann Dick. In the 1943-1944 season, Marcel Dick was selected by Erich Leinsdorf to become Principal viola of the Cleveland Orchestra. Marcel Dick was Principal viola for six seasons 1943-1949. Following the Cleveland Orchestra, Marcel Dick became Chairman of the Department of Graduate Theory and Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Marcel Dick died in Cleveland Heights, Ohio on December 13, 1991.
Abraham Skernick was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 4, 1923. His initial viola studies were with John King Roosa (violin), Emanuel Vardi and Nicolas Moldavan (viola) 86. He was Assistant Principal viola with the Saint Louis Symphony 1946-1948 and Principal viola with the Baltimore Symphony 1948-1949. In the 1949-1950 season, Abraham Skernick was selected to succeeded Marcel Dick as Principal viola with the Cleveland Orchestra by George Szell. Abraham Skernick was Principal viola in Cleveland for 27 seasons, 1949-1976. While performing in Cleveland, during summers, Abraham Skernick also was active in a number of festivals, including the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and those in Chautauqua Festival and the Aspen Music Festival 87. Skernick taught at the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore) 1948-1949, the Cleveland Institute Music, 1963-1976, Blossom Music School, 1968-1976 and was Professor of music at Indiana University after the Cleveland Orhestra 1976-1991. He taught at Indiana University from which he retired in 1991. Abraham Skernick also joined the Berkshire String Quartet while at Indiana University. Abraham Skernick died in Bloomington, Indiana, home of IU on 13 December 1996.
Robert Vernon was born in Toronto, Canada on May 5, 1949, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Robert Vernon studied at the Juilliard School, graduating with honors in about 1970. Following Juilliard, Vernon played with the St. Louis Symphony under Walter Susskind, where he was Associate Principal viola 96 in about about 1971-1976. Robert Vernon has been active in a number of summer festivals, including: the Aspen Colorado Festival, Cleveland's own Blossom Festival, the Marlboro Festival, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Sarasota Music Festival, the La Jolla Festival of the Arts, the Round Top Festival in Texas, the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont, the Silvermine Chamber Music Program in Connecticut, where he performed some of the leading string quartet repertoire. In May, 2009, Robert Vernon gave the premiere of the Paul Chihara viola concerto When Soft Voices Die 95. Throughout his career, Robert Vernon has been active as a teacher. Robert Vernon is Chairman of the viola department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In September, 2008, he was appointed to the music faculty of his alma mater, the Juilliard School. After more than three decades leading his section of the orchestra, Robert Vernon in performance continued to show the enthusiasm for the repertoire and the clean execution which are key characteristics of his art. He retired from the orchestra in August 2016 after 40 years of service.
Wesley Collins, born in 1984, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He studied first with his musician parents: violinist mother Sandy Collins and father Philip Collins who was Cincinnati Symphony Principal trumpet. Collins went on to study viola at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Robert Vernon, whom Collins would eventually succeed in Cleveland. Wesley Collins earned his BMus in Cleveland in May 2007. While in Cleveland, he was a substitute with the Cleveland Orchestra, played in the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and in City Music Cleveland, and was Assistant Principal viola with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Wesley Collins went on to play with the Atlanta Symphony May 2008-August 2012. He was appointed to the Boston Symphony viola section during September, 2012-June 2016. That summer, Wesley Collins was appointed Principal viola of the Cleveland Orchestra succeeding his teacher Robert Vernon. He has also been active in summer music festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Center, the Sarasota Music Festival (Florida), the Encore School for Strings (Ohio), and the Pacific Music Festival (Japan).
Principal String Basses of the Cleveland Orchestra
Gerald Fiore when Metropolitan Opera Principal bass
Gerald Frances Fiore was born in Piso, Calabria at the extreme southern tip of Italy on 26 January 1885. He emigrated to the US with his family at age 10 in 1895. Fiore with his violinist brother Salvatore, and brother Joseph, flute, moved from Pennsylvania to Cleveland in 1915. Gerald Fiore had been appointed director of a small orchestra of 20 musicians, including his younger brothers at the Cleveland Athletic Club 175. Gerald Fiore, with his brothers, were among the initial musicians selected by Nikolai Sokoloff for the December 1918 inception of the newly organized Cleveland Orchestra. Fiore's brother, Salvatore Fiore was appointed to the first violin section of the orchestra where he served 1918-1929. Younger brother Joseph Fiore was appointed Principal flute in 1918-1919 and then flute 1919-1921 and piccolo 1919-1921.
Gerald Fiore in 1920
Gerald Fiore was Principal bass of the Cleveland Orchestra from its inception for fourteen seasons. Donald Rosenberg in his The Cleveland Orchestra Story, 'Second to None' 1 recounted Fiore's relationship with Artur Rodzinski who was appointed conductor in 1933-1934:
"...The orchestra's loquacious principal bass, Gerald Fiore...finally had enough after he again tried to convince Rodzinski to restore some of his lost salary [after a salary freeze]. Rodzinski didn't budge on Fiore, who left soon after to become principal bass of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra..." 174
Fiore went on to become Metropolitan Opera Principal bass 1934-1956. During this period, Fiore also performed as string bass with the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini. After retiring from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, he moved to California. Gerald Fiore died of a sudden stroke on 29 February 1964 in San Francisco, California at age 79.
Jacques Posell was born in New York City 16 March 1909 of French parents. He studied at the Curtis Institute with Anton Torello (1884-1960) who was Principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Posell graduated with the Curtis Institute Class of 1935. Following graduation, Posell served first as Principal bass of the National Symphony of Washington DC under Hans Kindler from 1932-1936. In the 1936-1937 season, Artur Rodzinski appointed Posell to the bass section of the Cleveland Orchestra, serving in the third chair 1936-1939. Rodzinski appointed Posell Principal bass in 1939, where he served as Principal for the next thirty-seven seasons 1939-1966. George Szell appointed Posell Co-Principal with David Perlman 1966-1978. Then, Posell moved back to the third bass chair in 1978 until he retired at the end of the 1984-1985 season. Jacques Posell participated in many Cleveland Orchestra recordings, including those of Mahler and Richard Strauss. Posell gave the premier of Gardiner Read's Christmas Plantation Song opus 63 for double bass and piano in 1945. Jacques Ponsell died in Cleveland on 20 January 2000, age 90.
Cleveland bass Thomas Pivonka (l) with Jacques Ponsell (r) circa 1950
David Perlman was born in Ohio in 1935. In the 1966-1967 seaon, George Szell appointed David Perlman Principal bass of the Cleveland Orchestra, with Jacques Posell becoming his stand partner in the second chair. Jacques Posell was given the title of "Co-Principal", whic Perlman was Principal. Perlman served in this capacity for fifteen seasons. David Perlman was a long-time teacher at the Cleveland Institute. He gave the premiere of Paul Creston's work Introit with the Cleveland Orchestra in June 1966 175. He performed Serge Koussevitzky's Double Bass Concerto in B minor under Yoel Levi on 17 April 1981.
Max Dimoff in 2000
Maximilian Dimoff was born in Seattle, Washington on 23 June 1968. From a musical family, his father played the cello. After study with Ron Simon, bass of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra he studied at Northwestern University. In 1990, he was appointed Assistant Principal bass of the San Antonio Symphony where he served for three seasons 1990-1993. In 1993, Max Dimoff returned to his home town of Seattle joining the bass section 1993-1997. During this time in summers he played in the Grant Park Symphony, Chicago, 1992–1994. Maximilian Dimoff was appointed Principal bass of the Cleveland Orchestra by Christoph von Dohnányi in 1997. He teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Principal Oboes of the Cleveland Orchestra
Marc Lifschey, famous Cleveland Orchestra oboe said '...the oboe is the Queen of the woodwinds, unrivaled by any other instrument of the section in its authoritative tone.' 3
Dominic (or Dominick) Aldi was born in Italy on August 28, 1876. He grew up in Louisville, Kentucky with his father, Andrew Aldi, a laborer, and his mother Mary Marcuccio. In the 1910 census, Dominick Aldi is listed as a "street musician" in Louisville. While in Louisville, he played with the Louis Rigo String Orchestra 177 and the Louisville Symphony as English horn. Dominic Aldi became the first Principal oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1918-1919 season. In 1919-1920, Nikolai Sokoloff brought in Philip Kirchner, with whom Sokoloff had played in the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York about 5 years previously to replace Aldi. Dominick Aldi then played the English horn of the oboe section for one additional season, 1919-1920. Dominick Aldi's activities during most of the decade of the 1920s is not evident, although he seems to have returned to Louisville. However, he died young. Dominick Aldi, as he was then listed, died in Louisville, Kentucky on October 19, 1929, age only 53.
Philip Kirchner was born in Vilnius, then Russia and now Lithuania on March 11, 1890. He emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1906. Both Philip Kirchner, and his bassoon playing brother Morris Kirchner were members of the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York, probably at the time, about 1913, when Nikolai Sokoloff was Concertmaster of the Russian orchestra. Philip Kirchner was oboe with the New York Philharmonic in 1917. While in New York, Philip Kirchner studied with Marcel Tabuteau and Bruno Labate. Then, Philip Kirchner and his younger brother Morris Kirchner together joined the Cleveland Orchestra. They were selected by Nikolai Sokoloff in his second season in Cleveland, 1919-1920; Philip Kirchner as Principal oboe, and Morris Kirchner initially as second bassoon. Nikolai Sokoloff knowing the brothers from the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York probably negotiated a combined offer with them. Philip Kirchner succeeded Dominic Aldi, who moved to the second oboe chair. Philip Kirchner continued with the Cleveland Orchestra for twenty-eight seasons, until the end of the 1946-1947 season. Philip Kirchner seems to have been one of the numerous Principal musicians dismissed (officially he 'resigned') from the orchestra by the new Music Director George Szell. He had served the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal oboe for 28 seasons. Philip Kirchner died in the suburbs of Cleveland on 26 June 1970.
Bert Gassman was born in New York City on May 29, 1911. As a child, Bert Gassman began with violin lessons, but changed to oboe at about age thirteen. At age 16, Gassman won a scholarship to the Damrosch School of Music, which was later absorbed into the Juilliard School. Bert Gassman joined the Cleveland Orchestra oboe section at age 19 in the 1930-1931 season. Gassman was primarily English horn solo for fourteen seasons in Cleveland, 1930-1944. Bert Gassman then went to New York to join the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. While at the Metropolitan, according to Laila Storch's excellent biography of Marcel Tabuteau (How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom? 56), Bert Gassman met Marcel Tabuteau in New York, and although a seasoned professional, Gassman began taking the early train to Philadelphia to study with Tabuteau. In 1938, Bert Gassman became Principal oboe of the Orquestra Sinfonica de Mexico under Carlos Chavez, where he remained for 7 seasons. Gassman played English horn in the famous 1946 Stravinsky recording of his Pastorale for Violin, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet and Bassoon with Joseph Szigeti, violin, Mitch Miller, oboe, Robert McGinnis, clarinet, and Sol Schoenbach, bassoon in New York. Then, George Szell, taking up the Music Direction in Cleveland, and who had conducted Bert Gassman many times, hired him back to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal oboe in Szell's second and third seasons, 1947-1949. Bert Gassman then left for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Principal oboe for twenty-five seasons, 1949-1974. Bert Gassman died in Orange County, California on November 14, 2004, age 93.
Alfred Genovese was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 25, 1931. His father was also a musician. At age 16, Genovese began study with John Minsker who had previously been English horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Admitted to the Curtis Institute, Alfred Genovese was one of the last oboe students of Marcel Tabuteau. Upon graduation from Curtis in the Class of 1953, Genovese became an oboe with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for three seasons 1953-1956. Alfred Genovese then went to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra where he was Principal oboe under Vladimir Golschmann and Edouard van Remoortel 1956-1959. In the 1959-1960 season, Genovese went to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal oboe briefly for one season under George Szell. This was the single season in which Marc Lifschey was away from Cleveland during his long Cleveland tenure 1950-1959 and 1960-1965. In this 1959-1960 season, Lifschey was Principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera. Upon his return to Cleveland, Alfred Genovese replaced him as Principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the 1960-1961 season. Alfred Genovese remained at the Metropolitan Opera for 17 seasons 1960-1977. In the 1977-1978 season, with the departure of Jack Holmes from Boston, Alfred Genovese left the Metropolitan Opera to take the third oboe chair (Associate Principal oboe) of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Wayne Rapier moved up to the second chair (Assistant Principal) of the Boston Symphony oboes. Upon the retirement of Ralph Gomberg at the end of the 1986-1987 season, Alfred Genovese took the first chair oboe position.
In the Boston Symphony programs for the 1987-1990 seasons, Alfred Genovese was listed as "Acting Principal oboe" He was then confirmed in the first chair position and is now deservedly listed as Principal oboe 1987-1998. Alfred Genovese was a regular at the Marlboro Music Festival in the summers from at least 1955 into the 1980s. He was also a New York freelance session musician in the early 1970s at the time he was with the Metropolitan Opera. He he has taught oboe at the New England Conservatory of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. Alfred Genovese retired from the Boston Symphony at the end of the 1997-1998 season.
Marc Lifschey in 1960
Marc Lifschey was born June 16, 1926 in New York City. His father, Elias Lifschey was also a violist who played with the NBC Symphony under Toscanini. Marc Lifschey studied with Ferdinand Gillet, Bert Brenner, and with Marcel Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia 19. He was briefly in the oboe section of the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra. Marc Lifschey was first oboe in the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington 1948-1950. He then went to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal in 1950. Lifschey remained in Cleveland until the end of the 1964-1965 season, except for one year. The exception was the 1959-1960 season, when he was Principal oboe with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra 19.
Marc Lifschey in San Francisco
In January 1965, George Szell dismissed March Lifschey. 178 Contemporaries said that George Szell dismissed Lifschey to free him to appoint John Mack as Principal oboe following the 1964-1965 Cleveland season. Robert Zipnik was named acting co-principal oboe, sharing the Principal oboe position with Adrian Gnam from January, 1965 to the end of the 1964-1965 season. After leaving Cleveland, in 1965, Marc Lifschey joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Josef Krips. Lifschey was initially co-Principal oboe of the SFSO with Jean-Louis LeRoux, from about 1965-1970 19. Lifschey was subsequently named Principal oboe, and served with the San Francisco Symphony for a total of twenty-one seasons, from 1965-1986. 1984, William Hewlett (cofounder of Hewlett-Packard) endowed the Edo de Waart chair of Principal oboe and Lifschey occupied the chair until he retired in 1986. From 1993-1998, Marc Lifschey taught at Indiana University, until retiring to Oregon. In the orchestra and teaching, Marc Lifschey had the reputation for being both kind and generous, different from the teaching style often adopted by teachers with a European conservatory training. Marc Lifschey died at age 74 on November 8, 2000 in Portland, Oregon from complications resulting from diabetes.
John Mack was born in Somerville, New Jersey October 30, 1927, and took up the oboe at age 13. John Mack studied first in New York City at the Juilliard School of Music with Harold Gomberg and Bruno Labate. Mack then entered the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where he studied with Marcel Tabuteau. After Curtis, John Mack joined the the Sadler Wells Ballet 1951-1952 tour of the U.S. In the 1952-1953 season Mack was appointed Principal oboe of the New Orleans Symphony, where he remained for 11 seasons (until the end of the 1962-1963 season). In the summers of 1952 and 1953, John Mack was Principal oboe of the Pablo Casals Festivals in Prades, France and then in Perpignan, France. Mack played for the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington for two seasons, 1963-1965. John Mack was appointed Principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra by George Szell beginning in the 1965-1966 season. Mack remained with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell, and his successors Lorin Maazel and Christoph von Dohnanyi. John Mack retired from the Cleveland Orchestra at the end of the 2000-2001 season. For more than 25 years, John Mack taught at the John Mack Oboe Camp, a summer music camp organized in 1976 by Principal oboe of the New York Philharmonic, Joseph Robinson, a John Mack student. The camp was held each summer in Little Switzerland, North Carolina and still continues today. John Mack also taught many oboists at the Cleveland Institute, and later at Juilliard. John Mack died in Cleveland, Ohio July 23, 2006 after surgery for brain cancer at the age of 78. He was active until his last days.
Jeffrey Rathbun was born in Missouri on March 17, 1959, and raised in Texas. He studied at the University of North Texas north of Fort Worth, BMus in 1981, and later at the Cleveland Institute of Music MMus 1983. At CIM, he studied with his predecessor as Principal oboe, John Mack. Jeffrey Rathbun has played in a succession of symphony orchestras. First, the Honolulu Symphony 1983-1984. Then the Oakland Symphony 1984-1986 and San Francisco Symphony 1986-1988). Next, Jeffrey Rathbun joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 1988-1990. Then in the 1990-1991 season, Jeffrey Rathbun was appointed Assistant Principal oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra by Christoph von Dohnányi. As well as his Assistant Principal oboe responsibilities, during 2001-2003, Jeffrey Rathbun served as Principal oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra. Jeffrey Rathbun is also an active composer, and the Cleveland Orchestra has premiered his Daredevil, Three Psalms of Jerusalem, and Motions for Cellos, performed by the Cleveland cello section.
Laura Griffiths was born January 27, 1969. She studied oboe with Richard Killmer at the Eastman School of Music, earning her Bachelor's in Music and Performer's Certificate. Laura Griffiths was Principal oboe Rochester Philharmonic from about 1995-2002. In 2003, Laura Griffiths won the competition for the Principal oboe chair of the Cleveland Orchestra. Although widely respected for her tone and musicianship, her Cleveland contract was not renewed following the normal two year probation period. Laura Griffiths then went to San Francisco, where she became Principal oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and Acting Principal oboe of the San Francisco Opera.
Frank Rosenwein was born in Illinois on November 2, 1978. He grew up in Evanston, Illinois, where, after piano, he began oboe lessons at about age 11. Frank Rosenwein played oboe through High School, and then played in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (the Chicago training orchestra) and at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. Rosenwein studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with his predecessor, John Mack. After graduation from CIM as BMus, Frank Rosenwein earned his Master's degree at the Juilliard School.
Frank Rosenwein was Principal oboe in the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera 2002-2005. After winning the Cleveland Orchestra audition for Principal oboe in 2005, Frank Rosenwein served the usual two year probation, before gaining orchestra tenure. Frank Rosenwein is married to Cleveland Orchestra associate concertmaster Jung-Min Amy Lee.
Principal Bassoons of the Cleveland Orchestra
The identity of R. J. Griffith remains (for me at least) unknown as to birth, education and career. However, Donald Rosenberg in his seminal work The Cleveland Orchestra Story, 'Second to None' 1 writes regarding Griffith: "...Sokoloff trying to convey an interpretive detail...Griffith ignored the explanation and continued conversing with another musician...Sokoloff asked him to refrain...Griffith refused...'is that all you care about your work' asked Sokoloff...'I play as well as you conduct' came the retort... ". Following this exchange during the first 1918-1919 season, Sokoloff immediately dismissed Mr. Griffith. Abraham Reines was then elevated to the first bassoon chair where he served during the remainder of 1918-1919 and during 1919-1920.
Poor quality passport photo of Abraham Reines in 1920
Abraham Reines, born in New York City in February, 1896, came from a family of bassoon musicians. His father, Morris Reines (1870-1953) a Russian émigré was a long-time bassoon with the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch. His brothers Philip Reines (1893-1948), Leo Reines (1898-1991), and Nathan Reines (1908-1979) were all were bassoonists in the John Philip Sousa Band111. Philip Reines was in the bassoon section of the Minneapolis Symphony 1915-1916, a musician in New York Theaters: the Globe Theater about 1916-1922 and Capital Theater 1932-1936, and in the bassoon section of the New York Philharmonic 1925-1932 112. Leo Reines played bassoon with the National Opera Company in New York, as well as playing with the John Philip Sousa Band, the Conway Band, the Creatore Band, and the Bachman Band 112. Leo Reines also toured South America with Pavlowa's Russian Ballet, in 1918 and with the Isadora Duncan Ballet. Leo Reines was long-time bassoon with the Cincinnati Symphony about 1926-1948. Nathan Reines played with the Minneapolis Symphony 1924-1925, the St. Louis Symphony and the Chicago Symphony where he was second bassoon 1944-1946 and Principal contrabassoon 1945-1946, before returning to New York City. In the next generation, Joseph Reines (1918- ), son of Philip Reines and grandson of Morris Reines was bassoon and contrabassoon in the US Navy Band about 1948-1961. Abraham Reines played bassoon in the John Phillip Sousa Band in the summers 1915-1921 111. Abraham Reines was part of Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony bassoon section during its full existence, 1937-1954.
Morris Kirchner was born on July 15, 1894 in Vilnius, Lithuania, then part of Russia. He was younger brother of Cleveland Principal oboe Philip Kirchner. Both Morris Kirchner, and his oboe-playing brother Philip Kirchner were members of the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York, probably at the time, about 1913, when Nikolai Sokoloff was Concertmaster of the Russian orchestra. Morris Kirchner seems to have played with the Russian Symphony of New York from 1913 until at least 1918. Morris Kirchner and his older brother Philip Kirchner together joined the Cleveland Orchestra. They were selected by Nikolai Sokoloff in his second season in Cleveland, 1919-1920; Philip Kirchner as Principal oboe, and Morris Kirchner initially as second bassoon. The next season, 1920-1921, Morris Kirchner was elevated to Principal bassoon. Nikolai Sokoloff knowing the brothers from the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York probably negotiated a combined offer with them. Morris Kirchner continued with the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal bassoon for nine seasons, 1920-1929. He then departed for one season, but returned to the Cleveland Orchestra bassoon section for three additional seasons, 1930-1933. Brother Philip Kirchner remained with the Cleveland Orchestra for twenty-eight seasons, until he was dismissed by George Szell at the end of the 1946-1947 season. Morris Kirchner returned to New York City, and played in the Paul Whiteman Band in the late 1930s. In the 1940s, Morris Kirchner was in the bassoon section of Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony. Morris Kirchner died in 1970.
Poor quality passport photo of Gaston Duhamel in 1923
Gaston Duhamel was born in St. Omer, France in the Pas-de-Calais, 100 km north of Paris on April 22, 1874. He emigrated to the US in 1899, where he was long-time Principal bassoon with the Cincinnati Symphony under Frank Van der Stucken (1858-1929). Gaston Duhamel also was active in summer festivals, including as Principal bassoon of the 1903 Cincinnati May Festival under Theodore Thomas. He was Principal bassoon of the Cincinnati Symphony in the 1900s until about 1922. During that period, Duhamel also taught at the Cincinnati Conservatory. In 1922-1926, Gaston Duhamel taught at the Eastman School of Music and was Principal bassoon of the Rochester Philharmonic. Gaston Duhamel was appointed as Principal bassoon of the Cleveland Orchestra by Nikolai Sokoloff in the 1929-1930 season. Gaston Duhamel died after 1951.
William Polisi was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 26, 1909. He studied at the Curtis Institute, graduating in the Class of 1935. William Polisi was appointed Principal bassoon by Artur Rodzinski, who knew Polisi from the Curtis Institute. Polisi left the Cleveland Orchestra in 1937 to join Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony, probably again selected by Artur Rodzinksi, who was selecting many of the NBC Symphony musicians.
Ernest (Ernst) Kubitschek was born in the Moravian-Czech area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on November 12, 1889. Ernst Kubitschek trained as a bassoonist in Vienna in his teenage years. Ernst, or Ernest Kubitschek as he became, emigrated to the California in 1913 where he was a theater musician at a movie house in Oakland, across the San Francisco Bay. Ernest Kubitschek joined the San Francisco Symphony in its fourth season, 1914-1915 under founding conductor Henry Hadley. Kubitschek remained Principal bassoon in San Francisco for three seasons, 1914-1917. After being away for two seasons, Kubitschek returned to the San Francisco Symphony, now under Alfred Hertz, where he remained for a further twenty seasons, 1919-1934 and 1936-1941 93. When the San Francisco Symphony season was suspended during 1934-1935 at the depth of the great depression, Ernest Kubitschek joined the Cleveland Orchestra for one season as Principal bassoon under Artur Rodzinski in 1935-1936. Subsequent to Pierre Monteux reviving the San Francisco Symphony, Ernest Kubitschek returned to San Francisco, becoming Principal bassoon for two decades, 1936-1956. In San Francisco in the mid-1920s, Ernst Kubitschek also played with Henry Cowell's New Music Society, giving the premiers of several works by Henry Cowell and Charles Ruggles in 1926-1927 141. Ernest Kubitschek died in Napa, California in the heart of the Napa Valley wine country on September 7, 1968.
Frank Ruggieri was born in Philadelphia on November 17, 1906. Upon the death of his mother in 1918 and of his father in 1920, Ruggieri moved to his uncle, Robert Sensale who was contra-bassoon with the New York Philharmonic for 37 years 16. At age 18, Frank Ruggieri returned to Philadelphia to play in the Fox theater orchestra. Back in Philadelphia, Ruggieri was accepted at the Curtis institute, where he studied with Walter Guetter and Ferdinand del Negro, graduating in 1932. In the 1932-1933 season, Frank Ruggieri became Principal bassoon with the National Symphony, under Hans Kindler. In the summers, Frank Ruggieri continued to play in the summer orchestras of the New Jersey sea shore, including Ocean City, New Jersey. In 1937, Ruggieri was named Principal Oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra under Artur Rodzinski. After serving in the Air Force during World War 2, Ruggieri returned to the Cleveland Orchestra for the 1945-1946 season. In 1946, Ruggieri moved to New York City to freelance. He played with the New York City Center Opera and the Radio City Music Hall. In 1949, Ruggieri was named second bassoon with the New York Philharmonic, following the footsteps of his uncle Robert Sensale. Ruggieri remained with the New York Philharmonic until the end of the 1971-1972 season, when he reached the 65 retirement age. At Ocean City, NJ, Ruggieri continued this activity every summer, becoming conductor, which he continued until 1986. Frank Ruggieri died in a New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia on June 18, 2003, age 96.
Elias Carmen was born in New York City on December 12, 1912. He studied at Dewitt Clinton High School, the City College of New York and at the Institute of Musical Art (later Juilliard). Artur Rodzinski appointed Elias Carmen as Principal bassoon of the Cleveland Orchestra 1942-1943. Elias Carmen was Principal bassoon in Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra at the end of its existence in about 1953-1954. He continued as Principal bassoon in the Symphony of the Air after NBC ended support of the NBC Symphony. Carmen was head of the personnel committee of the Symphony of the Air 1955-1956. In the 1960s and 1970s, Elias Carmen taught at Yale University School of Music. Elias Carmen was also Principal bassoon of the New York City Ballet Orchestra in the 1971-1974 seasons. However, Elias Carmen died during the New York City Ballet 1973-1974 season in an automobile accident on December 21, 1973 in West Nyack, New York.
George Goslee was born on the last day of 1916, December 31, 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio in a middle class family. George Goslee took up the bassoon at age 12 and later studied with Charles Kayser, bassoon of the Cleveland Orchestra during 1925-1936. Goslee studied at the Eastman School of Music with Vincent Pezzi, who was Principal bassoon of the Rochester Symphony. In his last two years at the Eastman School in 1938 and 1939, George Goslee also played with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Rochester Civic Orchestra, primarily as contrabassoon. In late 1939, Goslee went to New York and studied with Simon Kovar (1890-1970 and teacher of Sol Schoenbach and others). Goslee played with the Indianapolis Symphony 1941-1943. During the next two seasons, from 1943-1945 Goslee was Principal bassoon in Cleveland, appointed by Erich Leinsdorf. Then, for one season 1945-1946, George Goslee joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as Principal bassoon under Eugene Ormandy. When Sol Schoenbach returned from service in World War 2, there was a controversy as to who would be Principal bassoon in Philadelphia. This was a situation experienced by a number of orchestras with musicians returning from the war, with two musicians, but with only one chair. In Philadelphia, Sol Schoenbach prevailed, taking the Principal chair for the 1946-1947 season where he would remain for a further 11 seasons. George Goslee was invited back to Cleveland in the 1946-1947 season as Principal bassoon by the newly arrived George Szell.
Goslee remained with the Cleveland Orchestra with a distinguished career until he retired in August, 1988 after 45 seasons of service. During this period, he was in demand as a teacher, and was appointed Chairman of Bassoon Studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music. When the Blossom Music Festival was organized, it was intended as a teaching experience, as well as concert giving, somewhat like Tanglewood, and Goslee taught at Blossom since its inception in 1968. George Goslee was also active in music festivals, including a number of years teaching at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. The artistry of George Goslee can be heard in the many recordings of the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell, Pierre Boulez and Lorin Maazel. In particular, the Stravinsky Rite of Spring and the Berceuse from the Firebird, as well as the famous 1966 recording of the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, and the 1978 Rimsky-Korsakov Shéhérazade recording. George Goslee died October 19, 2006, aged 89 with good health until just days before his death.
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 of1985. 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. You can read of this book at the link click to see David McGill's book Sound in Motion . David McGill continued the great tradition of the double-reed musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra over the last century.
John Clouser was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 10, 1962. He studied at Gordon College in Wenham, about 50 km south of Boston, Massachusetts, and at Temple University in Philadelphia. Trenton State College and Gordon College, studying under teachers such as Bernard Garfield, Principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Matthew Ruggiero, Assistant Principal bassoon of the Boston Symphony. Following graduation, John Clouser was Memphis Symphony Principal bassoon for six seasons 1988-1994. He then was appointed Associate Principal bassoon of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for three seasons 1994-1997 under Charles Dutoit. In 1997, John Clouser won the audition to become Principle Bassoon of the Cleveland Orchestra, succeeding David McGill, who went to the Chicago Symphony as Principal bassoon. John Clouser is also active in summer music festivals, including Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado, the Flagstaff Music Festival which has a mixture of music, Grand Teton Music Festive located at Yellowstone Park, Peninsula Music Festival on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, and the Round Top Music Festival in Texas.
Principal Clarinets of the Cleveland Orchestra
Carson McGibeny was born on 1 December 1875 in Oregon, and was given the nickname of "Doc" by his siblings. His was a musical family, and his father James Benjamin McGibeny (1835-1905) was a music teacher. James McGibeny formed all of his children into the "The Celebrated McGibeny Family" musical group, and they toured the eastern US in the 1880s and 1890s.
McGibeny Family: (l to r) standing: Alice McGibeny Bicking (1872-1946), Frederick McGibeny (1869- ) string bass and trombone, Victor McGibeny, NY Symphony violin 1926-1927 (1867- ), Viola McGibeny - Cleveland music teacher of cornet and trumpet (1864- ), Frank M. McGibeny - violin, cornet and trumpet (1863- ), Grace Holman McGibeny - Hugh's wife and a pianist (1870-1949), Hugh McGibeny (1866-after 1849) was concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony and taught violin at Purdue University, Carson Glen McGibeny (1880- ) standing at right
seated: Grace McGibeny Vezina (1876- ), Hannah Starrett McGibeny (1844- ), Leo McGibeny (1892- ), James B. McGibeny (1835-1905), Florence McGibeny Reeves - flute and violin,
floor: Carl McGibeny, Jamie McGibeny - tenor.
Carson McGibeny played clarinet in the John Philip Sousa Band under the name of C. G. McGibeny 1904-1908 <111>. He was then a theater musician in New York City in the 1900's and a musician at the Colonial Theater in Cleveland in the 1910s. His brother Fredrick McGibeny was both string bass and trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra in its initial year 1918-1919.
Louis Green was one of those talented musicians who played more than one instrument of different families while in the Cleveland Orchestra. As well as his primary instrument, the clarinet, Louis Green also played viola. He played viola during the 1919-1920 season and also bass clarinet in that same season. Louis Green was then advanced to the Principal clarinet for five seasons by Nikolai Sokoloff. Green also played second clarinet in Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra.
Walter Thalin was born in Worchester, Massachusetts August 23, 1896. In his later years, Walter Thalin said that his father was a clarinet enthusiast, and went to the length of putting a clarinet into Walter's crib (that is starting early) 79. Walter Thalin studied at the New England Conservatory, graduating in about 1914. In 1917, Walter Thalin played in the theater orchestra of the Strand Theater of his home town Worchester, Massachusetts. Walter Thalin served in the US Army in France in 1918-1919. He was clarinet with the Minneapolis Symphony twice, first in the 1922-1923 season. At that time, he studied with Georges Grisez, Boston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra Principal clarinet who was then Principal clarinet of the Minneapolis Symphony 159. Walter Thalin was appointed Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra by Nikolai Sokoloff in the 1925-1926 season. Thalin also played with the NBC Radio staff orchestra in New York City in the early 1930s. Walter Thalin then returned to Minneapolis for fifteen more seasons, 1937-1952. Back in New York City in the 1950s, Walter Thalin played in several Broadway shows including The Music Man. Thalin played clarinet in the summers with the Chautauqua Symphony. In the late 1950s, Walter Thalin relocated to the Los Angeles area. He played in the Hollywood studios orchestras, including the Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra. He also played clarinet with the Long Beach Municipal Band, 1957-196679. Walter Thalin died in Long Beach, California on October 18, 1969.
Louis deSantis born April 22, 1880 at Torino di Sangro in the Abruzzo Region of Italy. Louis deSantis emigrated to the US in about 1916. In the early 1920s, Louis deSantis was clarinet of Chicago Lyric Opera. He then joined the Saint Louis Symphony in about 1924-1926. In the 1926-1927 season, Nikolai Sokoloff selected deSantis as Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra. deSantis remained in Cleveland for three seasons. Then, deSantis was selected as Principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1930-1931 season. Since the failure to re-hire Rufus Arey in 1924, Stokowski had been generally satisfied with Daniel Bonade as Principal. However, at the end of the 1929-1930 season, Stokowski made sweeping changes to the Philadelphia Orchestra roster, including replacement of several Principals, including Daniel Bonade. Stokowski hired Louis deSantis, but this lasted only one season 1930-1931. During that same season, Stokowski had hired the young Robert McGinnis directly out of the Curtis Institute into the Philadelphia Orchestra clarinet section. In the next season, 1931-1931, Stokowski elevated Robert McGinnis to the Principal clarinet chair, and Louis deSantis departed. During 1930-1935, Louis deSantis was Principal clarinet with the CBS radio Orchestra under Howard Barlow (1892-1972). This was a desirable post during the Depression years, since it was year-around employment, unlike any of the symphony orchestras of that era. Also, although generally forgotten today, Howard Barlow was a generally gifted and interesting conductor. His only conducting training was apparently some brief lessons from Wilberforce Whiteman, father of Paul Whiteman. Similarly, his knowledge of instruments, including the cello and wind instruments was essentially self-taught. Howard Barlow was conductor of the CBS radio orchestra from 1927-1943, and from 1943-1959 on NBC radio and then television, with the the long-running Voice of Firestone orchestral programs. As to Louis deSantis, the early 1940s, he was a member of the Philadelphia region WPA Orchestra, according to World War 2 draft records. Louis deSantis seems to have continued to reside in suburban Philadelphia, where he died prior to 1960. Contemporary writers considered Louis deSantis's clarinet style (although he was Italian-born) to be French in style, somewhat like Daniel Bonade or Gaston Hamlin of the Boston Symphony.
Henri LeRoy was born in Armentières in the north of France just on the Belgian boarder in 1874. Henri LeRoy was a member of the Garde républicaine band in Paris 109 in about 1900. Henri LeRoy was Principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic succeeding Alexander Selmer for four seasons, 1911-1914. While playing in the Philharmonic, Henri LeRoy was one of the founders of the Philharmonic Ensemble, a wind quintet with violin consisting of Henri Leroy clarinet, Xavier Reiter horn, August Mesnard bassoon, Anton Fayer flute, and joined by Leopold Kramer , then Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic 110. Henri was Principal clarinet in the New York National Symphony 1918-1921 which then merged with the New York Philharmonic in 1921. Henri LeRoy became a US citizen in 1923. He was appointed Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra by Nikolai Sokoloff for one season, 1929-1930. LeRoy then went on to play in concerts and radio in the early 1930s. Henri LeRoy died later than 1932.
Aaron Gorodner (Photographer unidentified, n.d. Courtesy of the Cleveland Orchestra Archives)
Aaron Gorodner was born in Babruysk, then part of Russia and now in Belarus on December 26, 1893. Gorodner played with the John Philip Sousa Band in the later 1920s 111. By 1930, Aaron Gorodner played in the NBC radio staff orchestra of WEAF in New York City. Aaron Gorodner made the first recording of Roy Harris's Concerto for Clarinet, Piano and String Quartet with the Aeolian Quartet on Columbia in 1933s 78. Also in chamber music during summer music festivals in 1938, Aaron Gorodner toured with the the Roth Quartet, under Feri Roth (1899-1969) first, Jeno Antal second, Ferenc Molnar viola, and Janos Scholz cello. ( click here to see a photograph of the Roth Quartet ). Aaron Gorodner played with the Goldman Band in the 1940s, based in New York City, which gave a series of concerts in Central Park during World War 2. He was also one of the early teachers of his successor in the Cleveland Principal clarinet chair, Franklin Cohen . After returning to New York, Aaron Gorodner was a long-time resident of Flushing in Queens, where he died in October, 1984.
Alexander Pripadcheff was born on August 20, 1897 in Tomsk in in Siberia in central Russia. Pripadcheff studied at the Imperial Conservatory in Moscow 80. Alexander Pripadcheff left Russia during the revolution, and joined the touring Russia Grand Opera Company touring China and Japan. Pripadcheff came to the US in December, 1921 via Japan, arriving in Seattle. In that year, Pripadcheff also became a US citizen. He continued with the Russian Grand Opera Company, as second clarinet, and in 1923, Pripadcheff toured the US with them. This group, organized by Leo Feodoroff, was made up of Russian émigrés. In the 1920s, Alexander Pripadcheff was based in New York City, where he also continued his clarinet studies with Simeon Bellison (1883-1953) who was later Principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic. Pripadcheff toured with the Ballet Russe during two US tours. In the 1931-1932 season, Alexander Pripadcheff was appointed Principal clarinet by Nikolai Sokoloff, where he stayed for two seasons. Alexander Pripadcheff then returned to opera, being appointed Principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera in the 1930s. After a career of two decades at the MET, Alexander Pripadcheff died while on a visit to his family in Siberia in July, 197180.
Daniel Bonade at the time of his service with the Cleveland Orchestra
Daniel Bonade was born on April 4, 1894 in Geneva, Switzerland, of French parents. He studied clarinet at the Paris Conservatoire in the clarinet class of Prosper Mimart and also studied with Henri Lefebvre, clarinet of the Paris Opera. Bonade won clarinet Premier prix at the Paris Conservatoire in the 1913 Concour. In 1915 in Paris, Daniel Bonade played clarinet in the Garde républicaine Band, along with fellow-clarinetist and later Philadelphia Orchestra musician Lucien Cailliet . Daniel Bonade relocated to the U.S., initially to New York City in March, 1915, at age 20. In 1916, Bonade joined Diaghilev's Ballet Russe second American tour under Ernest Ansermet. Bonade then joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1917 as Principal clarinet when Leopold Stokowski decided to replace Robert Lindemann. Bonade stayed in Philadelphia until the end of the 1921-1922 season. During the 1922 and 1923 seasons Bonade was touring and playing concerts in France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and England. He then returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra as Principal clarinet in 1924 when the Philadelphia Orchestra could not reach agreement with Rufus Arey to continue Arey's contract
Daniel Bonade in the 1920s
Daniel Bonade was again Principal clarinet in Philadelphia until the end of the 1929-1930 season when he was succeeded by Louis deSantis, his predecessor in Cleveland. During 1931-1933 Daniel Bonade was Principal clarinet with the CBS Radio Symphony in New York City, providing year-around employment, compared with the limited seasons of contemporary symphony orchestras. Then, from 1933 to 1941 he was Principal clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra. Daniel Bonade joined the Toscanini-NBC Symphony tour to South America in the summer of 1940. In 1942, Daniel Bonade again played for the CBS Radio Orchestra. Daniel Bonade was teacher to many later famed orchestral clarinetists, and had in the US an impact in clarinet playing perhaps similar to Marcel Tabuteau for the oboe. While in Philadelphia, he taught at the Curtis Institute and while in Cleveland at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Similarly, when in New York, Daniel Bonade taught at the Julliard School 1948-1960. From the 1930s until their departure for France, Daniel and his wife Maud Bonade retained a permanent residence in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. While in the US, nearly every Summer, except the war years, the Bonades also sailed for France. In fact, during the 1920s and 1930s, Bonade seemed to have crossed the Atlantic by steamship at least 9 times. Bonade was a US citizen from 1920.
Daniel Bonade circa 1950s
Daniel and Maud Bonade retired to Cannes on the south coast of France in 1960, where he died in November, 1976.
Robert McGinnis was born in Delaware County, west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 1, 1910. His father, Claude Stonecliffe McGinnis (1881-1964) was a Physics professor at Temple University, Philadelphia, but also an amateur clarinetist. Robert McGinnis was a student of Daniel Bonade at the Curtis Institute from 1925, graduating in May, 1930. McGinnis joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in the Autumn of 1930, and became Principal clarinet 1931-1940. During the 1940-1941 season, McGinnis was the Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra under Rodzinski. During World War 2, 1942-1945, he was in the U.S. Navy Band. Following the War, he returned to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal clarinet for one season, 1946-1947. Then, in the 1947-1948 season, McGinnis was Principal clarinet of the NBC Symphony under Toscanini, and also taught at Juilliard. McGinnis then moved to the New York Philharmonic as Principal clarinet 1948-1960. At the end of the 1959-1960 season, Robert McGinnis retired from the New York Philharmonic and then taught clarinet at Indiana University 1960-1963. After McGinnis, Stanley Drucker became Principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic beginning with the 1960-1961 season. In an interesting posting on Klarinet Archive, Daniel Leeson wrote: "…I recently received a charming note from Sara McGinnis Thomson, daughter of the late Robert McGinnis, among other things formerly first clarinet in the New York Philharmonic, immediately preceding the extended and remarkable tenure of the current principle player Stanley Drucker. She wrote to me because of a posting I made on the Klarinet some time ago and in which I spoke of seeing McGinnis playing with Paul LaValle's Band of America at the World's Fair in New York City in 1964. My comments at that time were that I was shocked that a player of McGinnis' competence was reduced to playing a couple of shows a day under Paul LaValle, and she said, "To my knowledge, dad had to play those gigs to bring money in. He could not hold an orchestral position anymore because he was debilitated by arthritis and was in constant and severe pain. He passed away in 1976 of a heart attack." Robert McGinnis finished his orchestral career playing Co-Principal clarinet (with Philip Fath) with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Joseph Krips 1964-1969. After a remarkable career playing with a long series of leading U.S. orchestras, Robert McGinnis died on January 1, 1976 in Huntington, New York, age 65.
detail of photo: Boston Symphony Archives, 1956
Gino Cioffi was born in Naples, Italy in 1913 of a musical family. Cioffi studied clarinet at the Naples Conservatory with Piccione and Carpio. Cioffi graduated from the Conservatory in 1930. (note: was Gino Gioffi related to " Signor Ciofi " Principal violin of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra two generations previously?) Gino Cioffi arrived in the U.S. in 1937, playing first with the orchestra of the New York Radio City Music Hall. Cioffi then played with the Pittsburgh Symphony until the end of the 1941-1942 season. Cioffi then went to the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal clarinet for two seasons 1942-1944. Over the next six seasons, Gino Cioffi was at the Metropolitan Opera, and briefly for the New York Philharmonic. Then, Gino Cioffi became Principal clarinet of the Boston Symphony in the 1950-1951 season under Charles Munch. Gino Cioffi was always a colorful personality. It is said that during his audition with Charles Munch in 1950, he played beautifully the clarinet excerpt from Daphnis et Chloé. The story is that Cioffi than said "Pretty good, pretty good, huh? D'ya wanta to hear something else?" According to the story, Munch immediately hired Cioffi, saying "Anyone with that much confidence we have to have in the orchestra.". Cioffi typically played on an adapted Selmer clarinet 59 with a Crystal mouthpiece. An irreverent story told more than once about Cioffi is that he would frequently say "...When I'ma play good, its a justa like Jesus Christ. When I'ma play bad, its still better than anybody else !" 59 Gino Cioffi remained Boston Symphony Principal clarinet for 21 seasons, retiring (or in fact, being asked to retire) at the end of the 1969-1970 season. He may have been retired both because of being at retirement age, and due to cardiac problems (he had gained considerable weight in later years).
A story told by Gino Cioffi student and clarinet scholar Sherman Friedland 59 shows Gino Cioffi in his later years still to be a distinctive personality. Cioffi just after his dismissal was walking with BSO Bass clarinet Felix 'Phil' Viscuglia, and every few steps, Cioffi would "...stop and say to Phil, 'hey what I did?, What I did?'..." Gino Cioffi lived in suburban Boston until after 2001.
Emerson Both was born in Lyons in rural Wisconsin, about 50 km from Milwaukee on July 24, 1902. In the 1930s, Emerson Both was a staff musician for NBC radio in Chicago. Emerson Both was Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra for one season, 1944-1945 during the culmination of World War 2. In that season, the Cleveland Orchestra clarinet section consisted of Emerson Both Principal clarinet, Carl Kuhlmann Eb clarinet, and James Rettew Assistant Principal and Bass clarinet. Emerson Both then had the opportunity to return to Chicago to resume his position as Principal clarinet of the NBC Chicago radio staff orchestra. When George Szell was appointed Music Director in Cleveland for the 1945-1946 season, one of the musicians he stated that he wished to play as Principal was Emerson Both 75. However, Both decided that he preferred to return to Chicago to the NBC radio staff orchestra. Not only did this position offer steady, year-around employment, which neither the Cleveland Orchestra nor the Chicago Symphony offered at that time, but also Emerson Both would be somewhat shielded from the hiring and firing decisions of Szell. George Szell was not the most volatile of the great conductors as to the turnover of orchestra musicians, but in this decision, Emerson Both was likely correct. Emerson Both died relatively young in Chicago on January 21, 1964, age 61.
Stanley Hasty was born on 21 February 21, 1920 in rural McCook, Nebraska, more than 250 km away from any major city, his father working for the Union Pacific railroad. The Hasty family was musical, and all the Hasty children played instruments 75. Hasty later said "...the reason I started playing clarinet was because my brother had played clarinet and had a wonderful set of Belgian clarinets..." 75. Stanley Hasty would take a one day train trip each way (free, due to his father's occupation) to Denver to study with Val P. Henrich (1890-1980), who was Principal clarinet of the Denver Symphony. In 1937, Stanley Hasty entered the Eastman School in Rochester on a full scholarship, where he was a classmate of Harold Meek, later horn with the Boston Symphony. Stanley Hasty graduated from Eastman with his performer’s certificate and BMus. in 1941. Then in 1942 Stanley Hasty received a graduate scholarship to study at the Juilliard School. After Juilliard, Hasty gained his first full-time orchestral post: Principal clarinet of the National Symphony of Washington DC during the 1943-1944 season. In its early years, the National Symphony was low paying with consequent high turnover. Stanley Hasty moved to the Indianapolis Symphony as Principal clarinet for the 1944-1945 season. After one season, Hasty auditioned for Erich Leinsdorf, then conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. Hasty was appointed Principal in Cleveland for the 1945-1946 season. With the appointment of George Szell, Hasty lost his position. Donald Rosenberg writes that Szell's contract "...called for the orchestra to be increased by eight players, and for every effort to be made to reengage flutist Maurice Sharp, clarinet Emerson Both, bassoonist George Goslee, and hornist Philip Farkas..." 1. When Emerson Both preferred to remain in Chicago, Szell engaged Robert McGinnis to return to Cleveland as Principal clarinet. Stanley Hasty then moved to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for the next two seasons 1946-1948. After Baltimore, Hasty played Principal clarinet with the Pittsburgh Symphony for seven seasons 1948-1955. In 1955, Stanley Hasty returned to his alma mater, the Eastman School of Music. He taught there for the next three decades 1955-1985. As is usual at Eastman, Stanley Hasty also was Principal clarinet with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, serving for thirteen seasons, 1955-1968. Stanley Hasty's many students include Larry Combs, Sean Osborn and Peter Hadcock. Stanley Hasty retired from the Eastman School in 1985, and died on June 22, 2011 leaving behind a heritage of many leading orchestral and "pop" musicians who were his students.
1946-1947 Robert E. McGinnis
see the account of the great Robert McGinnis with the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1940-1941 listing, above.
Bernard Portnoy (photograph by Zinn, Arthur, and Kufeld, n.d. Courtesy of the Cleveland Orchestra Archives)
Bernard Portnoy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 4, 1914. His parents, Bennie and Rachael Portnoy were Russian-Jewish émigrés from the Ukraine who came to Pittsburgh in 1906. Bernard Portnoy began playing the clarinet at age 13. In about 1931, Bernard gained admission to the Curtis Institute, where he studied with Robert McGinnis . McGinnis and Portnoy shared an interesting number of Principal clarinet positions over their careers, including of the Cleveland Orchestra, the NBC Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Bernard Portnoy graduated from Curtis in the Class of 1937. Following graduation, Bernard Portnoy was appointed Principal clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony by Fritz Reiner, serving from about 1937-1940. In the 1940-1941 season, Bernard Portnoy returned to Philadelphia to join the Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra as Principal clarinet. Portnoy remained in Philadelphia as Principal for four seasons 1940-1943. During World War 2, beginning in 1943, Portnoy entered the US Merchant Marine, although he remained on the official roster of the Philadelphia Orchestra until 1946. At the conclusion of World War 2, in 1946, Portnoy was not returned to the Principal clarinet position in Philadelphia, so is listed as Philadelphia Principal clarinet 1940-1943. There are some accounts that Portnoy had alienated certain of his Philadelphia colleagues. Instead, in 1946 he joined the Cleveland Orchestra. Bernard Portnoy went to Cleveland in George Szell's second season as Music Director, 1947-1948. Portnoy remained in Cleveland for six seasons. Then in 1953, Portnoy joined the NBC Symphony for the last two seasons of Arturo Toscanini tenure. After the NBC Symphony, remaining in New York, Portnoy was a New York sessions musician and played on Broadway, including the Broadway cast recording of My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. In New York, Portnoy also played regularly in the WOR Mutual Broadcasting Orchestra, which had the advantage of year-around employment (unlike any of the symphony orchestras of that era other than the Boston Symphony). While in Philadelphia, Portnoy taught at the Curtis Institute, and then at the Julliard School in the 1950s and early 1960s while in New York City. For example, Franklin Cohen , later also Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra studied with Bernard Portnoy at Juilliard. Then for 20 years, Bernard Portnoy taught clarinet at Indiana University in the 1970s and 1980s. In his retirement from orchestra life, and while at Indiana University, Bernard Portnoy became a successful designer and manufacturer of clarinet mouthpieces and ligatures. Bernard Portnoy died in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco, on December 2, 2006, two days before his 92nd birthday. You can hear Bernard Portnoy in his prime in 1940 with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the Mozart Sinfonia concertante by clicking here.
Robert Marcellus was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 1, 1928. His early clarinet studies were with Earl Handlon, bass clarinet of the Minneapolis Symphony for 26 seasons, 1925-1951. During World War 2, in 1944, his family moved to Washington, DC. This gave Marcellus the opportunity to take the train to New York City to study with his great predecessor as Principal clarinet in Cleveland: Daniel Bonade. While in Washington, Robert Marcellus was appointed Second clarinetist of the National Symphony Orchestra 1945-1946. Then, 1946-1949, Robert Marcellus played in the US Air Force Band in Washington. Still in Washington, Marcellus returned to the National Symphony as Second clarinet 1949-1950, and Principal clarinet 1950-1953. Then, in 1953-1954 when Bernard Portnoy departed to join Toscanini's NBC Symphony, George Szell appointed Robert Marcellus as Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra. Robert Marcellus served in Cleveland as Principal clarinet for twenty seasons, 1953-1973 under George Szell, Pierre Boulez, and Lorin Maazel. The heights of his career can still be enjoyed via the many recordings he made with all three Music Directors. Unfortunately, Robert Marcellus also suffered from diabetes, which in that era was less controllable than today. His deteriorating health led to his retirement at the end of the 1972-1973 season. He was succeeded by David Shifrin, who had briefly studied with Marcellus. Robert Marcellus taught at Northwestern University, Chicago 1974-1994. Marcellus's diabetes eventually lead to loss of central vision due to retinopathy, but he was still able to teach. His impact on his many students is witnessed by the glowing tributes, continuing years after his death. Robert Marcellus after a full career died in Door County, Wisconsin on March 31, 1996, age 67.
David Shifrin was born on 2 January 1950 in New York City, and grew up in Flushing, Queens, New York City. His first musical study was in High School. His older cousin Lalo Schifrin, the composer, saw Shifrin's talent and recommended further clarinet training. In 1964, David Shifrin entered the highly selective School of Performing Arts in New York City. Also, for three years, David Shifrin studied at Interlochen in Michigan with the clarinetist Fred Ormond. He also studied at the Blossom Music Festival in Cleveland for one summer in 1958, he studied briefly with Robert Marcellus. David Shifrin was admitted to the Curtis Institute, where he graduated in the Class of 1971. Shifrin was Principal clarinet with Leopold Stokowski's American Symphony Orchestra in New York for one season. David Shifrin was then Principal clarinet with the Honolulu Symphony about 1973-1974. He then went to the Dallas Symphony, but for a summer season in 1974. In the 1974-1975 season, David Shifrin was appointed Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. He held this first chair of the Cleveland clarinet section for two seasons until the end of 1975-1976. Following Cleveland, David Shifrin taught at the University of Michigan from about 1977-1979. From 1982-1987, David Shifrin taught at the University of Southern California. During this time, he was also Principal clarinet of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, which he had joined in 1978.
Following USC, Shifrin then taught at Yale University and performed with the New York Chamber Symphony. He was Music Director of Chamber Music Northwest, a summer chamber music festival in Portland, Oregon. He was also Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center 1992-2004.
Franklin Cohen was born July 28, 1946 in New York. His earliest music instruction was with his mother, a professional pianist. Frank Cohen studied with two of his predecessors who were Principal clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra. His early clarinet instructors included Aaron Gorodner (1893-1984), also of course a Principal clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra 1930-1931, and who later taught in New York City. Frank Cohen then studied clarinet at the Juilliard School, including with Bernard Portnoy , Principal clarinet not only of the Cleveland Orchestra, but also the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Toscanini's NBC Symphony. Following Juilliard, Franklin Cohen the mid-1960s was Principal clarinet of the American Symphony Orchestra, appointed by Leopold Stokowski. In 1968, Franklin Cohen won First Prize, Clarinet at the ARD Music Competition in Munich 57. [Note: it is interesting to note the parallels of Franklin Cohen's early career with the career of David Shifrin, who also was Principal clarinet of the American Symphony, won Third Prize, Clarinet at the ARD Music Competition in 1977 57, and of course was Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra for two seasons, 1974-1976.] After the American Symphony Orchestra, Franklin Cohen went on to assume the Principal chair of the Baltimore Symphony. Cohen has also been active in a number of music festivals, including: Marlboro, Casals, Sarasota, Aspen, and Santa Fe. One of Cohen's recent innovative performances in May, 2010 was of the 1994 composition by Osvaldo Golijov (1960- ): Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind in the original version for (a klezmer-style) clarinet and string quartet.
His performance, with his violinist daughter Diana is available his Franklin Cohen CD label. Franklin Cohen is also Head of the Clarinet Department 58 at the Cleveland Institute of Music. After more than three decades as Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra, Frank Cohen's enthusiasm for his art still shown through in his performances. Cleveland press reported in late 2014 162 tension between Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and Mr. Cohen. This seems to have been a factor in Mr. Cohen's decision to retire at the end of the 2014-2015 season.
In July 2015, the Cleveland Orchestra announced that Benjamin Lulich would join the orchestra as Acting Principal clarinet during the 2015-2016 season 163. Lulich was Principal clarinet of the Seattle Symphony appointed in the 2014-2015 season, where he continues today in the Principal clarinet chair. Benjamin Lulich was born in 1982. As a student, he studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Lulich later studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music BMus in 2005 and the Yale School of Music. He has been active at the Pacific Music Festival, Sunriver Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West. As well as the Seattle Symphony, he was Principal clarinet of the Pacific Symphony (2009-2014) and the Kansas City Symphony. After the 2015-2016 season, Benjamin Lulich left the Cleveland Orchestra and returned to his Principal clarinet position at the Seattle Symphony where he continues successfully today.
In August 2017, the Cleveland Orchestra announced that Afendi Yusuf was appointed Principal clarinet of the orchestra 163. Yusef was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1989. Yusuf studied at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. He has been active in music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival (Colorado), the Brott Music Festival (Canada), and the Marlboro Music Festival (Vermont). Yusuf has appeared as a guest Prinicipal clarinet with New York's Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. This appointment was his first as a Principal.
Principal Flutes of the Cleveland Orchestra
Costa Clappe is listed, along with Joseph Fiore, as Principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra in its first season 1918-1919. Perhaps they were Co-Principals during the creation of the Cleveland Orchestra in its first season. However, his details have not yet been identified. Perhaps he was related to the great bandmaster Arthur A. Clappe (1850-1920), who was also a flutist.
Joseph Fiore was born in Calabria, Italy at the extreme boot of Italy, 150 km south of Naples in 1882. Joseph Fiore studied first with his musician father Leonardo Fiore. Joseph Fiore emigrated with his family to Ohio at age 13. Joseph Fiore died at an unexpected young age in Cleveland in 1928, age only 46.
Weyert Moor was born in Delft, the Netherlands on October 15, 1877. He emigrated to the US in 1905. In 1907, Weyert Moor joined the US Army West Point Band 1907-1911. In 1910 in New York City, Weyert Abram recorded a series of musical cylinders for Edison, including with bassoon Benjamin Kohon. In about 1915, Weyert Moor joined the Rivoli Theater Orchestra in New York City, one of the leading Broadway theaters. After going through two unsuccessful Principal flutes, Nikolai Sokoloff was seeking quality. He was successful in engaging Weyert Moor to come to Cleveland as Principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra. During the next twelve seasons, as well as the Cleveland Orchestra, Weyert Moor was a member of the Cleveland Woodwind Ensemble, Philip Kirchner oboe, Weyert Moor flute, Aaron Gorodner clarinet, Morris Kirchner bassoon. Weyert Moor also recorded for Edison records in 1915 and during the 1920s. While in Cleveland, Weyert Moor was also head of the flute department of Cleveland Institute of Music 100. By 1933, Weyert Moor relocated to California, where he played in the Hollywood studio orchestras 99. Weyert Moor also composed an operetta The Song of Araby which was broadcast in California in April, 1934 99. Weyert Moor also owned a book store in North Hollywood 1933-1941. Weyert Moor died in San Bernardino, California, east of Los Angeles on August 21, 1959.
1931-1945 Maurice Sharp
See 1946-1982 Maurice Sharp, below.
Bernard Goldberg was born In Belleville, Illinois, just across the Mississippi river from St. Louis on January 27, 1923. Bernard Goldberg made his solo debut with the St. Louis Symphony when he was 16 years old. He attended the Juilliard School, graduating in about 1943. He had studied with the legendary Georges Barrère (1876-1944) and was one of Barrère's last students. Bernard Goldberg joined the Cleveland Orchestra initially as piccolo in the 1943-1944 season, selected by Erich Leinsdorf. In the 1945-1946 season, Bernard Goldberg was elevated to Principal flute. With the appointment of George Szell as Music Director in the 1946-1947 season, Bernard Goldberg left the Cleveland Orchestra. Goldberg became Principal flute with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner in the 1947-1948 season. Goldberg remained with the Pittsburgh Symphony as Principal flute under six Music Directors 1947-1993. While in Pittsburgh, Bernard Goldberg was also active in the International Society of Contemporary Music giving numerous concerts of contemporary music 99. Following retirement from the Pittsburgh Symphony, was conductor of the McKeesport Symphony - Pennsylvania 1993-2001.
On January 14, 1919, Martin Heylman was born in Cleveland, Ohio where he spent his whole life. Martin Heylman joined the Cleveland Orchestra under Artur Rodzinski as piccolo for two seasons, 1941-1943. Martin Heylman then served in World War 2, before returning to the Cleveland Orchestra in 1946-1947, when he was Principal flute. However, George Szell had negotiated the return of Maurice Sharp whom he wished to be Principal flute. For contractual reasons, then, Martin Heylman was Principal, while Maurice Sharp simply joined the flute section. In the 1946-1947 season then, the flute section was Martin Heylman Principal flute, Maurice Sharp second flute, Robert Willoughby third flute, and Robert Morris fourth flute. The next season, 1947-1948, Heylman and Sharp switched chairs, with Sharp becoming Principal flute, Szell achieving one of his initial objectives with the orchestra. Martin Heylman then served in the flute section a further 34 seasons, 1947-1981. Martin Heylman also taught flute at Kent State University near Cleveland. Martin Heylman died in Cleveland on January 27, 2004.
Maurice "Moe" Sharp was born in Indiana on December 12, 1908. Maurice Sharp was admitted to the Curtis Institute in 1927, where he studied with Philadelphia Orchestra Principal flute William Kincaid and also in certain classes the great oboist and musician Marcel Tabuteau. Sharp graduated from Curtis in the Class of 1931. On graduation, Maurice Sharp became Principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra, selected by Nikolai Sokoloff. Sharp served in the Principal chair until 1945, including under the demanding Artur Rodzinski. In the 1945-1946 season, Maurice Sharp moved to the New York Philharmonic, probably at the demand of Artur Rodzinski. When George Szell was appointed Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, terms of George Szell's engagement called for every effort to reengage Maurice Sharp as Principal flute 1. Maurice Sharp then returned to the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1946-1947 season. It seems that contractually, he had to return as Second flute, Martin Heylman having a contract as Principal. However, the next season, Maurice Sharp was named as Principal flute, with Martin Heylman trading chairs to become Second flute, with Robert Willoughby Third flute, and Robert Morris Fourth flute.
Maurice "Moe" Sharp in Australia - with friend - during the September-October 1973 Cleveland Orchestra Australian tour. Thanks to George F. Goslee Jr. for this photo taken by his father George F. Goslee, the great Cleveland Principal bassoon and avid photographer)
Maurice Sharp remained Principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra for a further thirty-five seasons, until 1982. In summers, Maurice Sharp was a regular flutist at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Maurice Sharp was head of the flute department at the Cleveland Institute of Music 1946-1982. As to his performance style, reviewing recordings of Maurice Sharp, Rosamund Plummer (Principal piccolo Sydney Symphony) wrote that "...the most obvious difference from how we try to play today, being somewhat fast and shallow..." (not a negative comment). Also, contemporary critics mentioned Maurice Sharp's ensemble playing style, eschewing any seeking of the solo spotlight. Maurice Sharp retired from the Cleveland Orchestra in 1982 following a record of fifty seasons of service. Maurice Sharp died in Shaker Heights, Cleveland, Ohio on March 11, 1986.
Jeffrey Khaner was born on December 22, 1958 in Montréal, Canada. Early in his career, Khaner was Principal flute of the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Khaner studied flute with Jeanne Baxtresser at the Juilliard School, where he graduated in 1980. Following graduation, in the 1981-1982 season, Khaner was co-Principal flute (with Bernard Goldberg ) of the Pittsburgh Symphony under André Previn. Jeffrey Khaner was then appointed Principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1982-1983 season at the end of Lorin Maazel's tenure.
Khaner served in Cleveland for eight seasons, and also taught flute at the Cleveland Institute of Music. For the 1990-1991 season, Riccardo Muti selected Jeffrey Khaner to become Principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra. During his tenure with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jeffrey Khaner has made many excellent recordings, including of chamber works, such as the CD of flute sonatas by Robert and Clara Schumann, and by Brahms on Avie Records, shown above. He has also recorded Ned Rorem's Flute Concerto with the great José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony on Naxos.
José Serebrier and also Jeffrey Khaner are long-time friends of Ned Rorem and advocates of his compositions, and the Rorem Flute Concerto was written for Khaner and premiered by him with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2003. Jeffery Khaner carries on the historic tradition of Philadelphia Orchestra flutists, and reviews, such as the New York Times speak of "...his consistently agile and thoughtful playing, and in particular by his sense of character..." Since joining the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jeffrey Khaner has taught flute at the Curtis Institute, and starting in 2004, Khaner was also appointed to the faculty of his alma mater, the Juilliard School. After two decades as Principal flute with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jeffery Khaner continues to show a distinctive beauty of tone and depth of interpretation which has led him to the Principal position of several of the greatest orchestras of the US, including both the great Cleveland Orchestra and the great Philadelphia Orchestra.
Joshua Smith was born in New Mexico in 1976. Like his Cleveland Orchestra violist colleagues Patrick Connolly and Richard Waugh, Joshua Smith played in the Albuquerque Youth Symphony in his home town in about 1986-1987. Joshua Smith was then admitted to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and also studied at the Blossom Music Festival. However, early in 1990, before he had graduated from Curtis, he successfully auditioned with the Cleveland Orchestra, and was appointed Principal flute by Christoph von Dohnányi. Smith graduated from Curtis with his artist diploma in May, 1990, and joined the orchestra. Joshua Smith teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he heads the flute department. Joshua Smith has also been active in chamber music, including with the Cleveland Piano Quartet. In his book The Cleveland Orchestra Story, "Second to None", Donald Rosenberg wrote "...The new flutiest [Joshua Smith] was destined to be one of Dohnányi's most inspired hires..." 1. This is a conclusion still shared by critics and Cleveland music lovers, as Joshua Smith continues the rich flute tradition of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Principal Horns of the Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra Horn Section 1920-1921 (left to right):
Alphonse J. Pelletier, Emelio Stango, Robert H. Brown, Wendell Hoss, Frank de Polis Assistant Principal (John d'Orio horn missing from photo)
Fritz Fischer was the first Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra, but further information on Fischer has not yet been identified.
Arthur Cerino in 1921
Arthur or Arturo Cerino was born in the town of Giffoni Valle Piana in the Campagnia region of Italy, 100 km east of Naples on March 16, 1887. He emigrated to New York City in 1907. During 1916-1918, Arthur Cerino played in the orchestra of the Rialto Theater in Manhattan, New York, playing five shows each day. This was on Broadway in New York City and referred to as the "Temple of the Motion Picture". Arthur Cerino served in the US Army during World War 1 from April 19, 1918 to February 14, Feb 1919. In Cleveland, Nikolai Sokoloff went through four Principal horns in the first four seasons of the Cleveland Orchestra. Arthur Cerino was the second of the four. He was Principal horn in the 1919-1920 season, playing with Alphonse Pelletier, Frank Amor, Richard Forkert. After the 1919-1920 season, Arthur Cerino returned to New York City. In 1924, Arthur Cerino joined the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in New York City 69. Beginning in 1930, Arthur Cerino was a musician in the NBC radio staff orchestra in New York City. Arthur Cerino transitioned from the NBC radio staff orchestra to Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1937. Arthur (listed as Arturo) Cerino was one of the few musicians who served with Toscanini during the full term of the Orchestra 1937-1954.
Arthur Cerino from a 1938 NBC Symphony publicity drawing 145
When the Berv brothers: Arthur, Jack, and Harry Berv joined the NBC Symphony in 1938 as first, second and third horns, Arthur Cerino moved from second horn to fourth horn. Arthur Cerino died in New York City June 3, 1975 age 88, and was buried in the military national cemetery on Long Island.
Arthur Geithe born in Munich, Germany on December 27, 1876. He emigrated to the US, to New York City in 1904. In 1917 to 1920, Arthur Geithe played in the orchestra of the Strand Theater, in the Broadway area of New York City, which had the advantage of year-around employment, except for summers. In the summer of 1917, Geithe played horn in the Sousa band North America tour. In the 1920-1921 season, Arthur Geithe was the third of Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra (one each for the first three seasons), succeeding Arthur Cerino. Norman Schweikert in the "Horn Call" wrote:
"...first horn Arthur Geithe was having problems with conductor Nicholai Sokoloff and left the orchestra during their Eastern tour sometime in February 1921... 176. Arthur Geithe returned to New York, where he played in the New York City Symphony in 1922-1923. Also in the 1920s, Arthur Geithe was a horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In the late 1920s, Arthur Geithe lived in the Philadelphia area, where he was a substitute player with the Philadelphia Orchestra and taught music. In Philadelphia Geither also recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, NJ as part of the "Victor Band" with many Philadelphia Orchestra musicians such as Anton Horner, Principal horn and Saul Caston, Principal trumpet.
Wendell Hoss in 1921
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. 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 Pittsburgh. 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.
Wendell Hoss in California
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.
Louis Dufrasne was born in Liège, Belgium on December 1, 1877. He emigrated to the US in 1905. In 1910, he was a horn player in a theater orchestra in New York City. By 1917, Louis Dufrasne had relocated to Chicago where he spent the rest of his career. From about 1917, he was Principal horn in the Chicago Opera. In the 1922-1923 season, Louis Dufrasne was appointed Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra by Nikolai Sokoloff. Louis Durfrasne's younger brother Maurice Dufrasne also joined the Cleveland Orchestra cello section for four seasons, 1922-1926. Louis Dufrasne was the fifth Principal horn in five seasons, and he did not relocate from Chicago, but stayed in Cleveland only for concerts. Given the performance practices of the time, it is possible that Louis Dufrasne continued to play in the Chicago Opera orchestra while holding the Principal chair in Cleveland. In Chicago, Louis Dufrasne was a famous horn teacher. Among his many well-known students were Philip Farkas, Helen Kotas, Clyde Miller and Frank Brouk, all future Principal horns of leading orchestras including Chicago, Dallas and Cleveland. He was also the author of pedagogical works including the Dufrasne Routine, and it is said that he practiced his routine every day of his career. He also had the reputation as being indefatigable on the horn, which may have been necessary given the performance load of the Chicago Opera. Although Louis Dufrasne used the double horn made by famed Chicago craftsman Carl Geyer, Philip Farkas later said that Louis Dufrasne urged Farkas to play the F horn once a day, so as not to lose the sound of that horn. Louis Dufrasne died in Chicago in 1941.
Walter Macdonald was born in Massachusetts on October 19, 1901. He studied at the New England Conservatory, graduating in 1921. Walter Macdonald was appointed Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1926-1927 season by Nicolai Sokoloff. In that season, the horn section consisted of Walter Macdonald, Bertram Haigh, Edward E. Grant, Roman Cras, Vaclav Kec, and Ernest Paananen. The next season, Walter Macdonald was succeeded as first horn by Lucino Nava, and Walter Macdonald became third horn in Cleveland. Walter Macdonald later went on the the Boston Symphony, where he was second horn for twenty-two seasons, 1932-1955, playing for most of that time next to Willem Valkenier . Walter Macdonald died suddenly during the Boston Symphony 1954-1955 season on March 30, 1955.
Lucino Nava was born in San Luis Potosí, in north-central Mexico in 1880. He emigrated to the US in 1910, and initially played horn in the Pittsburgh Symphony. In the 1920s, he recorded with the Victor Band for the Victor Talking Machine Company. In the 1927-1928 season, Nicolai Sokoloff selected Lucino Nava to succeed Walter Macdonald as Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra. After one season in Cleveland, Lucino Nava moved back to New York City. In 1930, he was Principal horn at the Capital Theater in New York City, one of the leading theaters at that time. An attraction of this post would have been year-around employment, not then available in US symphony orchestras.
Arthur Berv was born in Poland December 29, 1906. He came with his brother Jack to the US in about 1910. Arthur Berv's brothers, Jack Berv (1908-1994) and Harry Berv (1911-2005) were also French horn players. Jack and Harry studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, graduating in the class of 1935, after which they joined the Philadelphia Orchestra horn section, where Arthur was already Principal horn. In the 1926-1927 season, age only 19, Arthur Berv was Principal horn of the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch 134. Arthur Berv was Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra for two seasons 1928-1930. There was an interesting incident involving Arthur Berv when he was with the Cleveland Orchestra. Nikolai Sokoloff recalled the first rehearsal of a new work for the electronic instrument invented by Theremin. This was a symphony by Joseph Schillinger. Sokoloff recalled the first rehearsal: "...the instrument was wired to a series of outlets on the stage, Mr. Theremin sat in front of it and we started the rehearsal... suddenly, the thing emitted the most unearthly, ear-splitting shriek, and to my horror, I saw our wonderful first horn Isadore Berv keel over in a dead faint. It took some time to revive the poor fellow and his instrument was battered by his fall. Theremin was abject in his apologies... 133. Following Cleveland, Arthur Berv joined the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in the 1930-1931 season. Berv was first co-Principal horn with Anton Horner, and then shared the first horn chair responsibilities with Clarence Mayer from 1931 to 1935. Arthur Berv became Principal horn under Eugene Ormandy in the 1935-1936 season. Berv remained with the Philadelphia Orchestra three more seasons, until the end of the 1937-1938 season. In 1938, Arthur Berv joined the NBC Symphony in the second season of Toscanini's direction. The story usually told is that Toscanini was unhappy with the French horn section under Frank Stagliano (the first Principal horn selected by Arthur Rodzinski) which he found at the NBC Symphony, and during his guest conducting of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1937, he was impressed by Arthur, Jack and Harry Berv. The brothers were offered NBC contracts at higher salaries and for a 52 week season. As a result, in the second season, the NBC Symphony horn section included Arthur Berv, Principal, Jack Berv, second horn, Harry Berv, third horn, and Arturo Cerino, fourth horn. During World War 2, Arthur Berv was horn with the U.S. Air Force Band. In New York, Berv taught horn at the Manhattan School of Music. Arthur Berv died on July 8, 1992 in Great Neck (on Long Island), New York.
Alfred Brain in London
Alfred Brain was born in London on October 24, 1885. His family has become famous for horn players. His father, Alfred Edwin Brain, Sr. (1860-1925) was one of the most successful horn soloists of the UK in the nineteenth century. His brother Aubrey Brain (1893-1955) was Principal horn of the BBC Symphony for several decades. His nephews were the famous horn player Dennis Brain (1921-1957), and the oboe Leonard Brain, (1915-1975). Alfred Brain studied at the Royal Academy of Music 1901-1904. After the Royal Academy of Music, Alfred Brain played in the horn section of the Scottish Orchestra, Edinburgh. Brain was the Principal horn of Queens Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood. This was followed by his engagement with the London Symphony Orchestra. During World War 1, Alfred Brain joined the Scots Guards, and was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for bravery.
Alfred Brain was solo horn in the following groups:
Scottish Orchestra - Glasgow Principal horn 1904-1907
Henry Wood Queen's Hall Orchestra Principal horn 1907-1909
Royal Philharmonic Society Principal horn 1913-1914
Covent Garden Orchestra 1919-1921
Queen's Hall Orchestra Principal horn 1921-1923
London Symphony Co-Principal horn (with Henri Van der Meerschen (1866 - 1934) 1921-1922
New York Symphony Principal horn under Walter Damrosch 1922-1923
Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal horn 1923-1938
started to play with MGM in 1927 and in 1945 full time Hollywood studio musician
In 1923, Alfred Brain emigrated to the US, and was initially Principal horn with the New York Philharmonic. He was Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra for two seasons 1934-1936 under Artur Rodzinski. Alfred Brain then became Principal horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Of this period, Gamble and Lynch 91 write: "...for many years, he [Alfred Brain] had enjoyed great success as a studio horn player in Hollywood and also earned a reputation for fine solo as well as orchestral playing in various orchestras, notably the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Janssen Symphony Orchestra..." 91. Werner Janssen (1899-1990) was a conductor who organized a Los Angeles-based orchestra which competed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. During the 1940s and 1950s, Alfred Brain was continuously active in the recording studios of Hollywood, particularly in the Twentieth Century Fox studios. Alfred Brain died in Los Angeles, California on March 29, 1966.
Dennis Brain, Alfred Brain and Leonard Brain in Los Angeles in wartime 1945 during the 1944-1945 US tour of the Royal Air Force Central Band with Dennis and Leonard Brain.
American Woodwind Players in 1940s: J. Henry Bove flute, Harold Freeman clarinet, Rudolph Puletz horn, Ralph Lorr bassoon, Carlos Mullenix oboe
Rudolph Puletz was born in New York City on December 4, 1908. He studied first with his father, Rudolph Puletz Sr. (1881- ) and his uncle Frank Puletz (1978-1962), both theater musicians in New York City. In New York in the 1930s Rudolph Puletz played with the Barrère Ensemble: Georges Barrère flute, Carlos Mullenix oboe, Fred van Amburgh clarinet, Angel del Busto bassoon 129. Puletz also played in Georges Barrère's Barrère Little Symphony in the 1930s, typically touring the US with about 16 musicians. In the summer of 1941, Rudolph Puletz joined several other first chair musicians, including Merritt Dittert trombone, Louis Davidson trumpet, Leonard Sharrow bassoon, and John Coffey trombone to go to Argentina to play under Arturo Toscanini at the Teatro Colon. After the Toscanini South America tour, Rudolph Puletz was appointed Principal horn of the New York Philharmonic 1941-1946, dismissed (as were many other musicians) by Artur Rodzinski. Also in the 1940s, Puletz played with the American Woodwind Players (see photo above). Rudolph Puletz also played with the Goldman Band and with the Mexico City Symphony 130. Puletz also toured with the American National Opera Company organized by Sarah Caldwell. Puletz in summers also played with he Pablo Casals festival orchestra in Puerto Rico. David Kaslow in his book Living Dangerously With the Horn 131 quotes Rudolph Pulets as saying "...to play beautifully, one must take a deep breath, send it to the heart, and only then send it to the lips...". Rudolph Puletz died in Queens, New York on December 28, 1974, age 66.
Philip Farkas was born on 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 61. 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. 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...'61.
Louis Dufrasne, teacher of Philip Farkas, Helen Kotas and Frank Brouk
Louis Dufrasne, a Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra for 3 seasons was also the teacher of two other Chicago 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 '...you studied an instrument for three or four years and then went out and procured a symphony job...' 61. 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, replacing Pellegrino Lecce. At age 22, Farkas was at the time the youngest member of the Chicago Symphony. 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 61, 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...' 61. 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.
Cleveland Orchestra Horn Section about 1949 (left to right):
Charles Blabolil, Erwin Miersch, Ernani Angelucci, Martin Morris, Frank Brouk, Roy Waas
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 92. 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.
thanks to Mark Overton for this photo: visit his great site - www.saxophone.org
Ross Taylor was born in San Francisco in April 27, 1925. He studied at the Juilliard School from about 1945-1948. He was then appointed fourth horn player of the New York Philharmonic by Dmitri Mitropoulos, serving for two seasons, 1948-1950. Ross Taylor was then hired for the Cleveland Orchestra Principal horn position by George Szell. Donald Rosenberg in his book The Cleveland Orchestra Story 73 describes the audition according to Louis Lane: "...I have never heard such an exhausting audition. Szell listened to him audition for about an hour and quarter on all of the most difficult literature from the repertoire. Taylor finally protested that his lip was giving out, so Szell dismissed him but soon engaged the horn player, not entirely convinced that he had done the right thing..." Ross Taylor was the Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra 1950-1955 until George Szell decided to change his Principal horn to Myron Bloom 73. Ross Taylor then returned to his home town of San Francisco. Taylor became Principal horn of the San Francisco Orchestra in 1955. He served as Principal horn for nine seasons, 1955-1964. Tragically, Ross Taylor died just before the beginning of the 1964-1965 season. For that season, Herman Dorfman and William Sabatini were named Co-Principal horns of the San Francisco Symphony. Ross Taylor was a founding member in 1962 of the California Wind Quintet, consisting of Walter Subke flute (San Francisco Opera), Raymond Duste oboe (San Francisco Opera), Donald Carroll clarinet, Robert Hughes bassoon (Oakland Symphony), and Ross Taylor horn. Contemporaries of Ross Taylor said that in San Francisco in the early 1960s, Ross Taylor became progressively more nervous and anxious about his career. Subsequently, he died on September 10, 1964 at the young age of 39 just before the beginning of the new orchestral season.
Myron Bloom was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1926. He studied with James Chambers, later Principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Beginning his career, Myron Bloom was Principal horn in the New Orleans Symphony 1949-1954. Myron Bloom then joined the Cleveland Orchestra horn section in the 1954-1955 season. The next year, 1955-1956, George Szell selected Myron Bloom to succeed Ross Taylor as Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra. Myron Bloom continued as Cleveland Principal for twenty-two seasons 1955-1977, under George Szell, Pierre Boulez, and Lorin Maazel.
When Lorin Maazel succeeded Szell in Cleveland, Mr. Bloom was unhappy 1. Then, at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim, Myron Bloom was selected to be the Principal Horn of l'Orchestre de Paris 1977-1985. Throughout his career, Myron Bloom was active in summer music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival from its founding in 1951 by Rudolf Serkin, Adolf Busch, and the Moyse brothers. He was also active in the Casals festival orchestras 1965-1975. Myron Bloom has also given us the legacy of his many students, particularly following his retirement to teaching. In 1985 Myron Bloom was appointed Professor of Horn at Indiana University. He was long time on the on the IU faculty (known since 2005 as the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University). He died in Bloomington, Indiana on September 26, 2019, age 93.
George Szell with Myron Bloom
See that United Federation of Planets pin on his lapel? Yes, Richard Solis is a Star Trek fan, as are several other Cleveland Musicians (fun)
Richard Solis was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947, and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music 1965-1969 with his predecessor as a Cleveland Orchestra Principal horn, Myron Bloom. In the 1971-1972 season, Richard Solis joined the horn section of the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez. In the 1976-1977 season, under Lorin Maazel, Richard Solis became acting Principal horn for that season. Then in the 1977-1978 season, Lorin Maazel named Richard Solis Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra. Richard Solis served as Principal for eighteen seasons, 1977-1995. From 1995-present, Richard Solis has been fourth horn with the Cleveland Orchestra. For more than three decades, Richard Solis has also been head of the horn department of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where one of his students was Richard King, a Principal horn successor. Richard Solis retired from the Cleveland Orchestra in December 2013 after 41 seasons of service. He will continue his teaching and mentoring in Cleveland and in Nevada.
Shelley Showers was born in Lancaster in the Pennsylvania Dutch area of Pennsylvania On July 9, 1961. After study through High School in Lancaster County, Shelley Showers was admitted to the Curtis Institute where she graduated in the Class of 1985 (David McGill was her classmate). Following Curtis, Shelley Showers was Principal horn of the Utah Symphony Principal horn 1989-1995. Following Utah, Shelley Showers was acting Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra for two seasons, 1995-1997. She was also the acting Associate Principal horn of the Cincinnati Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony horn. In the 1998-1999 season, Shelley Showers won the audition for the Assistant/Utility horn position of the Philadelphia Orchestra, a post she continues today. Each summer, Shelley Showers has been active in festivals, including the Deer Valley International Chamber Music Festival (Park City Music Festival) in Utah, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and the Kent-Blossom Music Festival in Cleveland.
Richard King was born on Long Island, New York in 1968. He began horn studies at the age of nine. In Spring, 1985 he entered the Juilliard School Pre-College division, where he studied with Myron Bloom, his predecessor as a Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra. Richard King was then admitted only months later to the Curtis Institute in the September 1985 semester. Richard King graduated from Curtis Institute in the Class of 1989, where he was a classmate of Anthony DiLorenzo trumpet and of Craig Knox tuba, with whom King played in the Center City Brass Quintet (Anthony DiLorenzo trumpet, Geoffrey Hardcastle trumpet, Richard King horn, Steven Witser trombone, Craig Knox tuba). While still at Curtis, Richard King won the audition for Associate Principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1988, for the 1988-1989 season. Richard King continued as Associate Principal horn for seven seasons, 1988-1995. In the 1995-1996 season, he was appointed Co-Principal horn by Christoph von Dohnányi in which position he served with acting Principal horn Shelley Showers for two seasons 1995-1997. Richard King was then appointed Principal horn in the 1997-1998 season. Richard King recently recorded an interesting selection of Schubert Lieder, transcribed for horn and piano on Albany Records.
The Cleveland Orchestra site states "Richard King now has the title principal horn emeritus, while sitting as a horn section member." In this way, Richard King has continued his contribution to the musical tradition of the Cleveland Orchestra horns.
Nathaniel Silberschlag was born in Leonardtown, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay in 1998. As a student, he participated in the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship program. During two summers, he was also active in the Kennedy Center?s Summer Music Institute. He studied at the Music Academy of the West (California) in the summers of 2017 and 2018. He studied at the Julliard School, graduating in 2019. Silberschlag's family includes former principal players of the New York Philharmonic, the Italian National Radio Orchestra of RAI, and both of his parents played in the Jerusalem Symphony. He is also the third generation of his family to attend the Julliard School.
Silberschlag was Assistant Principal horn of The Washington National Opera - Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in December 2017. He has also been active in music festivals, including the Alba Music Festival, Italy since 2007, as well as the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina in 2016.
1984 Cleveland Orchestra Brass Section:
(back row l-r) tuba: Ron Bishop, trombones: Ed Anderson, Al Kofsky, Bob Boyd, Jim DeSano,
trumpets: Jim Darling, Bernie Adelstein, David Zauder, Al Couch.
(front row l-r) horns: Jeff Powers (4th), Al Schmitter (3rd), Dave Brockett (extra), Ralph Wagnitz (2nd), Ric Solis (Principal), Dave Glasser (Assistant).
Principal Trumpets of the Cleveland Orchestra
1918-1919 W. I. Barnes
Elizer Rozanel was born in Warsaw, Poland in about 1885. Elizer was one of five brass musician brothers, Louis, David, Morris, Meyer, and Elizer Rozanel who emigrated from Poland, then under Russian rule, to play mostly in New York City orchestras, but also in the case of Elizer in Philadelphia and Cleveland, and David in Cleveland. Elizer was in the trumpet section of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in 1917-1918. He then went to Cleveland, soon to be joined by his trombone playing bother David. Elizer was in the trumpet section of the Cleveland Orchestra for two seasons 1918-1920, of which he was Principal in 1918-1919. When Elizer was Principal trumpet, the Cleveland trumpet section with Elizer Rozanel, Principal, Bernard Schwartz, second, John J. Hruby third trumpet, Alois Hruby fourth trumpet. Elizer Rozanel seems to have died during the 1960s.
Samuel Miller was born December 16, 1891 in Russia. Miller was Principal trumpet of the New York Symphony during the 1918-1919 season under Walter Damrosch 89 (preceding Harry Glantz in that position). Samuel Miller became Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony for the 1919-1920 season, succeeding David Rosebrook. Miller then became Principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra under Nikolai Sokoloff during the 1920-1921 season, and Principal trumpet of the Detroit Symphony under Ossip Gabrilowitsch during the 1921-1922 season 90. Samuel Miller was a trumpet in the Goldman Band during several seasons: in 1920, and in 1927-1929 and in 1931.
David Glickstein was born in Newark, New Jersey (10 km west of Manhattan) on July 1, 1900 of Polish-Jewish parents who had emigrated in 1893. After training, by age 17, David Glickstein had started his professional career playing in the orchestra of the Metropolitan Theater, Newark. The next year, David Glickstein was appointed Principal trumpet of the Saint Louis Symphony by Max Zach in the 1919-1920 season. In the next season, 1920-1921, David Glickstein had returned to New York City where he joined the trumpet section of the New York Philharmonic under Josef Stransky in Stransky's final season with the Philharmonic. In 1921, David Glickstein joined the trumpet section of the Goldman Band. In 1922-1923, David Glickstein played in the trumpet section of the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch. David Glickstein advanced to a first chair trumpet position when he was engaged for the Cincinnati Symphony Principal trumpet position 1923-1924 by Fritz Reiner, then early in his career. Glickstein returned to New York in 1926-1927, in the trumpet section of the New York Philharmonic, playing Third trumpet under Willem Mengelberg. In the 1930s, in New York City, David Glickstein was a regular in the orchestras of Broadway shows. During this same period in the 1930s, Glickstein performed regularly on NBC radio as part of the Lucky Strike Orchestra. With the formation of Toscanini's NBC Symphony, David Glickstein joined the trumpet section from its first season, and remained for four seasons, 1937-1941 primarily as Third trumpet. David Glickstein died in Flushing, New York, in one of the New York City boroughs in February 1983, age 82.
one of many Hering studies and etudes - Hering was one of the most published teachers for the trumpet, other brass and woodwinds.
Sigmund Hering, one of the most influential trumpet teachers in the US in the early Twentieth Century was born in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire on October 5, 1898. His birth region was Galicia, located between the present Poland and Ukraine. Sigmund Hering was probably born in what is now the far western boarder of the Ukraine. Moving to the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Sigmund Hering studied at the Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Vienna 1915-1921. Following his Vienna studies and the disrupted aftermath of World War 1, Sigmund Hering emigrated to the US in 1921 and quickly found a symphonic post. Hering was named Principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra by Nikolai Sokoloff in the 1922-1923 season. Hering remained in Cleveland only one season, being succeeded by Gustav Heim. Sigmund Hering moved to the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski as Assistant Principal trumpet (second trumpet) in the 1925-1926 season. Sigmund Hering continued his music studies throughout his life. Hering student Wilmer Wise (Brooklyn Symphony) wrote that Hering studied both double bass and trumpet at the Curtis Institute. Hering is listed as a Curtis Institute graduate in the Class of 1930, when he would have been 31 years old and already in the Philadelphia Orchestra for 5 seasons. Hering remained with the Philadelphia Orchestra trumpet section for 39 season, as Assistant Principal trumpet 1925-1952 and Fourth trumpet 1952-1964. Trumpet scholar Dr. Thomas R. Erdmann wrote that Hering "...was perhaps the most influential trumpet teacher in America during the mid 20th century...He is the most published trumpet pedagogue in the world..." 135. Hering's books of instruction expanded to other brass instruments and then to woodwinds. Students using these exercises and guides have said they are not only useful exercises, but also musically interesting. During his years in Philadelphia, Sigmund Hering for more than fifty years taught at the Settlement Music School in northern Philadelphia. Sigmund Hering died in suburban Philadelphia in January, 1986.
Gustav Heim in 1920
Gustav Heim was born in Schleusingen, Thüringen, Germany, 150 km East of Frankfurt on May 8, 1879. Heim studied trumpet first under his father, and then at the local music school in Schleusingen from 1893-1897. In 1897, Heim was cornet solo of the military band based in Thüringen. Heim emigrated to the U.S. in 1904 to St. Louis. During his career, Heim was first trumpet for an amazing number of leading U.S. orchestras. Heim started in 1904 with the orchestra of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (also known as the 1904 St. Louis World Fair). In St. Louis, Fritz Scheel, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra heard Gustav Heim play. As a result, in the 1905-1906 season, Heim became Principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra, while his predecessor, Herman Basse returned to the Metropolitan Opera. Gustav Heim stayed in Philadelphia for one season. Then, in the 1906-1907 season, Heim moved to the Boston Symphony Orchestra as third trumpet. In the 1914-1915 season, under Karl Muck, Heim became Principal Trumpet until 1920. In the 1920 disastrous Boston Symphony musician's strike, Heim was, along with the Concertmaster Frederic Fradkin, one of the two Orchestra Principals who left the Boston Symphony as a result of the strike. Heim departed for the Detroit Symphony, where he was Principal trumpet 1920-1921. George Mager then took over Heim's first chair trumpet position with the Boston Symphony. After moving to Detroit for one season, Gustav Heim then moved to New York, where he was Principal trumpet with the Philharmonic Society for two seasons 1921-1923 under Josef Stransky. Continuing his movements from orchestra to orchestra, in the 1923-1924 season, Heim moved to the Cleveland Orchestra under Nikolai Sokoloff (1886-1965). Then, Gustav Heim moved back to New York to join the New York Symphony from 1925-1928 under Walter Damrosch (who had also conducted Heim at the 1904 St. Louis Fair). After the merger of the New York Symphony with the New York Philharmonic Society in 1928, Harry Glantz was selected to continue as Principal trumpet of the merged orchestra. Glantz had previously studied with Heim. Gustav Heim then joined the American Symphonic Ensemble in New York which was an orchestra without a conductor for the 1929-1930 season. He was also a regular at the long-lived Worcester Music Festival (Massachusetts) in the summers from 1910-1914, 1916, and 1925 to 1932. Gustav Heim also taught in New York City, and among his famous students were William Vacchiano. During most of his career, Gustav Heim played a Bb trumpet. Gustav Heim died relatively young on October 30, 1933 in New York City after a sudden illness, aged only 54.
Leland S. Barton was born in Fresno, California on the Fourth of July, 1884. He came from a musical family, and Leland's father Robert Barton was a musician who emigrated from Hannover, Germany. Leland's father Robert Barton settled in Fresno, California, then wealthy from gold, where in 1888, he built and ran the Fresno Opera House, where Leland Barton first played.
The Barton Opera House, Fresno, California in 1907
Leland's two brothers Robert Jr. and Clarence were also musicians who played in the Barton Opera House and later in San Francisco. In about 1900, Robert Barton died, and later, before 1910, Leland Barton married and moved to Chicago. In the 1910s, Leland Barton was a trumpet player in theaters and at the Palace Music Hall in Chicago. Then, Leland Barton was then Principal trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony by Max Zach for two seasons 1916-1918. Following World War 1, Leland Barton was Principal trumpet for the Cleveland Orchestra for one season, 1924-1925. The Principal trumpet chair under Nikolai Sokoloff was constantly revolving, with 8 different Principal trumpets in the first eight seasons of the Cleveland Orchestra. Leland Barton was the seventh of these eight, proceeded by Gustav Heim who was Principal in a dozen US orchestras, and followed by Frank Venezia of the New York Symphony and New York Philharmonic. Leland Barton then went to Minnesota, where in the 1927-1928 season he was Principal trumpet of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra 70. Leland Barton next joined the San Francisco Symphony under Alfred Hertz in the 1928-1929 season in the second chair trumpet position next to Principal trumpet Vladimir Drucker. Barton remained second in 1929-1930. In the 1930-1931 season, Leland Barton was advanced to Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony for one season, under the split tenure of Basil Cameron and Issay Dobrowen in 1930-1931 71. Thereafter, Leland Barton moved back to the second chair trumpet position of the San Francisco Symphony for the 1931-1932 season. Leland Barton served with the SFSO for 22 seasons (not counting the 1934-1935 cancelled season), retiring at the end of the 1950-1951 season. Leland Barton performed his last concert with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra in May, 1964. Leland S. Barton died age 93 in November, 1977 in Sullivan, Illinois, after a full career of nearly more than 60 years as a performing musician.
Frank Venezia was born in New York City in 1891 of Italian parents. Frank Venezia in Cleveland was listed as "Frank Venezie" in some materials. Frank Venezia was Principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra for less than one season. Donald Rosenberg in his well-written study of the Cleveland Orchestra 1 recounts Frank Venezia's dismissal: "...the incident involved Frank Venezie, viewed by Sokoloff as an agitator who "played three times louder" when told to reduce the volume, and principal bassoonist Morris Kirchner, brother of principal oboist Philip Kirchner. The bassoonist claimed Sokoloff referred to him during the rehearsal as "a dummy". Venezie was dismissed and replaced by Alois Hruby. Morris Kirchner...remained as principal bassoon until 1933..." Franck Venezia seems then to have gone to the New York Symphony, and to have joined the New York Philharmonic during the consolidation of the New York Symphony into the Philharmonic. In the 1930s, Frank Venezia was trumpet in the CBS radio orchestra in New York, which had the benefit of year-around employment. In 1937, Arthur Rodzinski selected Frank Venezia as second trumpet for the newly formed NBC Symphony Orchestra for Arturo Toscanini.
Alois Hruby was born on June 3, 1886 in Cleveland two years after his musician father, Frantisek Hruby (1857-1913) brought his wife and his Bohemian-born son John Jr. to the US in 1884, settling in Cleveland. Frantisek Hruby had been a clarinet and band musician in Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and he trained each of his children: Frank Jr., Alois, John, Cecilia, Frederick, Charles, Mary and William to play multiple instruments. Alois Hruby was said to be excellent not only in cornet and trumpet, but also in cello, as shown in the photograph, above. In fact, "Louie" Hruby joined the Cleveland Orchestra in its first season 1918-1919 in the cello section. Just prior to the creation of the Cleveland Orchestra, and during his tenure, Alois Hruby taught cello, cornet and trumpet at the Hruby Conservatory, created by the family. He also toured with his brothers and played in the Colonial Theater in Cleveland. After joining the newly-formed Cleveland Orchestra, Alois Hruby was in the cello section 1918-1926, while playing Third trumpet 1919-1926. He was appointed Principal trumpet by Nikolai Sokoloff in 1927, succeeding Frank Venezia following the incident described above. Alois Hruby was Principal for seven seasons, 1927-1934. Artur Rodzinski then moved Alois Hruby back to the Third trumpet position, where he remained 1934-1955. During most of this period in the trumpet section, Alois played with his younger brother William Hruby who played Second trumpet. At the end of the 1954-1955 season, Alois Hruby retired from the Cleveland Orchestra at age 69. Alois Hruby died in Cleveland on October 26, 1968. Click here to see a photograph of the complete Hruby brothers (and sister).
Vladimir Drucker was born January 14, 1897 in Moscow. In 1909 at age 12, Drucker was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Vasily Brandt (1869-1923), and beginning in 1912 with Mikhail Tabakov (1877-1956) 94. By 1913, Tabakov was Principal trumpet of Serge Koussevitzky's personal hired orchestra, and Vladimir Drucker was third trumpet. With the advent of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Drucker succeeded in gaining Shanghai, China, where he played in orchestras for two years 93. Then, in 1919, Vladimir Drucker came to the US, via Vancouver. In New York, Vladimir Drucker was Principal trumpet of the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch 1923-1925. Drucker also played with Damrosch's radio orchestra, the Symphony of the Air 93 (different from the later successor to Toscanini's NBC Symphony). During this time in New York, Drucker studied with the famous teacher Max Schlossberg 93. Drucker then came to the San Francisco Symphony in the 1925-1926 season as Principal trumpet under Alfred Hertz. This was a major step up for San Francisco after the tenure of the undistinguished Emil Dietzel, and returning it to the standards of Harry Glantz. After remaining in San Francisco for four seasons, Vladimir Drucker went to the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Principal trumpet under Otto Klemperer (and others) 1931-1944. Vladimir Drucker died in Van Nuys, California April 22, 1974. Vladimir Drucker was known for the beauty of his tone, particularly in soft passages, a difficult challenge for the trumpet.
Louis Davidson was born in New York City on March 16, 1912. He began to play the trumpet at an early age, and by 1915 at age 11, he was studying with the famed trumpet teacher Max Schlossberg (1873-1936). During World War 1, the teenage Louis Davidson was playing in New York City movie theaters in the New York City area, and the following year made several trips to Europe as a ship's musician on the SS Leviathan. When he was 16, Davidson was engaged by Fritz Reiner to play with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for 5 years. In 1941, Louis Davidson joined several other first chair musicians, including Merritt Dittert trombone, John Coffey bass trombone, Leonard Sharrow bassoon, and Rudolph Puletz to go to Argentina to play under Arturo Toscanini at the Teatro Colon.
Richard Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri. At some point, he studied with William Vacchiano 139, perhaps while Richard Smith in the military. Richard Smith was a long-time trumpet with the Kansas City Philharmonic. He beginning with the Kansas City Philpharmonic at age 15 139. Prior to the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard Smith was Principal trumpet of the Denver Symphony. George Szell selected Richard Smith to join the Cleveland Orchestra trumpet section as Second trumpet in the 1956-1957 season. He served as Second trumpet for two seasons, 1956-1958 before being appointed Principal trumpet 1958-1960. After two seasons as Principal, Szell moved Richard Smith to Third trumpet for four seasons 1960-1964. Then, for the last three seasons of Smith's service in Cleveland, he was Fourth trumpet 1964-1967 138. Then, Richard Smith moved to the Buffalo Philharmonic under Lucas Foss for two seasons, 1967-1969. In 1969, Richard Smith returned to his home town of Kansas City, Missouri. He re-joined the Kansas City Philharmonic, now as Principal trumpet 1969-1972 and then as Co-Principal 1972-1975. Richard Smith completed his orchestral career in the trumpet section of the Kansas City Philharmonic trumpet 1975-1978. He retired shortly before the Kansas City Philharmonic dissolved at the end of the 1981-1982 season 139.
Bernard Adelstein was born in Cleveland, Ohio on April 24, 1928. His parents, Frank and Rose Adelstein were Russian Jewish émigrés who came to the US in 1915. The family environment was musical to the extent that both Bernard and his older brother Rovin took up instruments. Rovin took up the string bass, studied at the Juilliard School, and later played at the Pittsburgh Symphony with his brother Bernard. Bernard Adelstein is said to have taken up the trumpet at age 8 at the recommendation of a doctor who believed it might aid Adelstein's asthma. Starting at about age ten, Adelstein began lessons with his predecessor as Principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra Louis Davidson. Adelstein's first professional position was in 1943 when he was yet only fifteen as second trumpet in the tour of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. The next year at age sixteen, Adelstein again took a second trumpet position with Fritz Reiner's Pittsburgh Symphony. Contemporary photographs of Adelstein wearing glasses and a suit make him appear older, which may have aided his acceptance. Bernard Adelstein remained with the Pittsburgh Symphony for four seasons, 1944-1948. Orchestra trumpet players have said that the second trumpet position is an excellent learning position, since the second has to master all the repertoire played by the Principal trumpet. At that time, the Principal trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony was Irving Sarin (1921-2010), Juilliard graduate and Principal trumpet in Pittsburgh for 18 seasons. Of Sarin, Bernard Adelstein said "...we would get together every Saturday morning and practice the parts all day..." About this time, Bernard Adelstein also commuted to Boston to study with Boston Symphony Principal trumpet Georges Mager, who had also taught Irving Sarin. In the 1948-1948 season, Bernard Adelstein moved, selected by Antal Dorati. He served as Principal trumpet in Dallas 1948-1950. Antal Dorati left Dallas in 1949 to become Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony, and the next season, Bernard Adelstein followed Dorati to Minneapolis. Bernard Adelstein was Principal trumpet of the Minneapolis Symphony for a decade 1950-1960. In 1960-1961, George Szell moved Principal trumpet Richard Smith to the third trumpet position, and hired Bernard Adelstein to join the Cleveland Orchestra as Principal. Some of the many highlights of Adelstein's Cleveland recordings are his playing in Szell Mozart symphonies and concerti and Le Sacre du Printemps under Pierre Boulez. After retiring from the Cleveland Orchestra at the end of the 1987-1988 season, Bernard Adelstein was a long-term Professor of Music at Indiana University 1988-1994.
Michael Sachs was born in the Los Angeles area in about 1961. Growing up in Santa Monica, California, he credits his school music program and a summer at the Aspen Music Festival for fostering his interest in music. Sachs earned a BA in history at UCLA, and then entered the Juilliard School. Michael Sachs studied primarily with Mark Gould, Anthony Plog, and James Stamp. While still at Juilliard in his third year, Michael Sachs won the audition for the trumpet section of the Houston Symphony in 1986. Sachs played for Houston 1986-1988. He was appointed Principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1988-1989 season, winning the audition against a large and strong auditioning group. Since coming to Cleveland, Sachs has been head of the trumpet department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His wife, Yolanda Kondonassis is a harp soloist. As a hobby, Michael Sachs is a licensed ham radio operator. Another event to look forward to is the premiere of a trumpet concerto which the Cleveland Orchestra has commissioned from Michael Hersch (1971- ). It is planned that Michael Sachs and the orchestra will give the premiere in about November 2011.
Cleveland trumpets - 2007
Michael Miller and Jack Sutte, trumpets in foreground
(looks like Robert Sullivan, trumpet and Edward Zadrozny trombone in background)
'Second Chair Brass' in 2017: Jesse McCormick horn, Richard Stout trombone, Jack Sutte trumpet
they called themselves "Factory Seconds"
Trombones and Tubas of the Cleveland Orchestra
Simone (or Simon) Belgiorno was born in Salerno, Italy on 19 April 1888. He was appointed Cincinnati Symphony trombone and he was also trombone in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra. Simone Belgiorno was trombone with the Boston Symphony 1914-1918. After Cleveland, Simone Belgiorno was appointed Philadelphia Orchestra Principal trombone 1930-1931 by Leopold Stokowski. While in Philadelphia, he taught trombone at the Curtis Institute in 1930. When in Philadelphia, according to trombonist Harold McKinney, Simone Belgiorno "only lasted 14 weeks with Stokowski...", so apparently did not finish the 1930-1931 season in which Stokowski also fired a dozen other orchestra musicians.
Armand 'Rudy' Ruta was born in Florence, Pennsylvania, west of Pittsburgh on 7 June 1901. He studied with Albert C. Clarke, Principal trombone New York Philharmonic. Armand Ruta was appointed to be Principal trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra by Nikolai Sokoloff in the 1927-1928 season. He served as Principal 1927-1934, and also played bass trumpet 1931-1934. In 1937, Armand Ruta was selected by Artur Rodzinsky as Principal trombone for Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony, where he served 1938-1943. He played with the New York Philharmonic October 1, 1943 to April 19, 1946. He was then Principal trombone of the Radio City Music Hall orchesta in New York City 1950-1961.
Armand Ruta died suddenly of a stroke at age 60 during the Radio City Music Hall season on 18 December 1961.
Principal trombone (also NBC Symphony under Toscanini, trombone, Philadelphia Orchestra Principal trombone 1915-1930, Cleveland Orchestra 1934-1937, Los Angeles Philharmonic 1937-1938) NBC Symphony beginning 1938 into the 1940s.
Student of Alfred F. Weldon (1862-1914) of Chicago. In Philadelphia, Gardell Simons seems to have been dismissed by Stokowski who changed 13 players, including 3 section heads at the end of the 1929-1930 season. Gardell Simons was composer of "Atlantic Zephyrs" a popular band trombone solo.
Merritt W. Dittert was born in Illinois on 21 May 1903. He was Saint Louis Symphony Principal trombone 1934-1937. He was then appointed Principal trombone 1937-1948 of the Cleveland Orchestra. Beginning in the 1948-1949 season, With the appointment of Robert Boyd as Principal trombone in 1948, Merritt Dittert took the bass trombone chair of the Cleveland Orchestra for a further 20 seasons 1948-1968. During his Cleveland years, in 1941, Merritt Dittert joined several other first chair musicians, including John Coffey bass trombone, Louis Davidson trumpet, Leonard Sharrow bassoon, and Rudolph Puletz horn to go to Argentina to play under Arturo Toscanini at the Teatro Colon. He died in suburban Cleveland on 29 July 1973.
Robert Boyd was born in Illinois on November 22, 1921. When Robert Boyd was appointed Principal trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra, Merritt Dittert, the Principal moved to Bass trombone. Robert Boyd died in Cleveland on October 13, 1989. He played King instruments, in spite of George Szell's urging to adopt Schmidt instruments 151. In 1984, Robert Boyd participated in the National Orchestral Association Institute.
James Anthony DeSano was born in Ohio in 1944. He was Syracuse Symphony Principal trombone 1964-1970, He was appointed Assistant Principal trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1970 in which position he served for 20 seasons, 1970-1989. James DeSano studied at Ithaca College where he earned his BMus Ed in 1966. He then studied with legendary trombone teacher Emory Remington (1892–1971) at the Eastman School of Music where he earned his MMus. James DeSano recorded numberous CDs and other recordings with the Cleveland Orchestra. As a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, he performed the Henri Tomasi (1901-1971) Trombone Concerto (1956). James DeSano taught at a number of universities, including at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1999-2013.
Steven Witser was born in Oakland, California in 1960. He studied trombone at the Eastman School of Music, earing his BMus in 1981. He was Associate Principal trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1989 by Christoph von Dohnányi, a position he held from 1989-2003. While with the Cleveland Orchestra, he was also Assistant Personnel Manager 1994-2007 when he departed for Los Angeles. In Cleveland, Witser also played with the Center City Brass Quintet and jazz groups High Anxiety Bones, and Myriad. The Cleveland Orchestra announced that Witser was acting Principal trombone in the 2003-2004 season. With the appointment of Douglas Wright in 2004-2005, Steven Witser resumed his position as Associate Principal trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra. He taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music 1993-2007. Witser was offered a trial season with the Los Angles Philharmonic for the 2006-2007 season. Steven Witser was then appointed Principal trombone of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in August 2007. Steven Witser died suddenly on 27 April 27 2009 of what was reported to be a heart attack.
photo: Minnesota Orchestra
Principal trombone (also Boston Pops and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra - the touring orchestra - while a NEC student. Rhode Island Philharmonic Principal trombone. also Minnesota Orchestra Principal trombone 1995-present, except this season with the Cleveland Orchestra. also the Empire Brass Quintet)
Studied at the New England Conservatory and Boston University MMus, where he also has taught. He gave the world premiere in 2002 of the Kurt Schwertsik (1935- ) Trombone Concerto commissioned for Douglas Wright. In 2007, he performed the Kalevi Aho (1949- ) Symphony No. 9 for Trombone and Orchestra, playing both trombone and sackbut. In the 2005-2006 season, Douglas Wright returned to the Principal trombone chair of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Born in Palermo, Italy, Massimo in 1974, La Rosa grew up in Belmonte Mezzagno in Sicily. He was Principal trombone of the La Fenice Opera Orchestra in Venice 1996-2007, also the La Scala Orchestra, Milan Principal trombone, and the Santa Cecilia Symphony, Rome Principal trombone, and the Teatro Comunale di Firenze, Florence Principal trombone. Massimo La Rosa studied in Sicily with Filippo Bonanno, Principal trombone of the Sicilian Symphony.
On August 16, 2018, the Cleveland Orchestra announced that it had hired the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm to conduct an independent investigation of Massimo La Rosa following accusations of sexual misconduct. La Rosa was subsequently dismissed by the orchestra in October 2018.
Note: It is reported that Shachar Israel has been acting, unofficially, as Principal trombone for 2019.
Richard Weiner in the 1970s
Richard Weiner was born in Philadelphia on 8 March 1940. Weiner's father was a self-taught drummer. Richard Weiner at age 13 began playing in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. During high school, Weiner played in his school's concert band, marching band, and orchestra, primarily on the snare drum. His graduation was from Lincoln High School in February 1958, and immediately enrolled at Temple University. His teacher was Charles Owen, Principal percussionist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Weiner graduated from Temple February 1962 with a BS in Education degree, with a performance major. During the summer of 1962, Weiner went to Colorado to study at the Aspen Music Festival with George Gaber of Indiana University. Richard Weiner became a graduate student at IU. Graduating from IU, Weiner's first audition was for Principal percussion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which he won but did not accept because a few weeks later he won his audition with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. He graduated from IU in 1963 with his MMus performance, and joined the Cleveland Orchestra percussion section. In 1968, George Szell appointed Richard Weiner Principal percussion. Richard Weiner served in the Principal spot 1968-2011.
Richard Weiner also earned a law degree from Cleveland State University in 1976. In 1972, he was the soloist on Donald Erb?s Concerto for Percussionist and Orchestra. Richard Wiener died in Cleveland on 30 December 2018, age 78.
photograph by Roger Mastroianni
Marc Damoulakis was born in Massachusetts in 1977. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music. While in New York, played in the New York Philharmonic percussion section as a regular extra, including on tours. He was also the Long Island Philharmonic Principal timpani. He served in the Harrisburg Symphony (Pennsylvania) as Assistant Principal percussion. Damoulakis was also Co-Principal percussion of the New World Symphony - the Florida training orchestra for young professionals. With the New World Symphony, he recorded White Mares of the Moon by Dan Welcher (1948- ) Texas based composer who also studied at the Manhattan School of Music.
Damoulakis has been active in music festivals, including the Spoleto Music Festival in Italy, the Pacific Music Festival - California and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony - Idaho.
If you have any comments or questions about this Leopold Stokowski site, please e-mail me (Larry Huffman) at e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 A very useful source for the Cleveland Orchestra is Rosenberg, Donald The Cleveland Orchestra Story, 'Second to None'. Gray & Company. 2000. ISBN: 978-1-886228-24-5. Recommended, yet, in the latter sections of the book, it has the hothouse flavor of inside politics, with a tone more reminiscent of the opera house in Vienna or La Scala, rather than Cleveland, with good guys and bad guys. Lorin Maazel receives a relentlessly negative treatment, and the executives and the trustees of the orchestra are seen, mostly, in an unfavorable light. These relentless depictions (not too much nuance here) can sometimes become fatiguing, but still, a useful book with careful research, and an interesting read.
2 page 395-396. Heiles, Anne Mischakoff.
America's Concertmasters. Harmonie Park Press.
Sterling Heights, MI. 2007. ISBN-13 978-0-89990-139-8