Monday, November 23, 2015

Joseph Silverstein (1932-2015)

Joseph Silverstein, the longtime concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1962-84), former music director of the Utah Symphony (1983-98) and artistic and organizational mentor to numerous US orchestras and their musicians, has died at 83.

Silverstein was active in both orchestral and chamber music. He organized the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in 1964, was named the Boston Symphony’s assistant conductor in 1971. He also was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

He appeared as a soloist and guest conductor with numerous orchestras, including a performing-conducting residency with the Richmond Symphony in 2002.

In addition to leading the Utah Symphony, he was music director of the Chautauqua Symphony and principal guest conductor of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and served as artistic advisor or interim music director of nearly a dozen other orchestras.

Silverstein taught at Yale and Boston universities, New England Conservatory, Tanglewood Music Center and his alma mater, Curtis Institute of Music, where he had studied with Efram Zimbalist.

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UPDATE: Frank Almond, concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, recalls working with and learning from Joseph Silverstein: