Principal Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony
with brief biographical remarks
Principal Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony: A Chronological Listing
with Biographical Remarks
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra with Michael Tilson Thomas in Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
This website, www.stokowski.org has two listings of musicians of the great San Francisco Symphony Orchestra:
- A listing of ALL the Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony 1911-today. This listing is available by clicking on the webpage: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Musicians.
- A listing of the Principal Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra with short biographical notes and photographs, which is listed below on this webpage.
This page of the www.stokowski.org site seeks to list all the Principal, or first-chair musicians of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra since its inception in 1911. Also featured are the principal conductors or Music Directors of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. With each musician, I have tried to reconstruct a short biography and to include a photograph of the musician.
In case of any corrections or any other information contained in this www.stokowski.org site, please contact me, at the link below.
Origins of a Symphony Orchestra for San Francisco
San Francisco prior to 1911 enjoyed several symphony orchestras, most of them locally organized, but none of which achieved lasting support. One of the more successful examples were the orchestras organized by the German-born conductor Fritz Scheel (1852-1907), later the founding conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the winter of 1893, Fritz Scheel took an orchestra, which he gave the name of Vienna Prater Orchestra to San Francisco for a festival. This led Fritz Scheel to organize concerts in San Francisco in 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897. From this exposure, in 1904, Scheel was later engaged to perform a series of concerts in San Francisco, before the great earthquake, and before the creation of the San Francisco Symphony in 1911.
Fritz Scheel in San Francisco in 1904
Scheel's San Francisco orchestra then was of about 40 musicians 199. The concerts were sufficiently successful for Scheel to come back for at lest six concert series between 1893 and 1905. Fritz Scheel was also said to have admired the climate of the San Francisco Bay area.
Fritz Scheel and his orchestra in San Francisco 1894
A multiplicity of other orchestras are listed in newspapers of the era, including the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1896 202, the San Francisco Symphony Society in 1897 201, the Philharmonic Orchestra in 1898 200 and others, none of which seems to have given more than a few concerts, and showed no permanence. Beginning in November 1905, the University of California - Berkeley organized concert seasons played by its semi-professional orchestra in the Greek Theater on the Berkeley campus 203 with high quality programming and very good critical reviews.
Berkeley Symphony in 1906 in the Greek Theater of the University of California, Berkeley, site of many concerts. Alfred Hertz donated the funds for what became Hertz Hall at the University, which since 1958 has been the primary concert hall of the East Bay.
Following the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, San Francisco was rebuilt with amazing rapidity, and the leaders of the city formulated ways to demonstrate to the world that San Francisco was reborn and more vibrant than ever. One project was to organize a great World's Fair, to be called formally the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, organized to open in San Francisco in 1915. Another was the organization of a permanent symphony orchestra for San Francisco.
Creation of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
In December, 1909, ten San Francisco business leaders met to discuss organizing a symphony orchestra for San Francisco. Three of these were the primary leaders: Tiernan B. Berry (1860- ), Emanuel S. Heller (1865-1926), and John Rothschild (1970-1958). They organized the Musical Association of San Francisco with 21 initial investor-guarantors growing later to 58 204, and with funding pledged over a period of five years. The financial commitment, previously lacking in San Francisco was now in place.
The next task was to identify a conductor who could hire, train and conduct a newly created symphony orchestra for San Francisco. Of the more prominent conductors who had gained exposure in San Francisco, Fritz Scheel had become the first conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and then had died in 1907, age only 54. The New York Symphony, the Boston Symphony and the Chicago Symphony had all visited San Francisco, but their conductors were unavailable. The American-born composer and conductor Henry Hadley, who among other accomplishments was the conductor of the Seattle Symphony became the popular choice of the original board 204 and was successfully hired. Henry Hadley's biography is summarized in the Principal Conductors of the San Francisco Symphony section, below.
Henry Hadley in about the 1910s
Henry Hadley told a San Francisco interviewer in 1911: "...I brought with me from the East only Walter Hornig, the first horn, who used to be with Victor Herbert; Samuel Neerloo [Meerloo], the first bassoon, who is from Amsterdam and has played with all the large orchestras; Seifert, the first trumpet, who was for many years with the New York Philharmonic; Adolf [Adolph] Bertram, the first oboe, who was in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra; Jean Shanis, the first clarinet, from the Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra; and last but not least, Edouard Tak, the concert master, an Amsterdam musician who was concert master in Pittsburg[h] and also with Theodore Thomas. The rest are all San Francisco men..." 29. It seem likely that Hadley's friend Victor Herbert was the source of yet other musicians. This can be seen by the number of former Pittsburgh musicians who joined the San Francisco Symphony, even in the lower-ranked chairs, such as Third trumpet Otto Kegel. Also, Hadley seems to have brought his Principal double bass from the Seattle Symphony, Septimus Greene with him as Assistant Principal bass of the newly-formed San Francisco Symphony, and other Seattle Symphony musicians such a flutist Brooks Parker.
Of these, all were eventually praised by San Francisco, except perhaps Eduard (or sometimes ?ouard) Tak, whom the San Francisco critics seemed not to particularly favor. In any case, the next season Tak returned east to join the first violins of the Boston Symphony.
A flavor of the pioneering nature of symphony orchestra building at that period comes from another Hadley comment: "...During this first season we shall give six symphony concerts and a number of concerts of a lighter nature, young folks' concerts and so on. We hope to appeal to all classes, to develop a taste and to cultivate an appreciation for the best music among the masses ...' 29. However, the "masses" seem not to have been exposed to this musical appreciation. These 6 concerts were given at 3:00 on Friday afternoons from 1911-1915. One reason was that the theaters appropriate for the orchestra were booked with popular performances in the evening, and the musicians were also engaged in the more profitable work in theater orchestras. This had the result, according to the Oakland Tribune that "...music was made the pleasure of a class of well gowned women and a handful of men with flowing ties and long hair..." 148. Then, in 1915 a series of Sunday afternoon concerts were added, making for the first time pairs of concerts.
logos of the San Francisco Symphony in 1920 and 2000
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Principal Conductors
Henry Hadley was born in Somerville, Massachusetts on December 20, 1871 into a musical family. His father, Samuel Henry Hadley (1854-after 1930) was a music teacher in the Somerville public schools, and Henry Hadley's brother, Arthur D. Hadley (1875-1936) was both a Principal cellist with the San Francisco Symphony, and a cellist with the Boston Symphony 18. Henry Hadley studied violin with Henry Heindl (1866-1918) 19 who played viola with the Boston Symphony 1881-1911. Beginning in about 1884 Hadley studied music theory with Stephen A. Emory (1844- ) of the New England Conservatory 88, and composition with George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931). In 1894, Hadley went to Vienna to study music, including with the Ukrainian musician and teacher, Eusebius Mandyczewski (1857-1929) 19, who was a close friend of Brahms. Hadley also became a friend of Adolph Neuendorff (1843-1897), who had conducted the Boston Promenade (Boston Pops) concerts and had subsequently moved back to Vienna. Hadley returned to the U.S. in 1896, where he taught music at a school in suburban New York City, and played violin in several concerts of his own music 20.
Henry Hadley in 1900
Hadley also struck up a friendship with Victor Herbert which lasted until Herbert's sudden death in 1924. Following his return from Europe and during his teaching years, Hadley composed some of his most successful works, including 'In Bohemia' and his Symphony no 1 and Symphony no 2 'The Seasons'. Critics have said that Hadley's early compositions showed the influence of Wagner. Hadley began his conducting experience with his own works, including in 1900 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. In 1904, Hadley began his second sojourn in Europe. He went to Germany - to Munich - where he studied with Ludwig Thuille (1861-1907), a prolific composer and friend of Richard Strauss. In 1905. Hadley composed 'Salome', a symphonic poem, about the same time as Richard Strauss was composing his opera on the same subject. This resulted in Hadley's opportunity in 1907 to conduct his work with the Berlin Philharmonic, along with his Symphony no 3. In 1907-1908 season, Hadley also became assistant conductor and chorus master at the Staatstheater Mainz. There in April 1909, Henry Hadley premiered his first opera, Safi. On his return from Europe in 1909, Hadley conducted in Seattle, Washington, recommended by Victor Herbert. Hadley was appointed conductor of the Seattle Symphony beginning in the 1909-1910 season 88. He was hired by Seattle businessmen for $9000 per season for the 1909-1910 and 1910-1911 seasons to improve the Seattle orchestra 25. This Seattle appointment caused comment during Hadley's frequent visits to San Francisco. San Francisco was sufficiently recovered from the great 1906 earthquake, it was felt that San Francisco should organized its own symphony orchestra.
Henry Hadley in the 1909
On 8 December 1911, Henry Hadley, the first Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra opened its first season with the Wagner Meistersinger Overture, the Tchaikovsky Path?ique symphony, a movement of Haydn, and Liszt's Les Préludes. This was not a Music Garden concert! Hadley conducted the San Francisco Symphony for four seasons, 1911-1915. From 1920-1927, Henry Hadley was associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic, under Mengelberg and Furtwängler. Hadley also helped organize and conducted the Manhattan Orchestra. Henry Hadley's works were regularly performed, not only by himself, but also Anton Seidl, Josef Stransky, Vasily Safonoff, and even Gustav Mahler at the NY Philharmonic. Hadley made a number of educational recordings in the 1920s for Ginn & Company of music for student instruction. These were initially acoustic, and later electric recordings, with members of the New York Philharmonic, and soloists, including Hadley's wife, the soprano Inez Barbour (1882-1971). In 1926, Hadley composed some of the first music for a electrical synchronization to a 'talking' film, 'When a Man Loves' starring John Barrymore 22. In 1934, Hadley started the Berkshire Symphonic Festival, held in Lenox, Massachusetts, which in 1936, grew into the Berkshire Festival of the Boston Symphony, held in Tanglewood after 1940 21. Henry Hadley died in New York City on September 6, 1937.
Henry Hadley and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra debut as pictured in a 1911 newspaper article.
In a 1914 SFSO photograph, I count 67 musicians, including harp, which is about the number initially intended.
Alfred Hertz in 1914
Alfred Hertz was born in Frankfurt, Germany on July 15, 1872. In the late 1880s, Hertz entered the newly formed Raff Konservatorium in Frankfurt, studying piano and composition under Anton Urspruch (1850-1907). In 1892, Alfred Hertz began the usual path in Germany for learning conducting, by entering a regional theater. This was the Hoftheatre of the small town of Altenberg, Germany, 30 km south of Dresden. Hertz stayed in Altenberg for three seasons, 1892-1895, before going to the Stadttheater of Barmen-Elberfeld (renamed Wuppertal after 1930), near Stuttgart during 1895-1899. Hertz then went to the much larger city of Breslau, 100 km east of Dresden (Breslau now being in Poland, with the Polish name of Wroclaw). From 1899-1902, Hertz conducted at the Stadttheater Breslau. Alfred Hertz during his conducting years was apparently limited in his walking due to polio 135. However, this did not restrict his conducting. In 1902, Alfred Hertz made the large jump to the Metropolitan Opera, where he became the principal conductor of the Germany repertory, succeeding Walter Damrosch. Hertz was well received in New York, although some critics thought his orchestra drowned out many of the singers. On December 24, 1903, Alfred Hertz was the first to conduct Parsifal outside of Wagner's Bayreuth, causing a controversy. For a time, no German opera houses would engage Hertz because of this. We can still hear Hertz's early interpretation of music from Parsifal in the September, 1913 recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic, beautifully restored by Mark Obert-Thorn on Naxos Historical 8.110049 and 8.1100-50. During his tenure at the Metropolitan Opera, Hertz toured the U.S. regularly, including in San Francisco during the great earthquake of 1906. Hertz left the Metropolitan opera at the end of the 1912-1913 season, and went to Los Angeles that summer of 1913 to conduct. Hertz then returned to Germany for the 1913-1914 season, where he conducted, among other orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic. His Berlin engagement also led to the famous Berlin Parsifal recordings of the Prelude to Act 1, the Transformation Music from Act 1, and the Transformation Music and Good Friday Spell from Act 2; all this in 1913 with the difficulties of the acoustic recording process !
Alfred Hertz in the 1920s
In August 1915, Hertz came to San Francisco to direct a festival of Beethoven's music, taking place during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The previous month, July 1915, Hertz had been offered and accepted the direction of the San Francisco Symphony. So, in the 1915-1916 season, Alfred Hertz became permanent conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, where he remained for 15 seasons. In 1917, when the U.S. entered World War 1, Hertz became a U.S. citizen, although he experience some of the anti-German emotions of other cities (such as the controversies that led to the arrest and internment of Karl Muck in Boston). At the end of the 1918-1919, there was reported dissention by some San Francisco Symphony musicians, who organized the People's Philharmonic Orchestra 131. They invited Nikolai Sokoloff (1886-1965) to be their conductor. Sokoloff had for a time been considered as the successor to Henry Hadley in San Francisco, before he became the first conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. The People's Philharmonic Orchestra played during the summer of 1919, but meanwhile, the San Francisco Orchestra directors raised money and hired new musicians to replace the defectors. The People's Philharmonic Orchestra tried to continue with Max Bendix as their conductor, presenting popular concerts in San Francisco. But this new orchestra effort, competing with the San Francisco Symphony soon failed 131. Hertz continued recording. When Victor opened its facilities in Oakland, California, across the San Francisco Bay, Hertz led the San Francisco Symphony in a series of recordings 1925-1930. Many of these recordings in excellent restorations by Mark Obert-Thorn are available from Andrew Rose's superb Pristine Classical (www.pristineclassical.com). After his farewell San Francisco Symphony concert on April 30, 1930, Hertz remained in California, living in Berkeley, where he endowed Hertz Hall at the University of California, Berkeley. Hertz occasionally returned to conduct the San Francisco Symphony in the 1930s. Hertz also conducted for radio in the 1930s for the Standard Symphony Hour on NBC. Alfred Hertz died in San Francisco on April 17, 1942.
Basil Cameron, left, Issay Dobrowen, right
Basil Cameron was born Basil George Cameron Hindenberg in Reading in Berkshire, England on August 18, 1884. His father, Frederick Clementz Hindenberg, was a piano tuner, and his mother, Eliza Sherman was from Middlesex. Basil began violin studies early and studied at the Berlin Akademische Hochschule f? Musik. Cameron (or Hindenberg as he still was) studied there from 1902-1906 with Joseph Joachim and Leopold Auer. From about 1907-1912, Cameron was a violinist with the Queen's Hall Orchestra in London. With the onset of World War 1, Cameron dropped his Hindenberg family name and thereafter was billed as Basil Cameron. Cameron served in the British Army 1915-1918. His first conducting experience was with the small local Municipal Orchestra at the British resort of Torquay. Cameron's success in Torquay with such an unpromising group first built his reputation. 1924-1930, Cameron was conductor of the Harrogate Orchestra, another small regional British orchestra in the Midlands. The Harrogate Orchestra disbanded in 1930 for financial reasons, and in 1930, Cameron relocated to the US. He conducted the San Francisco Symphony for the first half of the 1930-1931 season, October-December, 1930 57, as Co-Conductor with Issay Dobrowen who lead the second half of the 1930-1931 season 55,58. Issay Dobrowen conducted the SFSO in January-March, 1931, and Basil Cameron conducted in January-March 1932 163. In the 1930-1931 season, the San Francisco Symphony gave 13 pairs of regular concerts, and 11 popular concerts, a total of 37 performances for the season 58. Although under contract during 1930-1934, Cameron did not conduct the SFSO in the 1933-1934 season 54. Issay Dobrowen, and guest conductor Bernardino Molinari seem to have conducted all the SFSO concerts of that 1933-1934 season 56. Cameron again conducted the SFSO in summer concerts in June and July, 1935 54. In the 1934-1935 season, because of financial pressures, only three San Francisco Symphony musicians remained under contract: the conductors Basil Cameron and Issay Dobrowen, and the Concertmaster, Naoum Blinder. In 1935, the San Francisco public passed a bond measure to help guarantee the future financing of the Orchestra. In parallel with San Francisco, during 1932-1938 Basil Cameron was conductor of the Seattle Orchestra, touring the western US extensively with the orchestra. However, Cameron's Seattle tenure was apparently an unhappy experience, with disrespect from his orchestra. In 1938, Cameron returned to Britain to be Sir Henry Wood's assistant conductor at the London Promenade concerts. During World War 2, Cameron appeared principally with the London Philharmonic. On March 31, 1960, Cameron was conducting the London Symphony Orchestra with Wilhelm Backhaus as soloist. Early in the concert, Basil Cameron became ill and could not continue. Basil Cameron then retired in 1964, and died June 26, 1975 in Leominster in Herefordshire, England, age 90. Basil Cameron was a quiet and modest man, and it is said that he was not always well-treated by musicians of his orchestras.
1934-1935 Season suspended
In 1934 in the depths of the Great Depression, the Musical Association of San Francisco, administrative parent of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, became bankrupt. This caused the suspension of the San Francisco Symphony activities during the 1934-1935 season. During that season, however, the San Francisco Opera was able to continue due the patron funding, with the result that some orchestra members had half a season (only about three months) of employment. At that time, the opera performed October through the end of December, usually followed by the initiation of the symphony season in January of each season. Another opportunity for employment for a number of the symphony musicians was a Brahms festival held at the University of California - Berkeley in June and July of 1935. That great benefactor of chamber music performance Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge financed a four week Brahms Festival of chamber music performances which featured about a dozen of the SFS leading musicians.162. The major development in 1935 however was the decision by San Francisco voters to amend the city charter providing some municipal funding for the orchestra, and stipulating that the San Francisco Symphony would provide a series of municipal concerts in addition to the normal subscription concert series. A new administrative parent, named the San Francisco Symphony Association, was created in that year.
Meanwhile, San Francisco Orchestra backers had heard Pierre Monteux conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1934, and during the summer of 1935 reached agreement with him to rebuild the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Beginning in the Autumn of 1935, Monteux auditioned musicians, preparing for a re-launch of the Orchestra for the 1935-1936 season. As before, the San Francisco Symphony season did not actually begin until January, so the orchestra was re-launched under Monteux with two concerts on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening, January 10 and 11, 1936 in the War Memorial Opera House 140. In this first new season, Monteux programmed ten subscription concert pairs, matched by ten municipal concerts, as called for in the agreement with the city. These municipal concerts were billed as "Pop Concerts", presumably to attract the audience, but the programs seem indistinguishable from the subscription concerts. For example, the first "Pop" concert included the Brahms Violin Concerto with Joseph Szigeti as soloist, followed by Weber's Overture to Euryanthe and Wagner's Prelude to Lohengrin. 141.
Pierre Monteux in 1935
Pierre Monteux was born April 4, 1875 in the ninth arrondissement of Paris. He studied violin from youth, and gained admittance to the Paris Conservatoire in 1884 at the age of nine. While at the Conservatoire, he played violin at the Folies Bergères to aid his finances. At the Conservatoire, Monteux's violin skills were sufficient that he shared the Conservatoire 1896 violin prize with Jacques Thibaud (1880-1953). Monteux then took up the viola, studying with Theophile Laforge (1863-1918), professor of viola at the Paris Conservatoire. While at the Conservatoire and after, Monteux was Principal viola of the Concerts Colonne, 1893-1912, under Édouard Colonne. Although he also conducted occasionally at the Concerts Colonne, Édouard Colonne did not support or encourage Monteux in this activity. In the early 1900s, Monteux was solo (Principal) viola of the orchestra of the Paris Opéra-Comique (a position that Boston Symphony Principal viola Jean Lefranc was to hold a decade later). From 1902-1910, during the summer season, Monteux was first a violinist/violist and later the conductor of the Dieppe casino orchestra, a Normandy seaside resort. This Summer experience was perhaps something like the conducting taining experienced gained in regional theaters by beginning conductors in Germany. In 1911, Monteux became conductor of the Sergei Diaghilev Ballets russes ballet company, which gained Monteux his first wider conducting recognition. Monteux conducted the premieres of Stravinsky's Petrushka in June, 1911 and his Sacre du Printemps in May, 1913. This latter was the performance which has gone down in concert legend for its riot by some parts of an angry Paris audience. Monteux also conducted the premieres of the Debussy Prélude á l'Après-midi d'un faune in May, 1912 and of the Ravel Daphnis et Chloé in June, 1912 and the Debussy Jeux in 1913. Quite a string of premieres of the first rank, thanks in part to the discernment and commissioning of these works by Sergei Diaghilev. Monteux then conducted at L'Opéra de Paris 1913-1914. At the outbreak of World War 1, Monteux was inducted into the French army, but upon discharge in 1916, he was briefly a conductor at Le Théâtre de l'Odéon. Then, in the spring of 1916, Monteux was allowed to travel to the U.S. for the 1916-1917 tour of Diaghilev's Ballets russes. It was consequent to this tour that, from 1917-1919, Monteux was appointed a staff conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, specializing in the French repertoire. French opera appreciation had grown in New York during the war, as the German operas began to fall out of favor. In 1919, following the unsuccessful season of Henri Rabaud in Boston, Pierre Monteux became conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he remained as Principal conductor for five seasons, 1919-1924. In fact, Monteux had conducted the Boston Symphony during the initial weeks of the 1918-1919 season, because Henri Rabaud had been delayed in his arrival in Boston.
Henri Rabaud and Pierre Monteux in a 1918 Boston Symphony announcement of the appointment of Henri Ribaud as BSO conductor, and that Metropolitan Opera conductor Pierre Monteux would begin the 1918-1919 Boston season, awaiting the later arrival of Ribaud
Although Monteux's conducting was both successful and well-received, the disastrous Boston Symphony Orchestra strike of the 1919-1920 season damaged the remainder of his Boston tenure. In the 1919-1920 season, the Boston musicians sought to unionize the orchestra and gain wage increases. The life of an orchestra musician, even of the Boston Symphony, was precarious with a short season, facing difficult summer employment and also being low-paid in that era. The deadlock between the orchestra musicians and the Board on salary and unionization reached an impasse by March, 1920. On March 5, 1920, there was a confrontation in which the Concertmaster, Fredric Fradkin, who support the changes, remained in his seat when Pierre Monteux gestured to the Orchestra to rise at the conclusion of their performance of Berlioz's Sinfonie fantastique. This caused a sensation, and that evening Fradkin was summarily dismissed by the Board. This led to 32 other musicians leaving the orchestra 75. 12 of these musicians went to the National Symphony Orchestra of New York (later merged with the New York Philharmonic) under Willem Mengelberg, and several to the Detroit Symphony. With 21 of these lost musicians being in the violin, viola and cello sections, Monteux had a major orchestra rebuilding task Commentators since have considered that Monteux did a good job rebuilding the orchestra. However, Monteux's position seems to have also been damaged. Although Monteux avoided involvement in the strike confrontation, he emerged with his his authority and rapport with the orchestra partially compromised. Although he continued four more seasons, continuing to rebuild the orchestra, by the end of the 1923-1924 season, the Board felt a new organizing force was needed. After an extensive search, Serge Koussevitzky was hired from Paris as Monteux's successor 74.
Monteux then returned to France where in 1924, he again conducted the Ballets russes. At that time, he also began a long relationship with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, sharing conducting seasons with long-time Music Director Willem Mengelberg. In 1929, Monteux and Alfred Cortot were key in the creation of L'Orchestre symphonique de Paris (not the same as the orchestra created in 1967).
In the summer of 1935, Monteux conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the San Francisco Orchestra Board asked him if he would come to San Francisco 31. This led to the hiring of Pierre Monteux in the autumn of 1935 to resuscitate the remnants of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. After conducting the first four weeks of the Los Angeles Symphony 1935-1936 season (Klemperer was conducting the New York Philharmonic) 31, Pierre Monteux came to San Francisco the week of September 9, 1935 142 to organize his orchestra. He had conducted at the Hollywood Bowl during the summer of 1935, to be followed by concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in December. During the latter part of 1935, Monteux was auditioning and selecting musicians to reconstitute the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. At that time, the SFSO season did not actually start until January, since each Autumn, the San Francisco musicians played in the San Francisco Opera, which also occupied the War Memorial Hall, and the opera season did not conclude until end December 32. Monteux's first rehearsal with his new orchestra was on Tuesday December 31, 1935 53. This was two days after his final concert of the season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic 143. Monteux's initial concert pair of his first 1935-1936 season was on Friday afternoon January 10 and Saturday evening January 11, 1936 140.
Monteux and the San Francisco Symphony in 1936
Monteux's success, and his active recording schedule with the San Francisco Symphony allowed it to thrive economically, and extend its season. From the ten subscription concert pairs of the 1935-1936 season, by 1937-1938, the San Francisco Symphony season had expanded to twelve concert pairs of subscription concerts 31. (By 1948, Monteux had moved the beginning of the SFSO season back to November). Pierre Monteux was Music Director in San Francisco for seventeen seasons, 1935-1952.
Monteux's musicianship and greatness was unquestioned, although some thought that Monteux did not always demand the best. Toscanini, for example always drove himself and his musicians to seek the best at every concert. Monteux was thought by some to occasionally accept less. Monteux became a U.S. citizen in 1942, and thereafter based his career in North America. His later life was centered on guest conducting, including of the Boston Symphony (after Koussevitzky had retired), and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1943, Monteux founded his conducting school near his Summer home in Hancock, Maine, where a number of famous conductors (Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Andre Previn) had at least part of their training. Monteux died July 1, 1964 in Hancock, Maine at age 89.
1952-1954 Guest Conductors
A series of guest conductors, including Enrique Jorda, Bruno Walter, George Szell, Erich Leinsdorf, Leopold Stokowski, Victor de Sabata, Georg Solti, Karl Münchinger, Ferenc Fricsay, Alfred Wallenstein, Fausto Cleva and William Steinberg.
Enrique Jorda (or more correctly Enrique Jordá) was born on March 24, 1911 in San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain. Jorda studied at the conservatory in Madrid, followed by further study at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he studied organ, composition and conducting 14. He was Music Director of the
Madrid Symphony 1940-1945. 1945-1948, Jorda guest conducted in Europe. Then, 1948-1954, Jorda was appointed conductor of the Cape Town Symphony in South Africa. Jorda guest conducted the San Francisco Symphony during the 1952-1953 season 15. His appointment as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra came as a surprise for both the San Francisco public, and the Orchestra, according to David Schneider 13. Although Jorda was not a unanimous choice among the orchestra Board, he began his tenure well. However, he soon became known as talking more than playing during rehearsals, and of lacking a command of scores 134. Among the San Francisco musicians, Jorda apparently had the reputation of being disorganized during rehearsal, but passionate during performance 13. This resulted in some exciting performances, but also sometimes risked misadventure. Musicians also said that the direction and beat provided by Jorda was lacking, forcing them to find coherence by playing with each other 12, rather than in following the direction of the conductor. In San Francisco, Jorda conducted a number of world premieres. These included on March 5, 1958, Rodrigo's Fantasia Para un Gentilhombre with Andres Segovia as soloist. Also the Roy Harris San Francisco Symphony and two symphonies by Darius Milhaud: Symphony no 8 and no 1012. After leaving San Francisco at the end of the 1962-1963 season, Jorda became a guest conductor, primarily in Europe. In 1969, Jorda published his book: El Director de Orquesta Ante la Partitura ('The Orchestra Director in Front of the Score). Then, 1970-1976, Jorda settled in Belgium, where he was Music Director of the Antwerp Philharmonic Orchestra. Jorda died at his home in Brussels, Belgium on March 18, 1996.
Josef Krips was Born April 8, 1902 in Vienna, Austria. In Vienna, Krips studied at the Vienna Music Academy (Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst) for 4 years, in music and conducting with Eusebius Mandyczewski (1857-1929) and with Felix Weingartner (1863-1942). In these student years 1918-1921, Josef Krips also played violin in the Vienna Volksoper orchestra. During 1921-1924, Josef Krips served as repetiteur under Weingartner at the Vienna Volksoper. In 1924-1925, Josef Krips conducted at the theater in the municipal theatre in the western Czech city of Usti nad Labem. In 1925-1926, Krips was conductor in the theater in Dortmund in western Germany. Krips was conductor of the orchestra in Karlsruhe in southwest Germany 1926-1933. In 1933, Josef Krips returned to Vienna one of the staff conductors of the Volksoper. From 1935-1938, Krips conducted each summer at the Salzburg Festival. Although raised a Catholic, Krips' father (a physician and said by Josef to be very musical 59) was of Jewish background, so Krips had to leave Austria after the Nazi Anschluss. Krips went to Belgrade, first with the Opera, and later, as war expanded, working as a manual laborer 60. In 1945, Josef Krips was one of the first conductors allowed to resume conducting after the war. Krips was the first to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in Autumn, 1945. In the summer of 1946, Josef Krips reopened the the Salzburg Festival with Mozart's Don Giovanni. Krips was a fine conductor of Mozart throughout his career. From 1951-1954, Josef Krips was the Principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Krips then moved to the Buffalo Philharmonic, being Music Director 1954-1963. Josef Krips was appointed to the same position in San Francisco, directing the San Francisco Symphony 1963-1970. Arriving in San Francisco for his first concert on November 29, 1963, Krips did not follow the pattern of sacking half the orchestra with the objective of improvement. However, with each new hire, he sought that "...each new hire should show himself at least twice as good as whom he replaced" 24. Josef Krips was the last of the SFSO Music Directors to hire musicians without a screen during auditions. In his second season, Krips hired Robert McGinnis as Principal clarinet, and from Cleveland, Marc Lifschey as co-Principal oboe, and Jacob Krachmalnick as Concertmaster. Listening to broadcast performances from early in his tenure, although performances are fine and even inspired, the SFS orchestra ensemble and intonation seem less than world-class. However, later in Krip's tenure, these aspects greatly improve, likely demonstrating the results of Krips efforts. During his tenure in San Francisco, Josef Krips introduced numerous new works, many particularly innovative. Krips is said to have observed "...if you need to play 100 new works to find one great one, it is worth the trouble..." 61. Leaving San Francisco, Josef Krips was named SFSO "Conductor Emeritus". 1970-1973, Krips was Principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony. Josef Krips died of cancer in Geneva, Switzerland October 13, 1974, age 72. Josef Krips' younger brother Henry Krips (1912-1987) was the chief conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Australia for 23 seasons, 1949-1972. Henry Krips also guest-conducted the San Francisco Symphony, as well as numerous other world orchestras. Josef Krip's legacy in San Francisco was to restore the orchestra to the leading levels of performance quality and responsiveness to good leadership that had seemed to have been lost during the tenure of Enrique Jorda.
Seiji Ozawa was born on September 1, 1935 of Japanese parents in Shenyang (also known as Mukden), in the southern Manchuria portion of China, then under Japanese occupation (called the province of 'Manchukou' by Japan). Upon his family's return to Japan in 1944, Ozawa began to study the piano. Ozawa studied with Hideo Saito (1902-1975), at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, who encouraged Ozawa interest in conducting. In 1958, Ozawa won first prize in conducting at the Toho Gakuen School of Music (where Eiji Oue, later Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra, and Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Music Director of several orchestras also studied). In 1959 at the International Competition of Orchestra Conductors in Besan?n, France, Ozawa won first prize. The Besan?n win caused Charles Munch to invite Ozawa to attend the summer 1960 Berkshire (later Tanglewood) Music Center studies. While at Tanglewood in 1960 Ozawa won the Koussevitzky Prize for Outstanding Student Conductor. During the 1960-1961 season, Ozawa studied with Herbert von Karajan in Berlin. Then, Leonard Bernstein appointed Ozawa assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic beginning in the 1961-1962 season. Ozawa stayed in New York for 4 seasons. In the summers of 1964 to 1968, Ozawa was Music Director of Chicago's Ravinia Festival. For four seasons, 1965-1969, Ozawa was Music Director of the Toronto Symphony. In 1970, Ozawa became Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, retaining the post seven seasons 1970-1977, being 'Musical Advisor' for the last season. While still at San Francisco, Ozawa became Artistic Director of the Tanglewood Festival. Ozawa was then appointed Music Advisor of the Boston Symphony in 1972-1973, and then Music Director beginning with the 1973-1974 season, while still being Music Director of the SFSO. Seiji Ozawa is said to have expressed the objective to pass the forty-three seasons that Eugene Ormandy was Music Director in Philadelphia. Ozawa did not reach that mark, but with his thirty seasons in Boston (including the Music Advisor season), he surpassed Koussevitzky who served twenty-five seasons. In 1992, with Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Ozawa founded the Saito Kinen Orchestra of Tokyo in 1992. In 2002, Ozawa was named Music Director of the Vienna State Opera. It was recently announce he would leave his Vienna post at the end of the 2009-2010 season. Although his health has been variable, Ozawa also continues an active guest conducting program.
Edo de Waart was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands on June 1, 1941. From about 1958. de Waart studied oboe, piano and conducting at the the predecessor of what is now named the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. De Waart graduated in 1962. In 1963, Edo de Waart was appointed to the second chair oboe position of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1964, Edo de Waart placed first in the Mitropoulos International Competition for Conducting in New York 68. This led to his appointment 1965-1966 as an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. In the 1966-1967 season, de Waart was assistant conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Bernard Haitink. In the 1967-1968 season, Edo de Waart was named conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, where he became Music Director 1973-1979. During 1972, 1973, and 1974, Edo de Waart conducted many of the leading US orchestras: Los Angeles, Chicago (at Ravinia), Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland (at Blossom) and Boston (at Tanglewood) 68,69. In February and March, 1974, Edo de Waart first conducted the the San Francisco Symphony 70. This successful engagement led in December, 1974 to the creation of the new position of Principal Guest Conductor of the SFSO for de Waart, who was signed to a three year contract, beginning in September, 1975 67, 68. Two seasons later, Edo de Waart was appointed Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony succeeding Seiji Ozawa. Edo de Waart was Music Director of the SFSO for eight seasons, 1977-1985. Following San Francisco, Edo de Waart was successively Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra (1986-1995), the Sydney Symphony (1995-2004) and of the Hong Kong Philharmonic (2004-present, but will leave after the 2011-2012 season 71). Edo de Waart is scheduled to become Music Director (or 'Artistic Partner') of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the 2010-2011 season 72.
Herbert Blomstedt was born July 11, 1927 in Springfield, Massachusetts. His parents were US citizens, his father Adolf Blomstedt, a Seventh Day Adventist minister being born in Sweden October 8, 1898, and his mother Alida born in the US of Swedish immigrant parents 75, 76. In 1929, Adolf Blomstedt was sent by his church back to Sweden, Herbert Blomstedt being an infant. Herbert's mother Alida had studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago 76. In Sweden, Herbert Blomstedt studied music first in Gothenburg, and later at the Stockholm Musikh?skolan (Royal College of Music) and at the University of Uppsala 76. He next studied with with Paul Sacher at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. Blomstedt early identified conducting as his future path, and he studied for six years, 1950-1955 with Igor Markevitch in Paris 76. Then, admitted to Juilliard in New York in early 1953, Blomstedt studied conducting with Jean Morel and later with Leonard Bernstein at the Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood. At Tanglewood, Blomstedt won the Koussevitzky Prize for conducting in 1953. In 1955, Blomstedt won a further conducting prize at Salzburg. Blomstedt made his professional debut conducting the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in February, 1954 74. Blomstedt then became Music Director of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (150 km south of Stockholm) 1954-1961. During the following years, Blomstedt was Music Director of two orchestras: the Oslo Philharmonic (at that time known as the 'Filharmonisk Selskaps Orkester') 1962-1968 73 and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen, 1967-1977. For ten seasons, From 1975-1985, Herbert Blomstedt was Chief Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle. Blomstedt had first guest conducted the Dresden Staatskapelle in 1969 76, and his tenure and recordings there established his international reputation. Early in 1985, although he was not looking for a new post, Herbert Blomstedt was offered the Music Director postion of the San Francisco Symphony, to follow Edo de Waart. Beginning September, 1985, Herbert Blomstedt conducted the SFSO for ten seasons, 1985-1995. During this period, concurrent with his SFSO tenure, Blomstedt taught at what was called the 'Blomstedt Institute of Orchestral Conducting' in Loma Linda, California. After San Francisco, Herbert Blomstedt was Chief Conductor of the NDR Sinfonieorchester (North German Radio Symphony) in Hamburg 1996-1998. 1998-2005, Blomstedt was Music Director of the historic Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra 74. Herbert Blomstedt's performances in concert and recordings show a level of spirituality and inspiration which give joy to the listener. What higher attainment could we seek?
Michael Tilson Thomas was born in Los Angeles, California on December 21, 1944. He comes of a creative heritage. His grandparents, Boris Thomashefsky (1868-1939) and Bessie Baumfeld-Kaufman Thomashefsky (1873-1962) , were founding members of the Yiddish Theater in the US 114. Michael Tilson Thomas has said that he grew up surrounded by actors of the Yiddish Theater, and songs from the Russian-Yiddish repertory 115. His father, Theodore Herzel Thomashefsky, who later simplified his name to Ted Thomas, (1904-1992) was a producer in the Mercury Theater Company in New York before moving to Los Angeles to work on Hollywood productions114. His mother, Roberta Thomas, was the head of research for Columbia Pictures 114. Michael Tilson Thomas studied at the University of Southern California with John Crown, piano and with Ingolf Dahl (1912-1970), conducting and composition. In 1963, on his twentieth birthday, Thomas was notified by Gregor Piatigorsky that he had won the competition to be conductor of the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra in Los Angeles 115. In 1969, Michael Tilson Thomas won the the Koussevitzky Prize for conducting at the Tanglewood Music Center. With this Prize came his appointment as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1969-1974 under William Steinberg. Michael Tilson Thomas was appointed Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, succeeding Lukas Foss. Michael Tilson Thomas served in Buffalo for eight seasons, 1971-1979. During 1981-1985, Michael Tilson Thomas he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 1987, Thomas founded the New World Symphony, based in Miami Beach, Florida, with which he is still active. The musicians of the London Symphony Orchestra selected Michael Tilson Thomas as their Principal Conductor, which post he filled for seven seasons, 1988-1995. After 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas became Principal Guest Conductor of the LSO. At the same time, in the 1995-1996 season, Michael Tilson Thomas became Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. In San Francisco, due in part to his attractive persona, and to his blazing musical talent, he became a star, referred to widely by his initials 'MTT', and becoming a celebrity. This lead only to his continued full schedule of recordings, including acclaimed SACD recordings of the Mahler Symphonies. His success also attracted a widened audience for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra-and for its great Music Director: MTT.
In 2005, Michael Tilson Thomas scored yet another success with his presentation of 'The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater', a music and documentary presentation of his grandparents of which the New York Times said: '...Mr. Thomas offered a three-hour examination of the life of his grandparents at Zankel Hall [in Carnegie Hall, New York]... conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is a great raconteur...' 130. The artistic leadership and musical inspiration of Michael Tilson Thomas is a key reasons why the San Francisco Symphony continues to flourish in this time of ever more difficult conditions for US symphony orchestras.
In 2017, Michael Tilson Thomas announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2019-2020 season. In December 2018, the orchestra announced Esa-Pekka Salonen as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony beginning with the 2020-2021 season. However, during the summer 2020, the orchestra announced: "... due to COVID-19 ... in accordance with [California] guidelines... we have made the difficult decision to cancel all San Francisco Symphony concerts through December 31, 2020."
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera
Until the 1980-1981 season, the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony formed the nucleus of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. In earlier years, they were nearly identical, and even by the 1979-1980 season, 35 musicians of the San Francisco Symphony also played in the Opera 269. This was done because the Symphony and the Opera shared use of the War Memorial Opera House as the location for their performances, so their seasons could not be simultaneous. The opera season was in the winter of each season, and the San Francisco Symphony season began in January. With the opening of Davies Symphony Hall in 1980, the San Francisco Symphony had its own home, and would no longer share the War Memorial Opera House. In that 1980-1981 season, this also meant that the orchestra of the San Francisco Symphony and of the Opera necessarily separated, and musicians had to decide whether to play for the Opera or remain with the San Francisco Symphony 100.
This separation also had the consequence that the San Francisco Opera Orchestra needed to hire 40 new musicians, some coming from the San Francisco Symphony and some from outside. It also ment that the San Francisco Symphony musicians would have to decide whether to move to the opera or remain with the Symphony. Also, the Symphony would need to hire replacements for those that moved to the Opera. For this reason, in 1980-1981, San Francisco became one of the focal points for the largest expansion of orchestral musician employment in the nation (and the world for that matter). It was also, therefore, a season of major personnel changes in the San Francisco Symphony.
Also, for the musicians, this transition could be in some cases be difficult. Although both the Symphony and the Opera were desirable careers, in some cases the musicians did not have a choice as to which group they would join. However, the expansion of the season and repertoire of the San Francisco Symphony flourished as a result.
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.
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Concertmasters
Eduard (or sometimes Edward or Édouard) Tak was born on October 3, 1881 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Eduard Tak studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory in about 1900. He then studied with Joachim at the Berlin Akademische Hochschule für Musik. Tak emigrated to the US in 1903 to join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he was a first violin under Theodore Thomas for two seasons 1903-1905. Following the death of Theodore Thomas during the 1904-1905 season in January, 1905, Eduard Tak joined the Philadelphia Orchestra first violin section in the 1905-1906 season. Tak then went to the New York Symphony for the 1906-1907 season. After New York, Eduard Tak then returned to the Netherlands, and concertized in Europe. According to the excellent Anne Mischakoff Heiles book "America's Concertmasters", Emil Paur heard Eduard Tak in Berlin and engaged Tak for the Pittsburgh Symphony 10. Eduard Tak was Concertmaster at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for the 1908-1909 season. In 1910-1911, Tak played again with the New York Symphony. Henry Hadley brought Eduard Tak with him from New York as Concertmaster for the inaugural 1911-1912 season, perhaps at the recommendation of Hadley's friend Victor Herbert, who knew Tak. In 1912, Eduard Tak joined the first violins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he stayed from 1912-1919. At this time, Eduard Tak or now Edward Tak became a US national. Tak then returned to New York City, where he was a concert violinist. In the 1921-1922 season, Edward Tak joined the New York Philharmonic were he stayed for eleven seasons 1921-1931. In the late 1930s, Edward Tak seems to have returned to Europe, and he died in Germany on December 28, 1943 after a career in which he performed in most of the leading US orchestras.
Adolph Rosenbecker in 1908 5
Adolph Rosenbecker was born in July 11, 1851 in Steinfurth, near Frankfurt, Germany. After studies with local teachers, at age 14, he began playing in the Saalbau Orchestra of Frankfurt until 1866. He then went to the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied violin with the famous teacher Ferd David, and conducting with Carl Reinecke during the years 1866-1869. Upon graduation, he was a first violin with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. In November 1869, to avoid mandatory service in the Prussian Army, he emigrated to New York City 6. He began playing in the German Opera of New York under Adolf Neuendorff (1843-1897). In 1870, Theodore Thomas asked him to join his New York-based touring orchestra, with which group Rosenbecker remained for 8 years, until 1877. In 1877, Rosenbecker relocated to Chicago. 1889-1892 Rosenbecker organized and conducted an orchestra in Chicago which played the "Turner Hall Concerts" and performed with visiting soloists, such as Pablo de Sarasate and Eugen d'Albert 85. Rosenbecker became a teacher at the Chicago Conservatory, and also directed a theater orchestra. Adolph Rosenbecker also organized and was conductor and sometime Concertmaster of a part-time ensemble he called the "Chicago Symphony Orchestra". This was not the group we now refer to as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The CSO from its creation in 1891 until 1905 was called the "Chicago Orchestra", when in 1905, to honor their recently deceased conductor, it was renamed the "Theodore Thomas Orchestra". The "Theodore Thomas Orchestra" name was further changed to the "Chicago Symphony Orchestra" in 1913. Rosenbecker's orchestra, made up primarily of Chicago musicians, played at May festivals and summer programs, and therefore help the musicians earn money in the off-season. Rosenbecker ended this ensemble's activity in 1910, but it added to his conducting experience. From 1910-1912, Adolph Rosenbecker was Concertmaster of the Chicago Grand Opera company. He then joined the San Francisco Symphony in the 1912-1913 season as its second Concertmaster, succeeding Edward Tak, who had returned east to the Boston Symphony. Adolph Rosenbecker was Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony for three seasons, 1912-1915. When Alfred Hertz arrived as Music Director in the 1915-1916 season, Rosenbecker became Assistant Conductor, and head of the second violin section (what we would now call Principal Second violin) 34. From contemporary records, Adolph Rosenbecker seems not to have finished the 1915-1916 season. He then left the San Francisco Symphony, and three years later, Adolph Rosenbecker died in 1919 7.
Louis Persinger was born in February 11, 1887 in Rochester, Illinois. By age 18, he was living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During 1909-1912 Persinger went to Europe to study with Eug?e Ysa? (1858-1931) and Jacques Thibaud (1880-1953) in France. Persinger became concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony in 1915 at age 28. He was also an associate conductor of the Orchestra. Persinger had several very successful students. Persinger played first violin with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Opera Royal of Brussels (Belgium). Persinger was Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony for eleven seasons, 1915-1925. Also organized the Persinger String Quartet in about 1918: Louis Persinger first, Louis Ford second, Nathan Firestone viola and Walter Ferner cello. Click on the thumbnail below to see the full picture of the Persinger Quartet:
In San Francisco, Persinger had a number of famous San Francisco violin students, including Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) whom Persinger began teaching at age six, Ruggiero Ricci (1918- ), and Isaac Stern (1920-2001). Persinger was also a good pianist, and he accompanied his student Ruggiero Ricci during a number of tours, and also recordings of the great violinist into the 1950s. Persinger was also an avid chess player. In 1930, Persinger relocated to New York, succeeding Leopold Auer (1845-1930) at the Institute of Musical Art (predecessor of the Juilliard School). Louis Persinger died December 31, 1966 in New York City.
Gdal Saleski 84 wrote of the violinist and Concertmaster of the Russian Symphony Orchestra Society of New York that Alexander Saslavsky (1876-1924) was Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony before Mishel Piastro, but records do not show this to have been the case.
Mishel Piastro circa 1945
Mishel Piastro was born June 19, 1891 in Kerch, Russia (now in the Ukraine). His father, also Mishel, was a student of Leopold Auer and he taught his son Michel the violin. Piastro also studied with Auer from 1906-1911 while at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1914, Piastro toured, and arrived in San Francisco in early April, 1920, after having traveled via Shanghai and Canada. Piastro then also toured the U.S., and made his New York debut in Carnegie Hall on October 3, 1920, to good reviews. Piastro became a citizen in San Francisco in 1927. He became Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony in 1925, under Alfred Hertz, remaining for five seasons, until the end of 1929-1930. In 1931, Piastro became Concertmaster of Toscanini's New York Philharmonic, remaining 1931-1943. Under Barbirolli, Piastro took up conducting, as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic beginning in 1941. This lead to Mishel Piastro being appointed conductor of the Longines Symphonette, a radio broadcasting orchestra. In 1943, Artur Rodzinski was appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, and he fired 14 orchestra musicians, including the Concertmaster, Mishel Piastro, and 6 other first-desk musicians 38. After the New York Philharmonic, Mishel Piastro continued his conducting with the Longines Symphonette into the late 1940s. Mishel Piastro also continued his teaching (Sidney Harth was one of this students 39). In the 1950s and 1960s, Mishel Piastro concentrated more on his conducting activities, and continued conducting and recording light classics into the early 1960s, including after the demise of the Longines Symphonette. Mishel Piastro died in April 1970 in New York City.
1931-1932 Nathan Abas
Nathan Abas as a conductor in 1939
Nathan Abas was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands October 23, 1896 to father Jacob Abas, a diamond cutter who later died in Auschwitz. Abas initially studied in Amsterdam at the Conservatorium. By about 1914, Nathan Abas was a first violinist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. He came to the New York City in May, 1917. Abas made his New York solo appearance in Town Hall to respectful, but luke-warm reviews ("...made a d?ut as violinist at Aeolian Hall last evening, was not without the frank awkwardness and timidity of a first public trial..." said the New York Times in 1924) 16. He performed orchestral music on the radio in New York City in 1925 and 1926. Abas came to San Francisco in 1927 for health following illness 303. Nathan Abas Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony for one season, 1931- 1932. While in San Francisco, he briefly taught Isaac Stern. He performed at local concerts in the mid-1930s. In the 1930s, Nathan Abas also formed the Abas String Quartet: Nathan Abas first, Karl Rossner second, Hubert Sorenson viola, Arthur Weiss cello. In the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Abas was playing in and conducting the northern California WPA orchestra created for musicians needing work during the depression. Abas died in Riverside, California June 1, 1980.
Andres Segovia (left) and Naoum Blinder in March 1958 at the time of the world premier of Rodrigo's Fantasia Para un Gentilhombre with Andres Segovia as soloist
Naoum Blinder was born July 19 (or perhaps July 6), 1889 in Lutsk, Russia, now in the Ukraine, of a musical family. His younger brother Boris Blinder (1898-1987) was a cellist and later Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony. Naoum Blinder took up the violin early. At about age 13, Blinder studied at the Imperial Conservatory, Odessa with Pyotr Stolyarsky (1871-1944), who also taught Nathan Milstein, David Oistrakh and Leonid Kogan. Leaving Odessa in about 1904, Naoum Blinder then studied at the Moscow Conservatory (but not at that time with Adolph Brodsky, as some sources state). In 1910-1913, Blinder studied in Manchester, England at the Royal Manchester College of Music with Adolph Brodsky (1851-1929) 82. Brodsky had played the world premiere of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto December 4, 1881, and later was Concertmaster of the New York Symphony 1891-1894. After New York, Brodsky was Concertmaster of the orchestra of Sir Charles Hallé (1819-1895), which brought him to Manchester. In about 1914, Naoum Blinder returned to Odessa to teach at the Imperial Conservatory 1914-1920. 33. Following the 1917 revolution, Blinder was on the faculty of the Moscow Conservatory from 1923 to September 1, 1927 33,82. Blinder left the Soviet Union with his wife and daughter by taking a concert tour in Japan in 1926, and never returning. Blinder arrived in San Francisco from Japan on the SS Shinyo Maru December 27, 1927. Blinder went to New York where he taught at the Institute of Musical Art (Juilliard), and he also recorded for Columbia Graphophone Co. However, in New York, Naoum and Eugenia Blinder's only child Elena tragically died of Tuberculosis 82. At the invitation of Issay Dobrowen, who had met Blinder in Russia in about 1921, Blinder accepted in 1932 the Concertmaster position of the San Francisco Symphony. However, within 18 months of his arrival, the San Francisco Symphony collapsed from lack of financing. The 1934-1935 San Francisco Symphony season was cancelled, and only three San Francisco Symphony musicians remained under contract: the conductors Basil Cameron and Issay Dobrowen, and the Concertmaster, Naoum Blinder.
Naoum Blinder in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives
Blinder was called by his friends "Nousha", and had many loyal violin students. Isaac Stern, a Blinder student from 1932-1937, in his autobiography My First 79 Years said: "...He [Naoum Blinder] spoke with and inherent dignity. His was a kind of benign strength. He didn't stamp out a student's personal approach to music so that one recognized the teacher, not the student. In time, his students constituted half the violinists of the orchestra. He was an astonishingly strong personality, without any trace of egotism about him...he let me develop my own voice..." 2 Isaac Stern studied with Blinder for 5 years, and Stern considered Blinder his only real teacher. in 1935, Blinder with Isaac Stern performed the Bach Double Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Orchestra 8. Naoum Blinder was also active in chamber music, and was a founder of the San Francisco String Quartet: Naoum Blinder first, William Wolski second, Romain Verney viola, and Michel Penha cello (and later consisting of: Naoum Blinder first, Eugene Heyes second, Nathan Firestone viola - Ferenc Molnar in later years - and Willem Dehe cello 155). At the end of Blinder's long tenure as Concertmaster, his eyesight gave him increasing problems such that at the end of the 1956-1957 season, he was compelled to retire 3. Isaac Stern also said that Naoum Blinder's wife, Eugenia ('Genia' 1895-1989), was also a close friend of Pierre Monteux's wife Doris 4. Naoum Blinder died November 21, 1965 in San Francisco. Isaac Stern said of his teacher: '...[Naoum Blinder] was the most intuitively gifted musician one can imagine, one who thought of the violin in terms of beauty and songfulness...' 83.
photo: Bill Cogan
Frank Houser was born March 15, 1916 in San Francisco. He studied violin for 10 years in San Francisco with Artur Argiewicz (1881-1966), who was teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. Isaac Stern in his autobiography says that Houser (with whom Stern studied) was also a student of Naoum Blinder 4. Frank Houser studied at University of California-Berkeley, and in 1936 was briefly in the house orchestra of NBC radio in San Francisco 35,36. In 1935, Frank Houser was one of the violinists hired by Pierre Monteux 36 when Monteux began rebuilding the San Francisco Symphony, following the symphony's brush with bankruptcy in the 1934-1935 season. He was Assistant Concertmaster to Naoum Blinder until succeeding Blinder. Frank Houser also performed in the San Francisco String Quartet, whose composition changed over the years, but was with his colleagues: Naoum Blinder first, Frank Houser second, Ferenc Molnar viola and Boris Blinder cello. When Naoum Blinder retired, in 1957, Frank Houser was acting Concertmaster for the 1957-1958 season. Then in 1958, Enrique Jorda named Frank Houser Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony. When Josef Krips became conductor, in his second season, 1963-1964, he made several changes in the violin section, including replacing Frank Houser with Jacob rachmalnick, previously Concertmaster of numerous orchestras, including the Philadelphia and the Concertgebouw. Frank Houser then moved to the second chair, next to Krachmalnick. Hauser also remained Concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera 35. Frank Houser died October 12, 1973 in San Francisco from leukemia, age only 57 36.
Jacob Krachmalnick was in born in Krisloff, Russia March 14, 1922, the year his family emigrated to Saint Louis. He was older brother to Samuel Krachmalnick (1926-2005), who became a well known Broadway musical conductor, and who also conducted at the New York City Opera. Jacob or "Jake" Krachmalnick took up the violin early, and he and his brother Sam both played at concerts at the St. Louis YMHA in the 1930s. Krachmalnick studied at the Curtis Institute 1936-1941, studying with Efrem Zimbalist, among others and graduating in the Class of 1941. At Tanglewood in 1942, he was coached by BSO Concertmaster Richard Burgin. Krachmalnick returned to St. Louis and played in the Symphony for several months, before entering the Air Force during World War 2. In May, 1946, Krachmalnick appeared with the National Orchestral Association (orchestra for students). Beginning in the Autumn of 1946, and until 1951, Krachmalnick was assistant Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, next to Concertmaster Josef Gingold. The next season, Krachmalnick went to Philadelphia, where he was Philadelphia Concertmaster from 1951-1958. He also performed at the Casals festival in Prades in 1953. Krachmalnick suddenly left the Philadelphia Orchestra at the end of the 1957-1958 season, after a series of disagreements with Ormandy. Then 1958-1960, Krachmalnick became Concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam under Eduard van Beinum. After van Beinum died, Krachmalnick remained at the Concertgebouw two more seasons, and then moved back to the U.S. On his return to the U.S., Krachmalnick again become assistant Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra 1960-1961 (this time next to Rafael Druian, Concertmaster) under George Szell. Krachmalnick, in the Spring of 1961, was briefly Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, replacing John Corigliano, who did not want to fly on the New York Philharmonic's tour of Japan. During this period, Krachmalnick was also a New York sessions musician, making a number of recordings. In about 1963, Jacob Krachmalnick was briefly Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony under Donald Johanos. Jacob Krachmalnick then moved to California and became Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony from 1964 to 1970 under Josef Krips. In 1976, he became Concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera, succeeding Peter Schaffer who went to New Zealand as Concertmaster of then New Zealand Symphony 177. Often, particularly in off-season from 1960 to the late 1980s, Krachmalnick did session recordings in Los Angeles, Hollywood and San Francisco. In the late 1970s, he taught at UCLA, and in the 1980s, Krachmalnick taught at the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Krachmalnick had a full, rich violin tone, and soloed with orchestras more often than many other Concertmasters. Jake Krachmalnick was said by his colleagues to be a difficult leader of the violins, given to harsh and sarcastic criticism of the first and second violins. Krachmalnick also often had stormy relationships with each orchestra in which he played. He died in Marin County (north of San Francisco) California on August 31, 2001.
Stuart Canin was born in New York City in April, 1926. He studied violin with the famous teacher Ivan Galamian (1903-1981). In 1959, Canin gained an international reputation by winning the First Prize of the Paganini International Violin Competition in Italy. Canin was Associate Concertmaster 1968-1970 as selected by Josef Krips. Canin therefore sat next to Concertmaster Jake Krachmalnick (now further resented by his colleagues due to his contemptuous attitude toward many). In the 1970-1971 season, when Seiji Ozawa arrived, he selected Stuart Canin as his new Concertmaster, and Krachmalnick departed to teach. Canin remained as Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony for ten seasons, 1970-1980. According to David Schneider's interesting book on the SFSO 11, the relationship between Stuart Canin and Edo de Waart, who succeeded Ozawa in the 1977-1978 season was less favorable. de Waart sought to minimize the impact of any change on Canin by offering him a Co-Concertmaster position. However, Canin eventually decided to decline this offer. After departing the SFSO, Canin taught at the Oberlin Conservatory. He was also Concertmaster at the Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. From 1990-1997, Stuart Canin led the New Century Chamber Orchestra, a conductor-less string orchestra with Canin as Music Director and Concertmaster In 2001, Kent Nagano appointed Stuart Canin Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera orchestra.
Raymond Kobler is a San Francisco native, having been born there on August 18, 1945. After studying locally Raymond Kobler entered the Music School of Indiana University (not yet the Jacobs School of Music) earning a Bachelor of Music degree in about 1966. After graduation, Kobler then joined the United States Marine White House String Quartet. While in Washington, Raymond Kobler also studied at Catholic University, where he received his Master's degree in Music. After serving with the Marine Corps, Raymond Kobler became Concertmaster of the Orchestra of the National Ballet in Maryland, just outside Washington in about 1969. Remaining in Washington D.C. Kobler then joined the National Symphony under Antal Dorati for two seasons, 1970-1972. Two years later, he won the audition for Assistant Concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony under Sergiu Comissiona 1972-1973. Raymond Kobler then moved to Cleveland, where for seven seasons 1973-1980, he was Associate Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. Following the departure of Stuart Canin from the SFSO, and the subsequent competition, Ray Kobler was appointed Concertmaster in 1980-1981 under Edo de Waart. He served as SFS Concertmaster for eighteen seasons with great critical and fan appreciation, 1980-1998 under as succession of music directors: Edo de Waart, Herbert Blomstedt and Michael Tilson Thomas. His wife, Catherine Van Hoesen from a musical family is also a San Francisco Symphony musician. Raymond Kobler during these SFS seasons gave the San Francisco premiers of a number of works, including: Frank Martin's Polyptyque (1973) in 1993, the Erich Wolfgang Korngold Violin Concerto (1945) in 1994 and the Miklós Rósa Violin Concerto, opus 24 (written for Heifetz in 1954) in 1996. After retiring at the end of the 1997-1998 season, Raymond Kobler continued to be active in chamber music and orchestras, including the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California where he has been Concertmaster 1999-present. Meanwhile, he is actively training a next generation of musicians at
Alexander Barantschik was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Russia in 1953. He studied at the Leningrad Conservatory, and still in his twenties performed with the Leningrad Philharmonic. In 1979, he moved to Germany to become Concertmaster of the Bamberg Symphony, in Bavaria under conductor James Loughran. Barantschik was from 1982-2001 Concertmaster of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. During the later years of his tenure with the Netherlands Radio orchestra, Alexander Barantschik was also Leader (Concertmaster) of the London Symphony Orchestra 1989-2001. Leading the London Symphony Orchestra, he toured Europe, Japan, and the US under Sir Colin Davis, and his solo playing can be heard on the many LSO recordings. André Previn selected Barantschik to give the 1998 European premiere of the Previn Violin Sonata and joined Alexander Barantschik in performances of his Serenades for Violin and Piano. Alexander Barantschik joined the San Francisco Symphony as Concertmaster in September 2001 under Michael Tilson Thomas. His tenure in San Francisco has been marked by a close relationship with his orchestral colleagues, and a warm following by his San Francisco fans. By an arrangement with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Alexander Barantschik plays the 1742 Guarnerius del Ges?violin once owned by Ferdinand David, soloist of the premiere of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in 1845, and acquired by Jascha Heifetz in 1922. In 2007, Alexander Barantschik performed the San Francisco premier of the violin concerto Aftersight by his friend Viktor Kissine (1953- ).
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Principal Cellos
Arthur Weiss was born in Hungary on May 6, 1869. He studied at the Budapest Conservatory with the famous musician David Popper in the 1890s.
David Popper (1843-1913)
Arthur Weiss played cello with the New York Symphony in about 1896. In about 1898, Arthur Weiss relocated to San Francisco, where he and his cello survived the 1905 earthquake. In San Francisco, he joined the Minetti String Quartet, with varying membership such as in 1915: Guilio Minetti first, Samuel Irving Savannah (1876-1940) second, Charles Heinsen viola, Arthur Weiss cello, and then in 1917, membership of: Guilio Minetti first, William Laraia second, Paul Whiteman viola - yes, the later big band leader, Arthur Weiss cello 236. Arthur Weiss also played chamber music in San Francisco and with the University of California - Berkeley Orchestra in 1905. Arthur Weiss was the first Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in the 1911-1912 season. The next season, Henry Hadley brought in his brother Arthur Hadley as Principal cell, and Arthur Weiss moved to the second chair as what we would now call Assistant Principal cello. Weiss continued in the second cello chair 1912-first half of 1915-1916 season when Stanilas Bem joined the San Francisco Symphony as Assistant Principal cello. At that time Arthur Weiss moved to the third chair. Weiss continued to serve in the cello section in San Francisco until the end of 1925-1926, a total of fifteen seasons. In the 1920s, Arthur Weiss organized the Arthur Weiss Cello Ensemble 220 consisting of twelve cellos. He was also active in chamber music. Arthur Weiss played the 1710 Vincenzo Ruggeri cello, which he had acquired from his teacher David Popper. Arthur Weiss died in Berkeley, California on March 4, 1954, just before his 85th birthday.
Arthur Hadley was born in Somerville, Massachusetts in November, 1875 into a musical family. His father, Samuel Henry Hadley (1854- ) was a music teacher in the Somerville public schools. His brother Henry Hadley was a successful composer and conductor, including the first Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. Arthur Hadley was Principal cello for several seasons with Emil Mollenhauer's Boston Festival Orchestra , a pick-up orchestra organized each season for summer festivals. Arthur Hadley was a cellist with the Boston Symphony 1904-1912. Then, in the 1912-1913 season, Arthur Hadley followed his brother to the San Francisco Symphony. Arthur Hadley was Principal cello for three seasons, 1912-1915. He then returned to Boston, where he was a soloist and chamber music player. With Jessie M. Downer-Eaton (1872-about 1954) and Louis Eaton (1872-1852), Arthur Hadely founded the Eaton-Hadley Trio based in Boston which gave the Boston premier of the Rachmaninoff Trio Elegiaque. Arthur Hadley died in Boston in 1936.
Horace Britt was born on June 18, 1881, in Antwerp, Belgium. Britt was a child prodigy, and grew up in Paris with his brother Roger (violin) and his sister Gasane (harp), under the supervision of their parents Ernst and Maria Britt. When Horace Britt was 6, his mother began his training in solfege. He therefore learned to sight read before he took up an instrument. Horace studied cello, and his brother Roger Britt, the violin. Horace Britt returned to Antwerp to study cello Gustav Faes to prepare him for the Paris Conservatoire entrance examination 30. In November, 1892, at the age of 11, Horace Britt won entrance to the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Jules Delsart 1892-1895. Britt won the Conservatoire cello Premier prix in 1895, at age 14, the youngest winner to that time 30 (his record was broken the next year by 13 year old Paul Bazelaire). Horace Britt was cello solo with the Lamoureux Orchestra in 1897, and with the Colonne Orchestra in 1898. Britt made his American debut with the Chicago Symphony (then the Theodore Thomas Orchestra) in 1907. At that time, Britt was Principal cello of the Chicago Symphony 1905-1907. Horace Britt's brother Roger was a first violin with the Philadelphia Orchestra 1918-1924. After Chicago, Horace Britt became Principal cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra for one season, 1907-1908. In the 1910s, Britt became Principal cello of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. After the MET, Horace Britt was appointed Principal cello of the San Francisco Orchestra by Alfred Hertz in Hertz's first season 1915-1916. Britt remained SFS Principal cello for six seasons, 1915-1921. Horace Britt in the early 1920s also was cello with the Hans Letz Quartet: Hans Letz first, Edwin Bachmann second (later of Toscanini's NBC Symphony), Edward Kreiner, viola (also later of Toscanini's NBC Symphony), Horace Britt cello. In 1924-1925 season, Horace Britt became Principal cello with the Minneapolis Symphony, under Henri Verbrugghen. During the 1925-1926 season, Horace Britt taught at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Horace Britt in the late 1920s performed with the Elman String Quartet: Mischa Elman first, Adolf Bak second, Karl Rissland viola, Horace Britt cello. The Elman Quartet also recorded for Victor records in 1927, and in the same year, was the first cellist to be recorded on a sound movie. In the 1940s, Horace Britt formed the Britt Trio. From 1947-1950, Britt was visiting Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and then joined the faculty. Britt continued at University of Texas 1950-1963, when he retired as Professor Emeritus, Horace Britt died in Austin, Texas on February 3, 1971, age 89.
Walter Ferner was born February 11, 1880 in Baltimore, Maryland. He went to Europe to study, and in his artist's biography in newspaper reviews, is said to have been "...Walter Ferner, violin-cellist, who for years occupied the position of solo cellist [i.e. Principal cello] with the great Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin..." 189. This of course would have been a major achievement for a young cellist from Baltimore. Prior to San Francisco, Walter Ferner played in the cello section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 1915-1919. He was then appointed Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony by Alfred Hertz in the 1921-1922 season, succeeding Horace Britt. Ferner also succeeded Horace Britt as cellist of the Chamber Music Society of San Francisco: Louis Persinger first, Louis Ford second, Nathan Firestone viola, William Ferner cello and Elias Hecht flute. Elias Hecht had organized the group in about 1911. Walter Ferner remained Principal cello in San Francisco for five seasons 1921-1925. He then left the orchestra, along with Louis Persinger to join the Persinger String Quartet full time Persinger String Quartet: Louis Persinger first, Louis Ford second, Nathan Firestone viola and Walter Ferner cello. Click on the thumbnail below to see the full picture of the Persinger Quartet:
Walter Ferner was Principal cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the 1920s. Ferner died in San Francisco on January 8, 1952.
Michel Penha in about 1920
Michel Penha was born in December, 14 1888 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He came from a musical family, his father Maurice Penha also being a musician. Penha graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatoire in 1905, at age 16 152. He had studied with Isaac Mossel (1870-1923). Penha also studied with Hugo Becker (1864-1941), perhaps at Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium in Frankfurt. Michel Penha made his first concert appearance in Amsterdam in 1907 and then toured Europe. He relocated to New York in 1909. From 1909-1918, Michel Penha was active in New York City as part of the Tollefsen Piano Trio 154, led by Carl Tollefsen, at that time first violin of the New York Symphony. Michel Penha also formed the Penha Trio, based in New York City. Penha also performed chamber music recitals in New York. In 1915-1916, Penha toured South America with Chilean composer and pianist Alberto Guerrero (1886-1959) including in Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, and Cuba. In the 1920-1921 season, Michel Penha was appointed Principal cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra by Leopold Stokowski. Penha was Principal cello for five seasons, beginning in 1920, the same season in which Romain Verney joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as Principal viola. Also like his friend Verney, Michel Penha left the Philadelphia Orchestra at the end of the 1924-1925 season to relocate to San Francisco. Michel Penha become Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony appointed by Alfred Hertz in the 1925-1926 season. In the late 1920s, Penha and Verney were together members of two string quartets, chamber music groups forming an important part of Penha's career. These were the California String Quartet: Robert Pollack first, William Wolski second, Romain Verney viola, and Michel Penha cello, which continued into the 1940s. The other was the Abas String Quartet, with Nathan Abas first, Hubert Sorenson (1910-1971) second, Abraham Weiss viola and (for at least part of the time) Michel Penha cello. In 1938, Michel Penha was a member of the San Francisco String Quartet, founded by SFS Concertmaster Naoum Blinder: Naoum Blinder first, William Wolski second, Romain Verney viola, and Michel Penha cello. Penha in 1930 relocated to Portland, Oregon for a time, although still active in the San Francisco area. In Oregon, he played in the Neah-Kah-Nie String Quartet: Susie Fennell Pipes first, Hubert Sorenson second, Alexander Vdovin viola and Michel Penha cello. In 1951 in California, Penha joined the Roussel Trio of Doriot Anthony (later Dwyer) flute, Harry Rumpler viola, and Michel Penha cello, based in Los Angeles. Penha was also active as a Hollywood studio musician at the MGM Studios153. Michel Penha seems never to have married, and died in Los Angeles in February 10, 1982, age 93.
Willem Dehé was born in Groningen in the north of the Netherlands June 1, 1884. After training at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Willem Dehé went to Russia, it seems to the present day Ukraine, as a musician. According to one account, Dehé joined a string quartet for a wealthy Kiev nobleman. In the Ukraine, Willem Dehé married Maria Loekina Moescha. With the advent of the Russian Revolution, Willem Dehé and his wife left Russia, going back to the Netherlands. Willem Dehé remained only briefly in Groningen, and then to the US in 1920. His wife and child stayed behind, not having proper papers. Willem Dehé made his way to San Francisco by summer 1922, when he formed the Berkeley String Quartet (Antonio de Grassi first, Robert Rourke second, Pietro Brascia viola and Willem Dehé cello) on the University of California - Berkeley campus 150, and continuing into 1923. By April, 1923, Willem Dehé is listed by the Oakland Tribune as being a member of the cello section of the San Francisco Symphony 150. Willem Dehé was appointed Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1930-1931 season. He continued in the first cello chair until the performances of the San Francisco Symphony were suspended in the 1934-1935 season.
When Pierre Monteux reconstituted the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1935, he named Willem van den Berg as Principal cello, with Willem Dehé in the fourth chair of the cello section. The next season, 1936-1937, Van den Berg continued as Principal cello, but Willem Dehé was advanced to the second chair; what we would call today Assistant Principal cello. This continued 1936-1939, with Boris Blinder succeeding Van den Berg as Principal in 1938-1939. During this time, 1936-1940, Willem Dehé was also active in the San Francisco String Quartet: Naoum Blinder first, Eugene Heyes second, Nathan Firestone viola (Ferenc Molnar in later years), and Willem Dehé cello 155. However, in the late 1930s and culminating in the 1939-1940 season, Pierre Monteux was said to be unhappy with his cello section. For the 1939-1940 season, three cellists were listed as "solo": Boris Blinder, Willem Dehé and Herman Reinberg, with Dehé listed first. The other cellists rotated seating in alphabetical order during that season. In 1940-1941, Willem Van den Berg was back as Principal cello, with Willem Dehé as Assistant Principal cello, followed by Herman Reinberg and Boris Blinder in the third and fourth cello chairs. It seems that Monteux continued to search for his preferred ensemble, since in 1941-1942, Boris Blinder was back in the Principal cello chair, Dehé continuing as Assistant Principal cello, and Herman Reinberg in the third cello chair. Willem van den Berg had departed to join the music faculty at nearby Mills College, where Darius Milhaud also taught. A new hire, Rudolph Kirs was in the fourth cello chair. However, this did not last long, since during this 1941-1942 season Willem Dehé died suddenly on February 8, 1942 in San Francisco, age only 57. He had suffered an aortic aneurysm, in which the wall of the aorta weakens and can rupture causing rapid death. He was mourned by his colleagues, some of whom believed Dehé was reaching his highest level as a musician.
Van den Berg as a conductor in 1939
Willem van den Burg was born in the Hague, Netherlands in 1901. Van den Burg studied at the Hague Conservatory, where he won the Foch medal 47. In the early 1920s, Van den Burg studied briefly with Pablo Casals at L'École normale supérieure in Paris 49. He came to the US in 1924. In the 1925-1926 season, Willem van den Berg joined the San Francisco Symphony under Alfred Hertz as Assistant Principal cello sitting next to Principal cello Michel Penha.
The next season, Willem van den Berg moved to the Philadelphia Orchestra, selected by Leopold Stokowski to become Principal cello, replacing Hanns Pick who lasted with Stokowski only one season. Willem van den Berg was Principal cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra for nine seasons, 1926-1935. Van den Berg also branched into conducting. He conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra at Robin Hood Dell (summer concerts in Philadelphia) in the 1930s 48. Also in Philadelphia in the early 1930s, Willem Van den Berg with Alexander Hilsberg, David Madison and Samuel Lifschey, all of the Philadelphia Orchestra, formed the Guarnerius Quartet in the 1930s (not the same as the famous Guarneri Quartet formed by Arnold Steinhardt in 1964). In the 1935-1936 season, Van den Berg was hired by Pierre Monteux to return as Principal cello of the newly reconstituted San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and also as Assistant Conductor. Van den Burg had appeared as a cello soloist with Monteux in Philadelphia and Amsterdam 50. Van den Burg had an on-again off-again relationship with the Francisco Symphony cello section as he pursued his conducting. He was Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony 1935-1938 and 1940-1941, with Boris Blinder and Willem Dehé replacing him in the Principal cello chair for the two intervening seasons.. Van den Burg also conducted local amateur orchestras such as in Sacramento, and the WPA orchestra of San Francisco Bay 45. In 1942, Willem van den Burg joined the faculty of Mills College in Berkley, California 46 where Darius Milhaud also taught. From 1950 to about 1954, Willem van den Burg was later Principal cello and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Alfred Wallenstein. Willem van den Burg arranged cello training pieces entitled 67 Etudes for the Cello on the Beethoven Quartets which are still used today for cello instruction. In the 1950s, Willem van den Burg was part of the American Chamber Players along with Ingolf Dahl, Milton Thomas and his wife Dorothy Wade. In the 1960s, van den Burg taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he also was part of the Cowell Trio, made up of faculty members Julia Zaustinsky, violin, Willem van den Burg, cello, and Bella S. Zilagi, piano. He also played cello in Hollywood studios in the 1960s. Willem van den Burg died in California in 1992 after a rich and varied career.
1939-1940 -In the 1939-1940 season, Pierre Monteux was apparently unhappy with his first chair cello performance. During that season, he decided to rotate each member of the cello section below the first cello chairs 'in alphabetical order' 77. This was a practice which of course would not be accepted today, either by the musicians, nor their employment agreements. This seemed to have resulted in Boris Blinder being named Principal cello in the 1940-1941 season, although Willem van den Burg also seems to have been listed as being 'solo'. Both Boris Blinder and first Willem van den Burg, and later George Barati were listed being 'first cello' or 'solo cello' in SFSO publicity during the 1940s, so perhaps Monteux employed co-Principal celli during this period.
Boris Blinder in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives
Boris Blinder was born September 6, 1898 in Lutsk, Russia (now the Ukraine), brother to Naoum Blinder. He studied with two Dutch-born cello teachers: Jacques Van Lier (1875-1951) in Berlin in about 1913, and with Joseph Salmon (1864-1943) in Paris. In Paris, Boris Blinder had also played Principal cello under Pierre Monteux in L'Orchestre symphonique de Paris (not the same group as the later L'Orchestre de Paris) in 192979. When Naoum Blinder located to San Francisco, Boris Blinder did also. Prior to joining the San Francisco Symphony, Boris Blinder was cello soloist in concerti with the San Francisco Bay Works Progress Administration orchestra in 1937. In the 1938-1939 season, Boris Blinder was named by Pierre Monteux as Principal cello with the San Francisco Symphony However, the next year in the 1939-1940 season, it seems that Pierre Monteux had became dissatisfied with the cello section. That season, there were three cellists listed as "Solo": Willem Dehe Herman Reinberg, and Boris Blinder, in that order. Monteux also decided to rotate each member of the cello section, below the "Solo" celli 'in alphabetical order' 77. Then, the next year in the 1940-1941 season, Boris Blinder was again listed as the sole Principal cello under Monteux. Boris Blinder remained in the first cello chair for twenty-three further seasons, 1940-1963. During the 1940s, Boris Blinder was also a member, with his brother, of the San Francisco String Quartet: Naoum Blinder first, Frank Hauser second, Ferenc Molnar, viola, and Boris Blinder, cello. Boris Blinder retired from the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 1962-1963 season. In the 1960s, Boris Blinder was also active in the Aeolian Ensemble, a chamber music group. Boris Blinder died in San Francisco January 31, 1987, age 88.
Robert Sayre was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1927. He began his cello studies at age nine with Joseph Derdeyn and Eero Davidson 96. At age about 14, Sayre entered the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where he studied with Gregor Piatigorsky. In 1943, Robert Sayre won the Edgar Stillman Kelley Music Scholarship 96 . Robert Sayre graduated from the Curtis Institute in 1948 95, and joined the Cleveland Orchestra cello section 97 where he served for three seasons 1949-1952. Robert Sayre won the Piatigorsky Prize in 1950 and joined the cello section for summer programs of the Boston Pops. In 1953-1955, Robert Sayre was Principal cello with the San Antonio Symphony. Robert Sayre then went to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal cello 97. In 1960, Sayre played concerts in Europe. From 1960-1963, Sayre was Principal cello with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Then, in the 1963-1963 season, Robert Sayre became Principal cello of the San Francisco Opera under Kurt Herbert Adler 98. The next season, appointed by Josef Krips, Sayre was Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra from 1964-1976. Seiji Ozawa wanted to re-seat Robert Sayre from Principal cello, Rolf Persinger from Principal viola, and Donald Reinberger from Principal trumpet. Persinger accepted a demotion in the viola section, but Sayre did not accept demotion in the cello section 9. Sayre instead resigned from the SFSO at the end of the 1975-1976 season to pursue a solo playing career and to develop a conducting position. Sayre founded the San Francisco Young Professionals Orchestra in 1977, which he conducted, and of which the average age was 25 98. In 1966, Robert Sayre gave the premier of the Sonata for Cello and Piano which he commissioned from Andrew Imbrie (1921-2007). Robert Sayre also taught cello at the San Francisco Conservatory. Robert Sayre has also recorded extensively in the US and in Europe.
Michael Grebanier was born in New York City April 27, 1937. He studied at the Curtis Institute where he graduated in the Class of 1958. In New York, he studied with Carl Ziegler of the NBC Symphony. At Curtis, Michael Grebanier he studied with Orlando Cole of the Curtis String Quartet, and Leonard Rose. Grebanier made his recital debut in New York City in 1956 at the age of nineteen. Michael Grebanier joined the cello section of the Cleveland Orchestra, where his teacher, Leonard Rose had previously been Principal Cello, in the 1959-1960 season under George Szell. Grebanier remained in Cleveland for 4 seasons: 1959-1963. Michael Grebanier then became Principal cello of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for fourteen seasons 1963-1977 under William Steinberg and André Previn.
Michael Grebanier next became Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in the 1977-1978 season under Edo de Waart. He is married to fellow San Francisco Symphony musician, violinist Sharon W. Grebanier. In 1984, with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and pianist Garrick Ohlsson, Michael Grebanier formed the San Francisco FOG trio.
Garrick Ohlsson piano, Jorja Fleezanis violin, Michael Grebanier cello
Michael Grebanier was also active in summer festivals, including the Marlboro Festival - Vermont and the Casals Festival - Puerto Rico.
Although Michael Grebanier continued to be listed on the San Francisco Symphony roster, beginning in about 2016 he suffered from prolonged illness. Michael Grebanier died on 19 December 2019 at age 82 after a long and rich career. As of summer 2020, the Principal cello chair remained open with auditions scheduled for late 2020.
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Principal Violas
Bernat Jaulus was born on August 7, 1865 in Budapest, Hungary, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Jaulus seems to have studied at the Budapest conservatoire. According to a 1929 newspaper account of the closing of the famous San Francisco Orpheum Theater, Bernat Jaulus first came to San Francisco in 1887. "...[the] Orpheum's first 'stupendous attraction' was Rosner's Electric Orchestra, imported from Budapest, Hungary, at a cost of $6,000. Edmond Rosner was the Electric organist; Ferdinand Stark, violin, soloist; Dionys Remandi, conductor, and Bernat Jaulus, concertmaster. There were 22 in the orchestra..." 149. He became a US citizen in 1898. In the 1910s, Bernat Jaulus lead small orchestras, including at the large Portola Restaurant in San Francisco, in which he may also have had a partial ownership beginning in 1909. In 1911, Bernat Jaulus was named the first Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony by Henry Hadley. As such, Hadley was fulfilling his promise to recruit the orchestra heavily from musicians of the San Francisco area. Given the short season and the times of the first concerts, initially Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons, there was not a conflict between musicians engagements with the San Francisco Symphony, and their work with local theater and hotel orchestras. Bernat Jaulus left the San Francisco Symphony after the single 1911-1912 season. As an active conductor, Jaulus also organized popular "Promenade Concerts" in San Francisco in the late 1910s. Then, in the 1917-1918 season, Alfred Hertz named Bernat Jaulus to become again the Principal viola of the San Francisco Orchestra. Jaulus also conducted massive orchestral groups at the 1920 San Francisco Festival in San Francisco parks. in the 1920s, Bernat Jaulus lead the orchestra of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Such orchestra jobs were to be preferred over the San Francisco Orchestra, since they were year-around jobs, unlike the short seasons of the orchestra, even if combined with the San Francisco Opera. Bernat Jaulus died of a heart attach on May 9, 1922 in San Francisco at age 56.
Berkshire String Quartet: (l to r) Hugo Kortschak first, Sergei Kotlarsky second, Emmeran Stoeber cello, Clarence Evans viola in 1918
Clarence Evans was born in St. Paul, Minnesota April 16, 1888. As a youth, he studied violin and viola in Duluth, Minnesota. One of his first positions was as Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony under Alfred Hertz. Clarence Evans joined the orchestra as Principal viola in the 1912-1913 season. He remained Principal viola three seasons 1912-1915. When August Plemenik joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal cello in the 1915-1916 season, Clarence Evans moved to the second viola chair position for one season. While in San Francisco, Clarence Evans was also active in a quartet of San Francisco musicians comprising Louis Ford first, Emil Rossett second, Clarence Evans viola and Victor de Gomez cello97. Clarence Evans continued active in string quartets during his career. In the 1917-1918 season, Clarence Evans was a founding member of the Berkshire String Quartet, based in New York City and funded by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953). From 1917-1919, the Berkshire String Quartet consisted of Hugo Kortschak first, Jacques Gordon second, Clarence Evans viola and Emmeran Stoeber cello. Hugo Kortschak was previously a violinist of the Chicago Symphony 1907-1914, and Emmeran Stoeber was a CSO cellist 1914-1915. Of course Jacques Gordon was Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 1921-1930. In 1919-1920, Clarence Evans played in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Ossip Gabrilowitsch (1878-1936). The next season, 1920-1921, Clarence Evans joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra viola section, where he remained for 27 seasons. Evans became Principal viola in the 1926-1927 season and continued until the end of the 1938-1939 season. He remained with the orchestra another 11 seasons, retiring at the end of the 1946-1947 season. After conducting amateur orchestras in the Chicago area in the early 1930s, in 1936, Evans conducted at least one broadcast concert of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from the Grant Park summer music festival. From 1936-1946, Clarence Evans was Assistant Conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for young orchestra players. In later years Clarence Evans apparently became heavy in build according to press accounts; he died after 1969. His wife Louise, also a musician greatly outlived Clarence, dying in 1994 age 98.
Ralph D. Wetmore was born in Springfield, Ohio on June 18, 1883. He studied first with his music teacher mother Arabella Wetmore (1861-1946) and then with Robert Braine in Springfield, Ohio.. According to Etude magazine of May 1898, "...During a recent visit to Springfield, Ohio, where he gave a recital, Pugno, the great French pianist, discovered a new musical genius in the person of Master Ralph Wetmore, a fourteen-year-old violinist of Springfield. Pugno, on hearing the lad play a violin solo by Wieniawski, was so delighted that he caught him up in his arms and hugged and kissed him in demonstrative French fashion. He said if the boy would come to Paris he would...use his influence in getting him into the Paris Conservatoire...". Instead of Paris, Wetmore went on to study in Germany at the the Berlin Akademische Hochschule der Musik 212 1902-1907. After returning to the US, 1907 until at least 1912, Ralph Wetmore was a musician in Springfield, Ohio. With the formation of the San Francisco Symphony in 1912, Henry Hadley appointed Wetmore to be Principal Second violin 1912-1915. With the arrival of Alfred Hertz, Ralph Wetmore moved to the third chair of the first violins early in the 1915-1916 season. During the 1915-1916 season, he was appointed Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony by Alfred Hertz in mid-season as a result of the departure of Clarence Evans, to complete Evan's season. However, during the next season, 1916-1917, Wetmore also did not complete the season, being replaced, apparently on an interim basis by Nathan Firestone. After the San Francisco Symphony, Ralph Duncan was a musician in the orchestra of the Strand Theater in San Francisco. He also taught at the University of California - Berkeley 211.
Nathan Firestone in 1917
Nathan Firestone was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1869 of Romanian parents. His younger brother Max William Firestone (1889-1968) was also a musician, and they may have studied with their father, William Firestone, who earned his living as a traveling salesman in Minneapolis. Max Firestone played in San Francisco theater and radio orchestras, who also played on cruise ships. The Firestone mother and Nathan and Max moved to the San Francisco area in about 1905. In 1906, at age 17 Nathan Firestone had his first professional orchestra position. In January, 1906, Nathan Firestone was one of four new second violins hired by the Orchestra of the University of California in Berkeley 78. This brought the Berkeley orchestra to 67 musicians. He also later played viola in the Berkeley orchestra. This of course was prior to the creation of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, which would not be founded until six seasons later in 1911-1912. In 1910, Nathan Firestone also played in a theater orchestra, probably to supplement his income as did most all musician of that era. Nathan Firestone joined the first violin section of the San Francisco Symphony in its inaugural season 1911-1912. Nathan Firestone continued in the first violin section 1911-1916. At the time of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in the Summer of 1915, Firestone was also Principal viola in the Exposition orchestra. Since this was a summer engagement, Firestone could do this while still fulfilling his San Francisco Symphony duties. At that time, the San Francisco Symphony season extended only from January to April. From 1911 to about 1914, while still in the SFSO, Nathan Firestone was active in the Beel Quartet with Sigmund Beel, first, Emilio Meriz, second, Firestone, viola, and Wencescio Villalpando, cello. Firestone was active in a number of chamber music groups throughout his career. This included in the 1930s the San Francisco String Quartet: Naoum Blinder first, Eugene Heyes second, Nathan Firestone viola (Ferenc Molnar in later years), and Willem Dehe cello 155. In the 1916-1917 season, Nathan Firestone was appointed Principal viola by Alfred Hertz, succeeding August Plemenik. On the appointment of Bernat Jaulus as Principal viola in the 1917-1918 season, Nathan Firestone moved either to the second chair in the viola section, or joined the first violins of the San Francisco Orchestra. In the 1936-1937 season, Pierre Monteux again appointed Nathan Firestone as Principal viola, where he remained for five more seasons. Nathan Firestone served in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for thirty seasons, from its initial 1911-1912 season until the end of the 1940-1941 season 113.
1917-1918 Bernat Jaulus Principal viola
See the description of the career of Bernat Jaulus in the 1911-1912 paragraph above.
Brahms Quintet of Los Angeles: (left to right) Oskar Seiling first violin, Axel Simonson cello,
Homer Grunn piano, Rudolph Kopp viola, Louis Rovinsky second violin circa 1914
Louis Rovinsky was born December 8, 1892 in New Haven, Connecticut. After his family relocated to California, Louis Rovinsky studied with Franz Wilczek (said to be a student of Joseph Joachim) in Los Angeles. Rovinsky was a founding member in 1914 of the the "Brahms Quintet of Los Angeles", consisting of: Oskar Seiling (1882-1958) first violin, Louis Rovinsky second viola, Rudolf Kopp (1887-1971) viola, Axel Simonson (1882-1979) cello, Homer Grunn (1880-1944) piano. Also prior to relocating to San Francisco, Louis Rovinsky was a violin with the Los Angeles Symphony - predecessor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic 256. Louis Rovinsky was appointed Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony by Alfred Hertz in the 1918-1919 season. After one season with the San Francisco Symphony, Louis Rovinsky was a musician in the Palace Hotel orchestra - San Francisco. After a career in San Francisco, Louis Rovinsky seems to have died prior to 1954.
Lajos Fenster was born in San Francisco of Hungarian parents on December 22, 1899. Fenster's father, Theodore Fenster, was a violinist, a composer and orchestra leader. Theodore Fenster also played in the Rosner Orchestra. His mother was a pianist; His sister, Violet Fenster was a successful concert pianist. Lajos Fenster was regarded as a child prodigy. The Pacific Coast Musical Review of November 5, 1910 said: "It is our firm conviction that young Fenster is a genius of the rarest faculties At about this time, Lajos Fenster attended the Berlin Akademische Hochschule fur Musik, where he studied with Willy Pless 168. With the advent of World War 1, Lajos Fenster returned to the US. In that year, 1914, Fenster was a member of the Siusheimer String Quartet, Bernard Siusheimer first, Lajos Fenster second, Joseph Kovarik viola, Willem Durieux cello playing across the US 167. Lajos Fenster joined the San Francisco Symphony in the first violin section in the 1916-1917 season. He played violin for three seasons until the end of 1918-1919. Lajos Fenster was then named Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony by Alfred Hertz in 1919-1920. Fenster was Principal viola for six seasons 1919-1925 138. Then, in the 1925-1926 season, under Alfred Hertz, Lajos Fenster moved to the Assistant Concertmaster position, joining the new Concertmaster Mishel Piastro at the first violin stand. Lajos Fenster was Assistant Concertmaster 1925-1927 and 1929-1937. Lajos Fenster continued with the San Francisco Symphony until the 1936-1937 season. During this time he also taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he met his second wife, pianist wife Elizabeth McCoy. In the latter half of 1936 and into 1937, Fenster became progressively more emotionally fragile and upset 168. He suffered a breakdown and missed several concerts during the 1936-1937 season; he died during the season on April 29, 1937, age only 37.
Romain Verney in 1906
Romain Verney was born in France in March 20, 1878. He gained entrance to the Paris Conservatoire where he gained his Premier prix in about the 1896 Concour. Following the Conservatoire, Romain Verney played viola in the Concerts Colonne Orchestra. During this time, he was the stand partner of Pierre Monteux; Monteux was Principal viola of the Concerts Colonne 1893-1912. Romain Verney emigrated to the U.S. in 1905. Romain's father Joseph Verney was also a musician, playing in the French Republican Guards and the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. Romain Verney taught at the Institute for Musical Studies (Julliard) from about 1906-1909. In 1910, he was Principal viola of the New York Symphony. He was Principal viola at the Chicago Opera during World War 1. He returned to the New York Symphony as Principal Viola in 1919. Verney joined the Philadelphia Orchestra the same season as Michel Penha, and stayed during the same term. While in Philadelphia, he also was a member of the of the Rich Quartet: Thaddeus Rich first, Harry Aleinikoff second, Romain Verney viola and Hans Kindler cello. Romain Verney was Principal viola in Philadelphia for five seasons from 1920-1925. In 1925, Verney moved to California. He was Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony succeeding Lajos Fenster under Alfred Hertz 1925-1931, and Co-Principal viola with Jascha Veissi in the 1931-1932 season. Then, during 1932-1934, Verney moved back in the San Francisco viola section, and again after the suspension of the San Francisco Symphony in 1934-1935 season, continued until 1936. In the 1936-1937 season Pierre Monteux advanced his old stand parter to the Associate Principal viola chair of the San Francisco Symphony. Nathan Firestone was at that time Principal viola. Romain Verney remained Associate Principal viola in San Francisco through the 1955-1956 season. He was stand partner with Principal viola Ferenc Molnar 1943-1956. Verney then remained in the viola section for one more season, retiring at the end of 1956-1957 after more than fifty seasons of orchestral service. Roman Verney lived in San Mateo, a San Francisco suburb where he also taught viola at Mills College and also at the Peninsula Conservatory of Music San Mateo, California in 1950s. In the late 1920s and into the 1930s, Verney was also a member of the California String Quartet: Robert Pollack first, William Wolski second, Romain Verney viola, and Verney's old friend Michel Penha cello, and the Abas String Quartet, also with Penha. In 1938, he was a member of a similar group, the San Francisco String Quartet, founded by SFS Concertmaster Naoum Blinder: Naoum Blinder first, William Wolski second, Romain Verney viola, and Michel Penha cello (and with the membership changing in later seasons 155). Romain Verney died in San Mateo, California on June 28, 1967, aged 89 after a full career including a half century of leading orchestral work and teaching of several generations of musicians.
Jascha Veissi in 1947
Jascha Veissi was born Joseph Weissman in a village in the Ukraine (then Russia) near Odessa on January 25, 1898. He was brother of Harold Veissi, born Chuma Weissman in 1908. Jascha Veissi/Joseph Weissman studied violin at the Odessa Conservatory. Before World War 1, Jascha Veissi, then still Joseph Weissman studied in Paris. At some point in Paris, likely later, he formed a friendship with the great Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) whose music he later championed. Joseph Veissi, still know as Joseph Weissman emigrated to the US in 1920. He joined the violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1921-1922 season. During 1922, he adopted the name of Joseph Veissi and continued with the Cleveland Orchestra first violin section in the 1922-1923 season. He further adapted his name to "Jascha " during 1925. Jascha Veissi was advanced to Assistant Concertmaster in Cleveland for four seasons, 1923-1927, and then to Second Concertmaster 1927-1929. His brother Harold Veissi, born Chuma Weissman also joined the Cleveland Orchestra second violins 1927-1930. While in Cleveland, Jascha Veissa also played keyboard 1922-1929, being named Principal piano 1926-1929. In 1929, Jascha Veissi relocated to San Francisco, where he joined the orchestra first violins in the 1929-1930 season. Veissi was Seattle Symphony Concertmaster during the summer of 1929 244. After two seasons with the SFS first violins, Jascha Veissi was named Co-Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony with Romain Verney in 1931-1932 season. Veissi became Principal viola in San Francisco in 1932-1934 at which time the symphony suspended its activities. Jascha Veissi then moved to Los Angeles. Jascha Veissi played viola with the Los Angeles Philharmonic from about 1934-1938. At that time, he owned a magnificent property on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles which he later sold to Lauritz Melchior (1890-1973) who in turn later sold it to Warren Beatty. Jascha Veissi played briefly with the Kolisch Quartet in about 1939-1941. The regular members of the Kolisch Quartet in that period were Rudolf Kolisch first, Felix Khuner second, Eugene Lehner viola, and Benar Heifetz cello. From about 1941-1943, Jascha Veissi suffered from an injury to his hand, and only gradually regained his playing ability. Then in the mid-1945s, Jascha Veissi turned to a solo career, playing with Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in the summer of 1945, and at festivals in the 1950s. in 1952, Jascha Veissi commissioned the work which became the Martinu Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. Jascha Veissi gave the premier of this work with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra in 1953. Jascha Veissi then lived in Santa Barbara, California in the 1950s, teaching at the Music Academy of the West. He also joined the Scripps Chamber Music Players in the late 1950s. by 1970, Jascha Veissi played chamber music in California with a group of famous retired Principals of famous orchestras: The Crown Players made up of Rosario Mazzio clarinet, William Corbett Jones piano, Jascha Veissi viola and Willem Van Den Burg cello. During most of his career, Jascha Veissi played a Gaspar de Salo viola. Jascha Veissi died in Carmel, California on October 11 1983.
Ferenc Molnar with the Roth Quartet
(left to right) Jeno Antal second, Ferenc Molnar viola, Janos Scholz cello, Feri Roth first
Ferenc Molnar was born in Hungary on November 15, 1895, and studied initially as a Mechanical Engineer. Ferenc Molnar served in World War 1 as an officer in the Hungarian army. He was captured and spent five years as a prisoner in Siberia. Newspaper accounts quoted Molnar as reporting that during his imprisonment he pried pieces of dried wood from his bunk and used steel wires to fashion a violin 156. Ferenc Molnar and his wife relocated to the US in 1939. Being trained as an engineer after he emigrated, Molnar taught mechanical engineering at Stanford University 157. Molnar later also taught stringed instruments at San Francisco State University. Ferenc Molnar joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal viola in the 1943-1944 season, where he served for twenty seasons as Principal. During a good portion of this period, Molnar also played with the San Francisco String Quartet for ten seasons: Naoum Blinder first, Eugene Heyes second, Ferenc Molnar viola and Willem Dehe cello 155. During this time, Molnar taught at Stanford University and San Francisco State University. At San Francisco State, Molnar founded the Chamber Music Center. During most of his career Molnar was particularly active in chamber music, including for 13 years the Roth String Quartet. The Roth Quartet, with Molnar made a number of well-remembered recordings in the 1930s, including of Bach's "Art of the Fugue" for Columbia. Molnar also started summer festivals at the Stern Grove in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and in 1956, at the Masson Music festivals in Saratoga, California. As an aspect of Molnar's interest in chamber music, the Chamber Concerto for Viola and String Quartet by Ellis Kohs (1916-2000) was commissioned by Molnar and premiered at the University of California, Berkeley in 1949. In 1953 it was recorded by Molnar with members of the Juilliard Quartet. Ferenc Molnar died in suburban San Francisco May 10, 1985 months before his ninetieth birthday.
Rolf Persinger was born on December, 12 1919. He was the son of the violinist and San Francisco Symphony Concertmaster Louis Persinger. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War 2, Persinger joined the the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in the 1948-1949 season 17. Persinger was promoted to Principal viola of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra 1950-1951, selected by Antal Dorati 17. Dorati also selected Lorne Monroe as Principal cello in Minneapolis that season. Persinger was Assistant Principal viola of the Chicago Symphony 1954-1963. At this time, Rolf Persinger also was Principal viola of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago. He was also active in the Northwestern Chamber Music Society in Chicago. In 1963, Josef Krips, seeking to re-build the San Francisco Symphony selected Persinger as Principal viola. Rolf Persinger remained Principal viola of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra from 1963-1976. Seiji Ozawa wanted to re-seat Rolf Persinger from Principal viola, Robert Sayre from Principal cello, and Donald Reinberg from Principal trumpet. Persinger accepted a demotion in the viola section, but Sayre did not 9. Sayre instead resigned for the Orchestra and the end of the 1975-1976 season. Rolf Persinger remained in the viola section of the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera until the end of the 1987-1988 season. Rolf Persinger died in Arizona on March 16, 1997, survived by his wife, Arden.
photo: San Francisco Symphony
Geraldine Lamboley was born in Tampa, Florida on July 22, 1950. She began studying violin at age seven. She was quoted in a newspaper article as having received her first viola "...at the age of 10 when my father swapped an old shotgun for it..." 118. Geraldine Lamboley studied in Florida with John Tartaglia (1932- ), later a violinist with the Minnesota Symphony 1968-1999. Lamboley won a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Lillian Fuchs (1901-1995) 120. Geraldine Lamboley then studied with with Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia 117Class of 1972. At the age of 16, Geraldine Lamboley played in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra under Pablo Casals. She won a series of competitions. In the summer of 1968, Geraldine Lamboley won the outstanding musician award at Tanglewood Music Festival, and in 1975, she won the 1975 Hudson Valley Philharmonic (New York) Young Artist String Competition in viola In 1979, Geraldine Walther won first prize at the Primrose International Viola Competition - New Mexico. Geraldine Walther went on to a series of leading orchestral viola chairs. She was Assistant Principal viola of the Baltimore Symphony . She then became Assistant Principal viola of the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Miami Symphony. She moved to Pittsburgh as Assistant Principal viola with the Pittsburgh Symphony in the 1975-1976 season, the last season of Music Director William Steinberg 116. In the summer of 1976, Geraldine Lamboley played violin at the Marlboro Festival in Vermont. Geraldine Lamboley entered the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal and then was advanced to Principal viola in the 1976-1977 season under Seiji Ozawa. In June, 1977, Geraldine Lamboley married Thomas Walther, and thereafter was billed as Geraldine Walther. With Associate Principal viola Yun-jie Liu, Geraldine Walther in 1999 gave the US premiere of the George Benjamin (1960- ) Viola, Viola (1997). Geraldine Walther remained with the San Francisco for 29 seasons, through 2005.
Takacs Quartet: Edward Dusinberre and Karoly Schranz, violin, Geraldine Lamboley Walther, viola. Andras Fejer, cello.
Then in 2005, Geraldine Walther left the San Francisco Symphony to join the Takacs String Quartet as viola, succeeding Roger Tapping. The Takacs String Quartet has been one of the most successful string quartet of the early twenty-first century in terms of touring and recording. Geraldine Walther also teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where the Takacs Quartet has been resident 120.
2005-2009 Following the departure of Geraldine Walther, the San Francisco Symphony Principal viola chair was open for four seasons. During this time, the section was ably lead by Yun-Jie Liu.
The Acting Principal Viola was Shanghai-raised Yun-Jie Liu. Liu had studied at the Shanghai Conservatory with Shen Xi-Di and Wu Fei. Liu then came to California where he continued studies at the University of Southern California, where his mentors were Donald McInnes and Alan DeVeritch. Yun-Jie Liu then joined the National Symphony of Washington DC under Mstislav Rostropovich. This was in about 1990-1993. Liu then returned to California as Principal viola of the San Diego Symphony in about 1993-1994. Liu became Associate Principal Viola of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1993-1994 season succeeding Detlev Olshausen. After Geraldine Walther left the San Francisco Symphony to join the Takacs String Quartet, Yun-Jie Liu was named Acting Principal viola beginning in the second half of the 2005-2006 season. This appointment continued until Jonathan Vinocour was appointed Principal viola in 2009. With Principal viola Geraldine Walther, in 1999 Liu gave the US premiere of the George Benjamin (1960- ) Viola, Viola (1997). In the 2009-2010 season, with the appointment of Jonathan Vinocour as Principal viola, Yun-Jie Liu resumed the second chair of the violas of the San Francisco Symphony. Liu also has continued his activities in chamber music, including Project San Francisco, with SFS colleagues, and the SFS Chamber Music Series.
Jonathan Vinocour was born on May 9, 1979 in Rochester, New York. Jonathan Vinocour studied chemistry at Princeton University, where he graduated in 2001 magna cum laude, and also received the Sudler Prize in the Arts. Jonathan Vincour also studied at the Eastman School of Music preparatory school program. Vinocour further studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, gaining his his Master Degree in Music in 2003. Vinocour won the First Prize in the Holland America Music Society Competition 119. this win also resulted in an excellent recording of works by Shostakovich, Britten, and Karastoyanova-Hermentin (1968- ) sponsored by the Holland America Music Society. As a guest Principal on two other continents, Jonathan Vinocour was a guest Principal of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (north of Kyoto and Osaka) in Japan. Jonathan Vinocour was also one of the founders in 2002 of the Koryo String Quartet: Amy Lee first, Yura Lee second, Jonathan Vinocour viola and Earl Lee cello. Vinocour was a regular substitute and additional musician for the Boston Symphony in the 2000s while at the New England Conservatory. Then, Jonathan Vinocour was Principal viola of the St. Louis Symphony 2007-2009. This lead to his successful audition for the Principal viola position of the Boston Symphony in 2009. In February, 2011, Jonathan Vinocour with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco percussion section gave the first San Francisco performance of the Morton Feldman (1926-1987) Rothko Chapel, often referred to as a "minimalist" composition where the sonorities of the instruments is a major part of the musical intent. Vinocour is also active in summer music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival - Vermont, Aspen Music Festival - Colorado and the Ravinia Festival - Illinois.
San Francisco Symphony Principal Double Basses
Walter Bonney Bell was born in rural Iowa on 14 March 1878. He served in the San Francisco Symphony double bass beginning in the orchestra's second season: 1912-1913. He served for 35 years with several gaps: 1912-1917, 1919-1920, 1922-1925, 1926-1933, 1938-1940, and 1941-1947. In the summer of 1926, Walter Bell also toured with the Paul Whiteman band. He was Principal double bass 1933-1938 and 1940-1941. Bell was active in contemporary music, and played in Henry Cowell's New Music Society, giving the premiers of several works by Henry Cowell and Charles Ruggles in 1926-1927 228. Walter Bell also played in the summer popular concerts of the San Francisco Philhamonia at the Woodland Bowl under Alfred Hertz. 246 After more than three decades of service with the San Francisco Symphony, Walter Bell retired to Santa Cruz where he died on 13 June 1958 at age 80.
Frank (František) Kuchynka was born in what was then Austria-Hungary and is now the Czech Republic on 15 December 1879. He studied at the Prague Conservatory in 1903, and played in the Conservatory orchestra when it was conducted by Antonin Dvorak. Emigrating from Prague in 1906, he played first in the New York Symphony Orchestra. Frantk Kuchynka them played as a Minnesota Orchestra double bass 1913-1937. He was appointed San Francisco Symphony Principal double bass by Pierre Monteux in the 1938-1939 season. Kuchynka served as principal 1938-1944. When the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera separated, Frank Kuchynka went with the Opera orchestra in 1945. Frank Kuchynka was a Hollywood studio musician in the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily at MGM studios. Friend and colleague of Principal flute Henry Woempner, they played together as Principals in the Minneapolis Symphony, in the San Francisco Symphony and in the MGM studio orchestra in the 1940s. Frank Kuchynkal died in Los Angeles on 7 August 1971, age 91.
Philip Judson Karp was born on December 23, 1915 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He studied first with his violinist father, who had been a New York Symphony violin. Karp won admission to the Curtis Institute, but was unable to attend. A tall musician 6 feet 5 inches (nearly 2 meters) tall, he took up the double bass after the violin. He bacame Miami Symphony Principal double bass in 1924. He also played in the Al White orchestra in the 1930s. He was a Pittsburgh Symphony double bass under Fritz Reiner, and in New York City, a Radio City Music Hall double bass for 3 years including during summers. Philip Karp joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal bass in the 1944-1945 season. He served as double bass player as Principal 1944-1971 and then in the string bass section 1971-1980. In California, he also played in the Hollywood Bowl Symphony double bass section, and a studio recording musician in Hollywood. He also performed on radio, including San Francisco KQW CBS radio orchestra and KPO NBC radio orchestra - "Masters of Melody" radio program(San Francisco), and playing salon music: a light classical and operetta repertoire continuously for 11 years in these years before year-around SFS orchesta employment. Otto King cello and Harry Moulin violin and were also musicians of this small orchestra.
As a hobby, he collected and restored antique automobiles and belonged to the Horseless Carriage Club. He also played in the Bohemian Club orchestra in San Francisco for 27 years. Philip Karp died in San Francisco on November 5, 1997 at age 81 following a short illness.
Michael Burr was born in California in 1938. He studied first as a violinist, including with San Francisco Symphony violist Detlev Olshausen. From his ability was invited as a youth soloist with the San Francisco Symphony 191. He later switched to double bass, continuing to study in San Francisco.
Michael Burr joined the San Francisco Symphony double bass section in 1967-1968, and served there until the end of the 1970-1971 season. He was named Principal double bass by Seiji Ozawa in the 1971-1972 season. He served as Principal bass 1971-2000. In chamber music, Micael Burr was also active with the Pacifica Chamber Players. With that group, Michael Burr premiered a number of contemporary works, including the Richard Felciano (1930) Pieces of Eight for Organ and Double Bass (1984) in 1986.
Scott Pingel is a native of Madison, Wisconsin. He studied at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire earning his BMus. He then won a scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music earning s Master's Degree in orchestral performance. While in New York City, Pingel was also a bass sub in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Pingel played for one summer in Michael Tilson-Thomas's New World Symphony before becoming Principal bass with the Charleston Symphony. As a teacher, Scott Pingel has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for some 10 years. As an avid jazz musician, Scott Pingel performed a solo with Metallica in 2019 as part of Metallica’s S&M2: the second collaborative performance between the band and the San Francisco Symphony.
San Francisco Symphony Principal Oboes
Marc Lifschey said '...the oboe is the Queen of the woodwinds, unrivaled by any other instrument of the section in its authoritative tone.' 123
Adolph Bertram was born in Germany in August, 1870. He came to the U.S. in 1889. In Chicago, Adolph Bertram was second oboe of the Chicago Symphony (at that time the "Chicago Orchestra") , under Theodore Thomas 1893-1896. By 1900, Adolph Bertram was Principal oboe in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where he remained at least until 1910. For the 1911-1912 initial San Francisco Symphony season, Henry Hadley brought Adolph Bertram with him as Principal oboe. Bertram remained Principal oboe for three seasons 1911-1914. Adolph Bertram also was Principal oboe in the orchestra of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. In 1919-1922 Adolph Bertram moved to St. Louis, where he was Principal oboe and sometimes English horn in the St. Louis Symphony under Max Zach and Rudolf Ganz 37. Adolph Bertram seems to have died young, prior to 1930.
August Apel was born in Germany, in the Prussian area now part of Poland, in October, 1868. August Apel joined the oboe section of the San Francisco Symphony in its inaugural season 1911-1912, probably as second oboe, sitting next to Adolph Bertram on the first stand. On the departure of Adolph Bertram, August Apel became Principal oboe for one season 1914-1915. With the appointment of Cesare Addimando as Principal oboe in 1915-1916, August Apel returned to the second chair for that season, after which he departed the orchestra. In the 1920s and 1930s, August Apel taught music in Oakland in the East Bay of San Francisco. He died in San Francisco on October 14, 1943
Cesare Addimando was born in Foggia, on the east coast of Italy on November 13, 1872. Ceaare Addimando was an oboe pupil Buonoma and Vecchione at the Real Collegio di San Pietro, in Naples 28 in the mid-1880s. Addimando emigrated to the U.S. in 1890. By 1905 and at least until 1907, Addimando was Principal oboe of the New York Symphony Society. Cesar Addimando also recorded oboe solos for Edison records in 1908 while based in New York City - See: www.archive.org/details/CaesarAddimando-PetiteMignon1908. So, we can hear the Addimando style. These recordings demonstrate a style of oboe playing without any vibrato or inflection which would not be accepted today. Addimando also taught at the Institute of Musical Arts (later renamed the Juilliard School) on its opening in the 1900s. In 1910 121, Cesare Addimando was a theatre musician in New York City, a position which often offered better pay and year-around work, compared with a symphony orchestra. Cesare Addimando moved to California in about 1915, where he became Principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony under Alfred Hertz. Addimando continued for 19 seasons until the shutdown of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1934-1935 season. While in San Francisco, Cesare Addimando also played in a theater orchestra and taught. Cesare Addimando is said to have played a Loré oboe. Interestingly, Addimando also recorded oboe solos for Edison in 1908 while based in New York City. In 1940 and 1941 Cesare Addimando conducted the local San Francisco WPA Orchestra. Cesare Addimando died in San Joaquin, in the central valley of California on November 11, 1957, near his 85th birthday.
An Addimando Story: Cesar Addimando and legendary oboist and teacher Marcel Tabuteau, later of the Philadelphia Orchestra, both played in the New York Symphony Society orchestra in 1905-1908. Addimando'a style of oboe playing was without vibrato or inflection which Tabuteau did not admire 186. Visiting California during a Philadelphia Orchestra tour, Tabuteau was served a bottle of wine from Caesar Addimando's vineyard. Tabuteau tasted Addimando's wine and said "...sour, just like his playing".
Julien Shanis in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives 1945
Julien Shanis was born Julius Shanis in Belgium on September 9, 1902.  First, as to name, he did not seem to change his use to "Julien" until the 1949-1950 season, at least according to San Francisco Symphony program rosters. Also, some of his students recall the name change at this time. Since he clearly wished to use "Julien", it is adopted here also. Julien Shanis was of a musical family; his older brother, Ralph F. Shanis, born in Belgium in 1899 was also a musician. Julien's father was the Belgian clarinetist Jean Shanis (1875-1949) 51, who was Principal clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in its initial 1911-1912 season, and played in the symphony as Bass clarinet under both Henry Hadley and Alfred Hertz. The Shanis family had emigrated to the US in 1904, probably for Jean Shanis to become Principal clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Henry Hadley's friend Victor Herbert. Jean Shanis moved the family to San Francisco in 1911, likely at Henry Hadley's request. In San Francisco, as well as the San Francisco Symphony, which had a short season, Jean Shanis was active across the musical scene, including performing with the orchestra of the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in the summer of 1915. At the time of the Exhibition, Jean Shanis made the acquaintance of the legendary oboist Marcel Tabuteau, later of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Tabuteau had already been Principal oboe of the New York Symphony 1906-1908, Principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera 1908-1909, and would later be Principal oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra 1915-1952. Jean Shanis had the perception to recognize Tabuteau at the great oboe teacher he would become. As a result, Jean sent his son Julius Shanis (as he was still named) to Philadelphia in about 1920 to study with Tabuteau even before the Curtis Institute was opened in Philadelphia (read about Tabuteau in the great book of Laila Storch - oboe student of Julien Shanis and Marcel Tabuteau - Marcel Tabuteau "How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom?", Indiana University Press, 2008 51). On his return to San Francisco, Julius Shanis (as he was still named) joined the oboe section of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1921-1922 season under Alfred Hertz. He played for that one season, and then returned to the SFS oboe section in 1924-1925, and 1927-1934 until the shut-down of the San Francisco in 1934-1935. In 1935-1936, with the re-establishment of the San Francisco Symphony under Pierre Monteux, Julien Shanis was briefly the second chair oboe. Upon his arrival at the end of 1935, Pierre Monteux had the idea of bringing in an east coast oboe as Principal. John Canarina in his excellent Monteux biography recounts: "...the Musicians Union lobbied in favor of promoting the second oboe, Julius Shanis, to principal. The New York oboist [note: probably Andre Dupuis] duly arrived and for two days, Monteux listened to both him and Shanis during rehearsals. Finally, he decided Shanis should get the job..." 52. Julien Shanis was Principal oboe for three seasons, 1935-1938. About this time, Shanis adapted his first name to "Julien . After Monteux advanced Merrill Remington to the first oboe chair in 1940, Julien Shanis stayed with the San Francisco Symphony into the 1960s. Julien Shanis was also an active oboe teacher, and among his students were John de Lancie, later of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Laila Storch, both of whom also studied with Julien Shanis's teacher Marcel Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute 51. Laila Storch, author of the wonderful Tabuteau biography Marcel Tabuteau: How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom? (Indiana University Press) 81 has commented on Shanis as an artist and teacher.
Storch thought Julien Shanis the finest of the oboe section of the SFSO during his tenure in the 1930s and 1940s, and he was an inspiration to his students. Julien Shanis was also an avid fisherman, publishing articles on the subject. Julien Shanis died in Alameda, California in December 1974.
Merrill Remington in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives 1945
Merrill Remington was born In Michigan on September 11, 1904. As a youth, Remington studied with private teachers in California. In the summer of 1936, Remington was Principal oboe with the WPA orchestra of the San Francisco Bay area. In the 1935-1937 seasons, Remington was Principal oboe with the Portland Symphony - Oregon. The next season, Merrill Remington joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal oboe section in the 1938-1939 season. He succeeded Julius Shanis, who then moved to the second chair, becoming what we would call Assistant Principal oboe 113. Merrill Remington was Principal oboe for twenty-seven seasons, 1938-1965. During the seasons 1960-1964, Jean-Louis Le Roux was Assistant Principal oboe. Then, in 1964-1965, Merrill Remington became Co-Principal with Le Roux, leading to a smooth transition the next season when Remington retired and Le Roux succeeded him as Principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony. Remington also played Hollywood recording sessions in off-season in the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s 145, including for leading singers such as Frank Sinatra. Merrill Remington died in San Francisco on January 14, 1970 at age 65.
photo: Tony Plewik
Jean-Louis LeRoux was born In Le Mans, France on April 15, 1927, and grew up in Rennes in Brittany. He studied first at a business school at the urging of his parents, and then at the Paris Conservatoire in 1945. He left the Conservatoire for military service, returned to the Conservatoire in 1948, but left without gaining his Prix in the annual Concour. He went to Brazil, playing in an orchestra in Belo Horizonte (a capital city at the bulge of Brazil) in 1950 and then at the Teatro Municipal opera house in Rio de Janeiro. Next, LeRoux went to the Opera in Montevideo, Uruguay in the mid-1950s. In 1960, LeRoux auditioned with Enrique Jorda, and LeRoux was engaged as Assistant Principal oboe. He served in the second oboe chair of the San Francisco Symphony 1960-1964. During the 1975-1976 season, Jean-Louis LeRoux's title was altered from Principal (i.e. Co-Principal) to Assistant Principal, with Marc Lifschey becoming sole Principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony. Jean-Louis LeRoux continued to serve as Assistant Principal oboe until the end of the 1978-1979 season. As well as his San Francisco Orchestra duties, LeRoux also became active in the Sun Valley summer music camp in Idaho, as well as teaching at Mills College near San Francisco. LeRoux also expanded into conducting, particularly of contemporary music. In 1973, Jean-Louis LeRoux was a founder, with Charles Boone and Marcella DeCray of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He also became conductor of the Modesto - California Symphony.
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
Contemporaries said that George Szell dismissed Marc Lifschey to free him to appoint John Mack as Principal oboe following the 1964-1965 Cleveland 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 Ferrillo was born in Massachusetts in 1955. He was raised in Bedford, Massachusetts in a musical family. Ferrillo's mother was a music teacher with a Masters degree in music education. As a youth, Ferrillo played oboe in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony. John Ferrillo then followed the footsteps of two great Boston Symphony oboe predecessors, Alfred Genovese and Genovese's predecessor, Ralph Gomberg, entering the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Ferrillo studied for 5 years at the Curtis with John de Lancie of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he received his Artist's Diploma and Artist's Certificate in the Class of 1977. Ralph Gomberg, Alfred Genovese and John de Lancie were all pupils of the legendary oboist and teacher Marcel Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute. Ferrillo studied at the Blossom Music Festival with John Mack. He also participated at the Marlboro Music Festival. Upon graduation from Curtis in 1977, John Ferrillo freelanced for a year. In 1977, he also played Principal oboe with the suburban Washington D.C. Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. For six years during the late 1970s and early 1980s, John Ferrillo taught at the University of West Virginia. He was constantly working towards a major symphony orchestra position during these years. In interviews, John Ferrillo has pointed out the challenges for a beginning musician to build a career. He said that he "blew off" nine years and 21 auditions, prior to landing his first position as assistant Principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony 54. Ferrillo in May, 1985 won the competition to become second oboe of the San Francisco Symphony to begin in the 1985-1986 season, under Herbert Blomstedt. Then, only months later, in September, 1985, Ferrillo won the Principal oboe audition for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Ferrillo joined the MET for the 1986-1987 season, and remained as Principal Oboe for fifteen seasons, 1986 to 2001. At the same time as his tenure at the Metropolitan Opera, Ferrillo taught oboe at the Juilliard School. Then, in 2001, Ferrillo succeeded Alfred Genovese, Principal oboe of the Boston Symphony who had retired at the end of the 1997-1998 season. Ferrillo also began to teach at Boston University and the New England Conservatory. John Ferrillo is admired for his singing tone and phrasing, which some speculate may have been reinforced during his years at the Metropolitan Opera. John Ferrillo's colleagues observe that his way of shaping and phrasing a line of music, and his intensity bring alive the teaching of Ferrillo's great mentor John de Lancie. Who could wish for higher praise?
William Bennett was born in New York City on May 31, 1956, and grew up in the Yale University community of New Haven, Connecticut. His was a musical family, and his father William Ralph Bennett Jr. (1930-2008) was an accomplished clarinetist, who had studied with Simeon Bellison (1883-1953). William Ralph Bennett Jr. was also a Professor of Physics at Yale University, and while working at Bell Laboratories was co-inventor of the first gas laser. William Bennett therefore studied clarinet first with his father 179, later taking over his sister's oboe. He then studied at Yale University School of Music with Robert Bloom (1908-1994). Bennett continued study with Robert Bloom at the Juilliard School for one year prior to joining the Stan Francisco Symphony in 1979. William Bennett was selected by Edo de Waart for the San Francisco Symphony oboe section beginning in the 1979-1980 season as Assistant Principal oboe sitting at the first stand next to Principal oboe Marc Lifschey. After eight seasons, Herbert Blomstedt appointed William Bennett as Principal oboe in September, 1987, succeeding Marc Lifschey. William Bennett was been active in a number of music festivals during his career, including the Marlboro Festival - Vermont, the Aspen Festival - Colorado, and at the Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood. William Bennett had a bout with throat cancer in 2004-2005, but recovered to his former abilities 105 to the joy of his family and colleagues and his many fans.
William Bennett commissioned, gave the premiere and recorded the Oboe Concerto of John Harbison (1938- ) with the San Francisco Symphony, written in 1991, and performed in 1992. William Bennett was an active teacher, including at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The San Francisco Symphony has a long tradition of greatness in its double reed musicians, and William Bennett continued to extend that tradition of excellence. Tragically, during the San Francisco Symphony concert of Saturday, February 23, 2013 when he was playing the Strauss Oboe Concerto, one of Bill Bennett's favorite works, he collapsed on stage. He was later diagnosed as having suffered a brain hemorrhage. William Bennett subsequently died on Thursday, February 28, 2013, age only 56, and mourned by his many fans. His art lives on in his many great recordings, and in his students.
Jonathan Fischer was appointed Acting Principal oboe of the San Franciso Symphony in teh 2013-2014 season. This was a trial season, and Fischer retained his position as Principal oboe with the Houston Symphony. Jonathan Fischer was born in born in South Carolina in 1968, but grew up in North Carolina. He studied in high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts 2 years, and then at the Interlochen Arts Academy - Michigan for 2 years. Jonathan Fischer was then accepted at the Curtis Institute, Class of 1992. Following Curtis, Jonathan Fischer was oboe with the Canadian Opera Company - Toronto. Then, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he was Principal oboe for two seasons 1999-2001. While in Chicago, Fischer was Grant Park Symphony Principal oboe in the Summer of 2000. He then went to the Cleveland Orchestra as Assistant Principal oboe for two seasons 2001-2003. In 2012, Jonathan Fischer was named Principal oboe of the Houston Symphony in the 2012-2013 season, a post he continued to hold while also serving as Acting Principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony.
photo: Todd Rosenberg
Eugene Izotov was born in Moscow in 1973. He began oboe study early at 6 years old at the Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow. This lead to early recognition of his musical gifts, including winning the Russia Wind Players Competition in 1991 at age 19. In about 1994, Izotov went to Boston to study with Boston Symphony Principal oboe Ralph Gomberg (1921-2006) at Boston University. Izotov went on to participate in the Tanglewood Music Center in the program of summer of 1995. Immediately thereafter, Eugene Izotof was appointed Principal oboe of the Kansas City Symphony in the 1995-1996 season. In the next year, he was appointed Associate Principal oboe of the San Francisco Orchestra 1996-2001. In the 2015-2016 season, Izotof was appointed Principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas.
In 2001, Eugene Izotof won First Prize in the Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Oboe Competition. In the 2002-2003 season, Izotof became Principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where he stayed for three seasons. In the 2005-2006, Izotof became Principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim. While at San Francisco, Izotof taught oboe at the San Francisco Conservatory, and while at the MET, he taught at Juilliard. Eugene Izotof in Chicago continues his artistic innovation, such as in the June 2013 performance with Riccardo Muti of the Oboe Concerto by the great, and not yet fully appreciated Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959). In December 2014, Eugene Izotof announced that he had decided to accept the Principal oboe position of the San Francisco Symphony effective the 2015-2016 season. He stated that "...This is a deeply personal decision for me since much of my life is connected to these two great American orchestras and cities."
Alfred Hertz and the San Francisco Symphony in the 1922-1923 season photo: San Francisco Symphony archives probably early 1923
San Francisco Symphony Principal Bassoons
Samuel Meerloo, the first Principal bassoon of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, was born in the Hague on December 26, 1868 [or 1864, according to some sources], son of Hartog Meerloo (1827-1905) and Jeanette Stibbe Meerloo (1832-1883). Samuel Meerloo studied first with his musician father Hartog Meerloo. Already in his fourties, Samuel Meerloo emigrated to the US in October, 1910, settling first in New York City. Samuel Meerloo was one of the musicians whom Henry Hadley took with him to San Francisco in 1911 to form the nucleus of the newly-formed San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Samuel Meerloo served as Principal bassoon in San Francisco for two seasons 1911-1913. Samuel Meerloo then moved to Chicago where he was in 1914-1915 Principal bassoon of the Chicago Opera Company orchestra under Cleofonte Campanini (1860-1919). In the 1915-1916 season, Samuel Meerloo moved back to San Francisco in the second chair of the bassoon section, what we would now call the Assistant Principal bassoon. He served in that position for two seasons 1915-1917. At that time, as the US became involved in World War 1, Samuel Meerloo also became a US citizen. In the 1920s and 1930s, Samuel Meerloo was a theater musician in New York City. Samuel Meerloo died in 1954, or in 1953, according to some sources.
Richard Joseph Kolb was born in Bavaria in Germany on May 24, 1872. He emigrated to the US at age 20 in 1892. Prior to the San Francisco Symphony, Richard Kolb was also a theater musician in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1900 and then in Buffalo, New York in 1910. After leaving the San Francisco Symphony in the 1914-1915 season, Kolb returned in 1915-1916 as contra-bassoon. Richard Kolb then served as contra-bassoon for nineteen seasons: 1915-1934. Richard Kolb died suddenly two months following the end of the 1933-1934 season on July 15, 1934 age 62 of a heart attack.
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 thirty-five seasons, 1919-1934 and 1936-1956. 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 228. Ernest Kubitschek died in Napa, California in the heart of the Napa Valley wine country on September 7, 1968.
Adolph Weiss was born September 12, 1891, in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, George Edward Weiss, was also a bassoonist, and had come to America from Plauen, Saxony, Germany at the age of 6. In 1908, Weiss became first bassoonist at age 16 with the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York under Modest Altschuler. He was taken out of high school at the time to make a tour from coast to coast with the Russian Symphony and the Ben Greet Players in the presentation of Shakespearean plays with incidental music by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and others. The following year, 1909, he became a member of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustav Mahler, followed by Walter Damrosch. He played bassoon for several years with the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch. In 1916 Weiss moved to Chicago to play bassoon with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Frederick Stock. In 1921 he moved to Rochester as Principal bassoonist under Eugene Goossens and Albert Coates. He also played bassoon for a time in Newark, New Jersey. In 1925-1927, pursing his desire to compose, he studied composition with Arnold Schoenberg at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin. On returning to the U.S., Adolph Weiss joined the newly reformed San Francisco Symphony under Pierre Monteux. Weiss became Principal bassoon of the San Francisco Symphony for one season 1935-1936. He was later Principal bassoon with the Los Angeles Philharmonic from the early 1950s until he retired in 1963. Weiss died in Los Angeles in February, 1971.
1919-1934, 1937-1956 Ernest L. Kubitschek
See Ernest Kubitschek 1919-1934, above.
Walter Green was born on August 12, 1926 into a musical family in northern Germany. As a child his grandfather Hirsch, a cantor for the Jewish congregation, would wake Walter Green at 6 AM on Sunday mornings so that together they could listen to the music of Bach broadcast from St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, where Bach composed and performed 161. Walter Green and his family departed Nazi Germany in 1938 when Walter was 12. His relatives who stayed behind are said not to have survived 160. In the US, Walter Green and his parents settled in Salt Lake City, Utah where Walter Green began to study to the bassoon at about age 13 or 14. During World War 2, entering the US Army, Walter Green was stationed in Vienna where he had lessons with Karl Ohlberger, Principal bassoon of the Vienna Philharmonic. Karl Ohlberger suggested Walter Green study with Hugo Burghauser in New York City who prepared Green to enter the Eastman School of Music in 1946. At Eastman, Green studied with Vincento Pezzi. Following graduation from Eastman, Walter Green, returned to his home in Utah, and was named Principal bassoon of the Utah Symphony. At this time he also taught chamber music at the University of Utah. Walter Green then was named Principal bassoon of the Indianapolis Symphony for the next four years and also taught at Butler University in Indianapolis. In the 1956-1957 season, Walter Green was named Principal bassoon of the San Francisco Symphony by Enrique Jorda, succeeding Raymond Ojeda. Walter Green remained Principal bassoon for 27 seasons, retiring at the end of the 1982-1983 season. While in San Francisco, Walter Green also taught chamber music at the University of California - Berkeley and at San Francisco State University as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Walter Green remained with the San Francisco Opera for 24 years and with the San Francisco Symphony for 27 years. His final concert with the SFSO was in 1983 with Kurt Mazur conducting the Beethoven Ninth. Following his retirement, Walter Green moved to Mendocino, California area where he continued to play as Principal bassoon of the Marin Symphony. He was also one of the founders of the Mendocino Music Festival. In Mendocino, Walter Green hosted a local radio program on classical music and wrote his autobiography Golden Tones 160. Walter Green died in Mendocino on December 3, 2007, after a lengthy illness with Parkinson's Disease at age 81.
Raymond Ojeda was born on November 11, 1923 in Alameda, California, across the Bay from San Francisco. Ojeda grew up in nearby Hayward, California 146 where he played the clarinet and then bassoon, while his brother Anthony continued with the clarinet 146. In High School, Raymond Ojeda was named to the State conference orchestra. Raymond Ojeda graduated from Hayword Union High School (California) in 1941, and by 1942, he played as a bassoon substitute with the San Francisco Symphony. He also played briefly with the Sacramento Symphony. In 1942-1943 Raymond Ojeda won entrance to the Juilliard School of Music. With the advent of World War 2, 1943-1945, Raymond Ojeda played clarinet, saxophone and bassoon with the US Navy band. In 1945, Raymond Ojeda the returned to Juilliard School, studying with bassoon great Simon Kovar (1890-1970), and graduating in June, 1948. He also studied privately with Sol Schoenbach of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Returning to California, Ojeda played bassoon with the San Francisco Opera orchestra and with the and San Francisco ballet and San Francisco Light Opera Company. William Steinberg, conducting the opera invited Raymond Ojeda to join the Buffalo Symphony in January, 1949146, He played Principal bassoon with the Buffalo Symphony succeeding Leonard Sharrow and Michael Speilman. Ray Ojeda remained Buffalo Principal bassoon only for for that one half season in 1949145. Later that year, Raymond Ojeda was then appointed as Third bassoon San Francisco Symphony in the 1949-1950 season. Orchestra. In the 1967-1968 season, Raymond Ojeda was appointed contrabassoon of the San Francisco symphony, succeeding Frank Hibschle. He continued to serve as contrabassoon for twenty-one seasons, 1967-1988. Marin County, California on April 23, 1989 shortly after retiring from the symphony.
Ryohei Nakagawa born in Kyoto, Japan in 1935. At the Tokyo University of Arts, he received his BMus 1961. Ryohei Nakagawa then studied at Yale University where he earned his MMus. Nakagawa was Principal bassoon of Stokowski's American Symphony Orchestra in New York City in the mid-1960s. He was later Principal bassoon of the New York City Opera orchestra in about 1969 or 1970. He also played in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. Ryohei Nakagawa was appointed Principal bassoon of the San Francisco Symphony by Seiji Ozawa in the 1972-1973 season. At the end of the 1973-1974 season, the Orchestra voted not to grant tenure to Nakagawa as Principal bassoon. At that same time, the musicians voted not to grant tenure to Elayne Jones, orchestra Principal timpanist and also the only black player in the Orchestra. Of course, these two votes by the musicians caused considerable controversy both within and without the orchestra.
Ryohei Nakagawa in Japan
After San Francisco, Ryohei Nakagawa returned to Japan where he was Principal bassoon of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic 286. He became the successful Music Director of the Tokyo-based Bach Band, a wind instrument ensemble. He has taught at the Aichi Prefecture University of Arts in Nagoya and since 1978 as a faculty artist to the Aspen Music Festival - Colorado.
Stephen Paulson was born in 1946. He studied at the Eastman School of Music. While in Rochester, he was Principal bassoon of the Rochester Philharmonic. Stephen Paulson was also Co-Principal bassoon of the Pittsburgh Symphony under William Steinberg, during which Paulson's Bassoon Concerto was performed. After extensive auditions in 1976 147, Stephen Paulson was appointed Principal bassoon of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra by Seiji Ozawa, succeeding Ryohei Nakagawa. Paulson took up the first chair postion at the beginning of the 1977-1978 season, and during his first two seasons, he was in a trial position for eventual tenure, which he earned with excellence. Paulson's second bassoon during this period, Rufus Olivier praised his artistry and dedication. After more than thirty seasons, Stephen Paulson continues the rich tradition of woodwind players of the San Francisco Symphony. He has also expanded into conducting. Stephen Paulson became Music Director of the California-based Symphony Parnassus since 1998. He has also led the San Francisco Symphony on several occasions. Stephen Paulson is also a composer and his Bassoon Concerto has been performed by the Rochester Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony under William Steinberg, with Paulson performing. While in San Francisco, Stephen Paulson has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Stephen Paulson over the last three decades has shown himself to be a leader, not only of his section, but within the orchestra and a creative musician in the ongoing tradition of San Francisco.
San Francisco Symphony Principal Clarinets
Jean Shanis was born in Belgium on December 26, 1875. The Shanis family, including son Julius Shanis and his his older brother, Ralph F. Shanis emigrated to the US in 1904, probably for Jean Shanis to become Principal clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Victor Herbert. Sons Julius and Ralph also became musicians, and Julius or "Julian" Shanis (as he later was named) became Principal oboe of the San Francisco Orchestra. Jean Shanis may have been recruited by Victor Herbert in Europe, since at this time French and Belgian clarinetists were often considered the best orchestral clarinets. Jean Shanis remained as Principal clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony for about seven seasons until the end of 1910-1911. Henry Hadley, first conductor of the San Francisco Symphony said that Jean Shanis was one of the few musicians whom he had brought with him to begin the orchestra 29. Since Henry Hadley and Victor Herbert were long-time friends, it would seem likely that Victor Herbert recommended his Principal clarinet, with the result that Jean Shanis was one of the core of seven East-coast based musicians that Henry Hadley employed as Principals for the first 1911-1912 season of the San Francisco Symphony. After the initial 1911-1912 season, Jean Shanis relinquished the Principal clarinet chair to Harold B. Randall, and became bass clarinet with the San Francisco Symphony 1912-1918 and 1921-1923. Jean Shanis also played with the orchestra of the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in the summer of 1915. While playing in the Panama-Pacific Exhibition Orchestra, Jean Shanis made the acquaintance of the legendary oboe musician Marcel Tabuteau, who had already been Principal oboe of the New York Symphony 1906-1908, Principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera 1908-1909, and who would be Principal oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra 1915-1952. Jean Shanis had the perception to recognize Tabuteau at the great oboe teacher he would become. As a result, Jean sent his son Julius Shanis (as he was still named) to Philadelphia in about 1920 to study with Tabuteau even before the Curtis Institute was opened in Philadelphia 51. After Jean Shanis's departure from the San Francisco Orchestra, he was active in the 1920s in radio music groups. In the mid 1930s, Jean Shanis conducted the San Francisco Bay area WPA orchestra. Jean Shanis died in Alameda, California, across the bay from San Francisco on December 8, 1949, age 74.
Harold B. Randall was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 25, 1888. His father, Walter Randall (1858-circa 1940) was also a musician, playing in theaters. Harold Randall moved to San Francisco in about 1913, where he played clarinet in the orchestra of the Cort Theater, San Francisco, where the San Francisco Symphony also played during its initial years. In the 1912-1913 season, Harold Randall joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal clarinet. He remained as Principal clarinet through the 1931-1932 season. The next season, 1932-1933 with the appointment of Rudolph Schmitt as Principal clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony, Harold Randall moved to the second clarinet chair, what we would call today Assistant Principal clarinet. Harold Randall remained with the San Francisco Symphony clarinet section through 1933-1934, until the orchestra's suspended season. During the first decade of his tenure, Harold Randall sat next to Jean Shanis, previously Principal oboe and who now played bass clarinet. Harold Randall was succeeded as Principal clarinet by Rudolph Schmitt in the 1932-1933 127. Harold Randall earlier in his career had also played with Henry Cowell's New Music Society, giving the premiers of several works by Henry Cowell and Charles Ruggles in 1926-1927 228. Harold Randall died in Napa Valley, California on February 6, 1944, age only 56.
Frank Fragale in 1921
Francesco D. Fragale or Frank Fragale was born in December 1, 1894 in Sciara, near Palermo, Italy. His early musical education was at the Conservatorio de Musica 'Vincenzo Bellini' in Palermo. Fragale came to the U.S. in 1911 with an Italian Military Band that was touring the Orpheum Circuit to California 41. Fragale became ill in Sacramento, and was left behind. He then became a theater musician in Sacramento and then in San Francisco 1911-1922. Fragale joined the San Francisco Symphony in the 1922-1923 season as Eb clarinet, serving with long-time Principal clarinet Harold Randall. Two seasons later, 1924-1925, Frank Fragale was appointed Bass clarinet. Fragale served as Bass Clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony until the end of the 1954-1955 season, when he was succeeded by Donald Carroll. This was a service of 33 seasons. Unfortunately died in San Francisco on September 21, 1955, just before the beginning of the 1955-1956 season, age only 61. Frank Fragale had a productive composing career. According to his student Arthur Ness, "...His Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra was written for Boris Blinder who premiered it under Monteux. It was awarded an honorary mention in the Viotti Composition Competition. His magnum opus is the opera Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He wrote for a Strauss-like orchestra, but had a wonderful Italianate gift for melody. He studied the Ziehn method of composition with Julius Gold..." 41.
Frank Figale in 1953
Fragale's opera, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. was written with a libretto by "W. Erich" who died before the premiere 63, existing in both English and Italian. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was given its premier on August 28, 1953 at the Berkeley Garfield Theater with Myron Way and Peggy Overshiner as the protagonists 63.
Rudolph Schmitt in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives 1945
Rudolph Schmitt was born in on February 12, 1899 in Essweiler, Germany, 60 km west of Mannheim in western Germany. He came to the US in 1914, and became a citizen in 1921. In 1920, Schmitt played in a Chicago movie theater orchestra. By 1930, Schmitt was clarinet in the orchestra of the Chicago Grand Opera. Then in the 1932-1933 season, Rudolph Schmitt was appointed Principal clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony succeeding Harold B. Randall. Rudolph Schmitt survived the San Francisco Symphony shutdown in the 1934-1935 season, and with the revival of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1935-1936 season under Pierre Monteux, Rudolph Schmitt continued as Principal clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony for an additional twenty one seasons. Rudolph Schmitt during 1935-1956 was Principal clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony with Charles Rudd in the second clarinet chair 1935-1943 and with Frealon Bibbins 1943-1956. During the seasons 1954-1961, Rudolph Schmitt was listed as Principal clarinet of the San Francisco Opera. For most of the seasons until 1980, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra were similar in their musicians except for the Principals. Schmitt seems to have departed from the San Francisco Opera at the end of the 1960-1961 season. Following his departure, Rudolph Schmitt relocated to Long Beach, California where he took a position in the Long Beach Municipal Band 64 presumably in part of his pleasure. In January, 1966, Rudolph Schmitt was clarinet soloist with the Long Beach Symphony 65. In March, 1966, Rudolph Schmitt was still playing with the Long Beach Municipal Band 66. Rudolph Schmitt died in August 15, 1993 in Long Beach, California, age 93.
Frealon Bibbins in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives 1945
Frealon Bibbins was born on April 9, 1925 in Richmond, California in the east San Francisco Bay north of Berkeley. His father Frealon Cyrus Bibbins (1897-1982) was also a clarinet player, earning his living initially as a theater musician and later in clerical work and accounting. Frealon Bibbins grew up in Contra Costa County, California and had his initial music lessons with his father. Frealon Bibbins then studied clarinet with the famous British/American teacher and performer Reginald Kell (1906-1981). Frealon Bibbins was named to the the Eb clarinet chair of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1943-1944 season 166. He remained in this second clarinet chair of the San Francisco Symphony through the end of 1979-1980. Frealon Bibbins then moved to the third clarinet chair 1980-1983. Frealon Bibbins (or perhaps his father) was also an active coin collector which is shown by the recent extensive auction of his collection.
Philip Fath was born in New York City on February 19, 1929. Philip Fath was Assistant Principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell 1954-1956. In 1956, Enrique Jorda appointed Fath as Principal clarinet with the San Francisco Symphony in the 1956-1957 season. As was often the case in those years, Fath was also Principal Clarinet of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra 1961-about 2000. Philip Fath remained in the first clarinet chair of the SFSO until about 1964, after which he was Co-Principal clarinet with Robert McGinnis 1964-1969. Philip Fath retired from the San Francisco Opera in about 2000. Philip Fath was on the music faculties of the University of California-Berkeley, of Stanford University and of San Francisco State University. Philip Fath and his violinist daughter Josepha Fath won the Mill Valley Creative Achievement Award in 1998 (Mill Valley, California, where Philip Fath lives). Father and daughter have also been active in the Fath Chamber Players.
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, 1945-1946. 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.
David Breeden was born July 19, 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas and raised in Denton, Texas. Breeden began studying music as a child under his father, educator and jazz clarinetist (Harold) Leon Breeden. David Breeden received a BA at the University of North Texas in 1968, where his father taught jazz. David Breeden received an MA in Music from Catholic University. He then toured the country and member of the U.S. Navy Band. Breeden joined the San Francisco Symphony clarinet section in the 1972-1973 season. Breeden was named Assistant Principal clarinet in 1979-1980 and then Principal clarinet beginning in the 1980-1981 season. Breeden also met his wife Barbara Bernhard there, who was assistant Principal flute with the SFSO 1970-1977. They were married in 1974. A modest and humorous man, it was said that every evening that David Breeden arrived home in San Mateo County he would say of his performance "...well, I fooled them again." David Breeden taught at the San Francisco Conservatory and Stanford University. Breeden died of complications from multiple myeloma in San Mateo County, California on June 22, 2005, at age 58.
Luis Baez was born on March 10, 1960. Luis Baez earned his Bachelor's degree in at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. At the Peabody, he studied under clarinet greats Robert Marcellus, Larry Combs, Roger Hiller, Steven Barta, Marshall Haddock and Sidney Forrest. Luis Baez joined the San Francisco Symphony in the 1990-1991 season. In the 2005-2006 season, following the death of David Breeden, Luis Baez was named acting Principal clarinet and David Neuman acting Associate Principal. Following the accession of Carey Bell to the Principal clarinet chair, Luis Baez became again Associate Principal clarinet of the San Francisco Symphony, one of the strongest clarinet sections of the leading US orchestras.
Carey Bell was born in Eugene, Oregon November 7, 1974. In High School, Bell studied clarinet with Cindi Bartels 129. He studied Clarinet and composition at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan). At Michigan, Carey Bell's clarinet professor was Fred Ormand and for composition, he studied with William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, and Evan Chambers 128. In the summer of 1992, Carey Bell played and studied at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts. He also studied at the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, California). After his graduation from the University of Michigan in 1997, Carey Bell continued to study clarinet with Larry Combs at DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) 128. In 1998 in Chicago, Carey Bell also was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra associated with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. From about 1998-2001, Carey Bell was Principal clarinet of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra 129. Relocating to California, Carey Bell was appointed Principal clarinet with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in the 2001-2002 season 128. Carey Bell was also a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players beginning in 2004. In December, 2006, the San Francisco Symphony announced that Carey Bell had won the auditions for the Principal clarinet position, and he joined the orchestra in January 2007. In San Francisco, during the summers, Carey Bell has also been active in Music@Menlo (Atherton, California), the Oregon Bach Festival (Eugene, Oregon), Music in the Vineyards (Napa, California), the Telluride Chamber Music Festival in Colorado, and the Skaneateles Music Festival (Skaneateles in central New York State). The San Francisco public welcomed Carey Bell taking up the Principal clarinet position of the San Francisco Symphony in at the beginning of 2007. His artistry since has confirmed his strong addition to the long history of great woodwind playing by the San Francisco Symphony.
San Francisco Symphony Principal Flutes
Louis Newbauer was born in San Francisco on March 12, 1868 of parents Josef and Rosa who had emigrated from Bohemia - now Czech Republic in about 1854. In 1889 to 1900, Louis Newbauer taught music in San Francisco according to local directories. In September, 1906, only 5 months after the great San Francisco earthquake, Louis Newbauer was announced as Principal flute for the University of California - Berkeley Orchestra 158. Berkeley, across the Bay from San Francisco was relatively unhurt by the earthquake, and the University of California - Berkeley Orchestra was the leading symphony in the San Francisco Bay area prior to the formation of the San Francisco Symphony in 1911 In 1908, Louis Newbauer accompanied "Mme. Blanche Arral, noted songstress" in a western US tour. Henry Hadley, in selecting musicians for the initial season of the San Francisco Symphony said that with the exception of six Principal musicians whom he had brought from east coast symphonies, "...the rest are all San Francisco men..." 29. Louis Newbauer was one of these, and Hadley named him as Principal flute for the first season on the San Francisco Symphony in 1911-1912. The next season, Emilio Puyans joined the symphony as Principal flute and Louis Newbauer remained in the second chair, what we would call today Assistant Principal flute. Louis Newbauer served as Assistant Principal flute 1912-1928 with Principal Emilio Puyans 1912-1920 and with Anthony Linden 1920-1928. In the early 1920s, Louis Newbauer also taught at the Jenkins School of Music in Oakland, across the Bay from San Francisco. He also seems to have been an accomplished singer, performing in both Synagogue and at public functions. He and his brother Eugene living in Oakland seem to have benefited from the success of the family wholesale grocery business. Louis Newbauer died after 1941.
Emilio Puyans was born in Santiago, Cuba on May 22, 1883. In 1900, Emilio Puyans went to Paris, where he studied with Claude-Paul Taffanel (1844-1908) at the Paris Conservatoire. In the 1902 Concours, Puyans received a 'premier accessit' in flute, and in the 1904 Concour, he won his Premier prix 126. Puyans played flute in the New York Symphony in about 1905. Emilio Puyans played a Claude Rive (France 1877- ) flute 125. In 1912, Emilio Puyans toured the U.S. with the diva Luisa Tetrazzini (1871-1940), along with Nahan Franco and his orchestra, and the French pianist Yves Nat (1890-1956). Puyans later was Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony for eight seasons 1912-1920 under Henry Hadley and Alfred Hertz. Louis Newbauer was in the second chair, what we might now call Assistant Principal flute all during Emilio Puyans tenure. Interestingly, Emilio Puyans was also the Cuban consul in San Francisco in the 1920s, and seems to have earned his living in the Cuban diplomatic service after leaving the San Francisco Symphony. By 1930, Puyans had returned to Havana, still in the diplomatic service. during the 1930s, it seems that Emilio Puyans was also a symphony conductor in Havana 124. In 1936, Puyans was Consul General of Cuba in Marseille, France. At the time of World War 2, Puyans was Consul General of Cuba in Portugal. Emilio Puyans died in Paris in 1956.
newspaper photograph of Anthony Linden in 1925
Anthony Linden was born in Helena, Montana January 4, 1890 of German parents. Anthony Linden studied with his father, William Linden (born April, 1839) who was also a musician, and who had emigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1880. Anthony's elder brother William was also a musician. Anthony grew up in Chicago, and in 1917, age only 27, he was teaching flute at the Metropolitan Conservatory in Chicago. In press accounts and his obituary, Anthony Linden is listed as Principal flute of the Cincinnati Symphony 144. However, other records do not confirm this, and perhaps he was a Cincinnati flute, but not Principal. Anthony Linden was Principal flute of the Minneapolis Symphony 1919-1920 111. He was also Principal flute of the Chicago Opera orchestra 144. In 1920, Anthony Linden joined the San Francisco Symphony under Alfred Hertz as Principal flute, where he remained until the financial suspension of the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 1933-1934 season. Anthony Linden earlier in his career had also played with Henry Cowell's New Music Society, giving the premiers of several works by Henry Cowell and Charles Ruggles in 1926-1927 228. Anthony Linden then moved to Los Angeles, where he was Principal flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Otto Klemperer for ten seasons, 1934-1944. Anthony Linden died June 20, 1957 in Los Angeles of a kidney disease 112.
Herbert Benkman was born June 22, 1892 in San Francisco of parents who had emigrated from Germany in 1887. In the later 1910s, he was a hotel and theater musician. Benkman was Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony 1924-1925. He later was in the third chair of the section playing piccolo. Herbert Benkman remained with the San Francisco Symphony until about the 1960-1961 season. His brother Siegfried Benkman (1895-1986), was well known as a pianist and composer in the San Francisco Bay area, and brother Edwin G. Benkman (1885-1976) was also a symphony musician. His daughter, Patricia (1917-1974) was a concert pianist including playing concerts with the San Francisco Symphony. Herbert Benkman died July 19, 1964 in San Francisco.
Henry Woempner was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 1, 1892. His was a musical family, his father, Carl Woempner Sr. (1867-1915) being an orchestral flutist, who also played with orchestras and bands in the Wisconsin and Illinois area in the 1890s-1910s. Carl Woempner Sr. was Principal flute with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra under Emil Oberhoffer for four seasons 1909-1913. Both Henry Woempner and his brother Carl Woempner Jr. studied flute with their father. When Carl Woempner Sr. joined the Minneapolis Symphony in the 1909-1910 season, Henry Woempner joined him on the flute stand. Carl Woempner Sr. was Principal flute of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1909 until his sudden death in 1915, age only 48. Leonardo De Lorenzo then became as Principal flute of the Minnesota Orchestra, with Henry Woempner still in the second flute chair. Following Leonardo De Lorenzo, Henry Woempner became Minneapolis Symphony Principal flute 1918-1933. His brother, Carl Woempner Jr. also joined the Minneapolis Symphony flute section in the 1929-1930 season. Henry Woempner resigned suddenly from Minneapolis Symphony in 1933. However, his brother Carl Woempner Jr. continued in Minneapolis for fifteen seasons 1929-1943. After Minneapolis, Henry Woempner went to California where, in the 1935-1936 season, Pierre Monteux was reviving the San Francisco Symphony. Monteux appointed Henry Woempner as Principal flute. Woempner remained Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony for ten seasons through World War 2 1935-1945. Henry Woempner then became an active sessions musician in Hollywood studios, principally at MGM studios, both for films and recordings. This likely paid better than the San Francisco Symphony, which also at that time only had a limited season January-May each year. At MGM, Henry Woempner played with his Principal double bass colleague Frank Kuchynka, with whom he also played when they were both Principals in the Minneapolis Symphony, and when they were both Principals in the San Francisco Symphony. Henry Woempner died September 18, 1956 in Placer County, California (east of Sacramento) at age 64.
Paul Renzi in 1947. photograph: Romaine, San Francisco
Paul Renzi born in New York February 25, 1926. Paul Renzi's father, Paolo or Paul Sr., was a longtime oboe in the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Toscanini. Paul began study of piano at eight, and he said that he had considered studying the oboe, but his father wanted to spare him the constant trouble of making his reeds, and steered Paul to the flute 100. Paul Renzi, living in Queens, began flute study with John Wummer of the New York Philharmonic, who had also been Paolo Renzi's colleague at the NBC Symphony. Renzi enrolled in Queens College, and during this time, he also worked as a part-time flutist at the Radio City Music Hall. Paul Renzi was selected at age 18 by Pierre Monteux as Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1944-1945 season. Then, for two seasons 1952-1954, Paul Renzi was Principal flute of the NBC Symphony under Toscanini, Toscanini's last two seasons. After the NBC Symphony became the Symphony of the Air, Paul Renzi also also played in the Symphony of the Air's Far East tour in May and June, 1955. Paul Renzi returned later to the San Francisco Symphony in the 1957-1958 season under Enrique Jorda. Paul Renzi then remained as Principal flute of the SFSO until the end of the 2003-2004 season, a total of 51 seasons, retiring at age 78. In 1977, he went through cardiac multiple bypass surgery, but battled back to resume his musical career. During his years with the Orchestra, Paul Renzi taught at San Francisco State University. He was married twice, his first wife having died of cancer, he married Roberta Renzi in 1966, to whom he was married for more than 40 years 100.
1948-1950, 1951-1957 Murray Graitzer
Murray Graitzer was born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, son of Jack and Mollie Graitzer who had emigrated from Poland in 1914, perhaps because of the series of Pogroms in Poland at that time. In New York, Murray Graitzer studied with both John Amans and John Wummer under a New York Philharmonic scholarship. In 1939, at age 17, Murray Graitzer performed and recorded with the 'New York Phil-Sym String Orchestra', a small New York-based orchestra active in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Graitzer also gained a bachelor's degree in economics from Brooklyn College, Class of 1943. During World War 2, Murray Graitzer served with the US Army Air Force as a pilot. Murray Graitzer after receiving his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College gained his Master's degree from Columbia University 104. In his early professional training, Murray Graitzer was flute in the National Orchestral Association, a training orchestra under the direction of Leon Barzin (1900-1999), who was also the founding director of the New York City Ballet. 103. In the summer of 1953, Graitzer toured with the orchestra of the New York City Ballet under Barzin. Murray Graitzer was Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony under Pierre Monteux and Enrique Jorda for two seasons 1948-1950 and returned 1951-1957. Murray Graitzer played the San Francisco premiere of the Alan Hovhaness Flute Concerto "Elibris" under Pierre Monteux in 1949.
Murray Graitzer in the 1950s also conducted the California Symphony, a non-profit training orchestra made up young union musicians of the San Francisco Bay area during four seasons, 1954-1958 101. In the summer of 1957, Murray Graitzer continued his conducting experience with his teacher, Leon Barzin during the European tour of the New York City Ballet, with Graitzer as Associate Conductor 104. In January, 1957, Murray Graitzer married Annie Reichert Saroyan 104. Following his 1957 re-marriage and departure from the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at the end of the 1956-1957 season, Murray Graitzer returned to conducting the California Symphoy youth orchestra in 1958. However, after that season, Murray Graitzer did not appear in any of the press accounts of musical activity, nor an account of his death.
Murray Graitzer as a conductor in 1956
Paul Renzi in 2004. photograph: Christina Hernandez San Francisco Chronicle
As described above in Paul Renzi 1944-1948, Paul Renzi had left the San Francisco Symphony between 1948-1957. He then returned to the Symphony in the 1957-1958 season under Enrique Jorda. Paul Renzi remained in the first flute chair a further 47 seasons until retiring at age 78 in 2004. Following the retirement of Paul Renzi, the San Francisco began a search for a new Principal flute. This search culminated in the selection in the 2007-2008 season of Timothy Day as the next Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony. During these three seasons of search, Robin McKee performed as acting Principal flute.
Robin McKee was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 14, 1954. She came from a musical family, both her parents being orchestra musicians. As a student, in about 1970, she performed in the Tulsa Youth Symphony, a training orchestra for Oklahoma musicians. McKee then entered the Oberlin College Conservatory where she graduated in 1976. He early orchestral experience included the Richmond Symphony - Virginia playing piccolo. Robin McKee then went on to the Baltimore Symphony as Assistant Principal flute. In the 1984-1985 season, Robin McKee won the competition for the Associate Principal flute position with the San Francisco Symphony under Edo de Waart. She was first stand partner with Principal flute Paul Renzi. When Paul Renzi retired, Robin McKee was asked to become acting Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas. Robin McKee's husband, Timothy Day, who had been teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory was asked to become acting Associate Principal flute. When Timothy Day was appointed Principal flute at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season, the two swapped chairs, and Robin McKee resumed her postion as Assistant Principal flute.
Timothy Day was born in California on August 1, 1956, and had had a wide training in his early years. He studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. He also was Principal flute of the California Symphony, a training orchestra for young professionals. Timothy Day studied at the Oberlin Conservatory with Robert Willoughby (1921- and a student of William Kincaid) studying both the flute and composition and graduating in 1974. Timothy Day for twelve seasons, 1976-1988, was Principal flute of the Baltimore Symphony, under Sergiu Comissiona and David Zinman. Also playing in the Baltimore Symphony as Assistant Principal flute was Timothy Day's wife Robin McKee. In Baltimore, he taught at the Peabody Conservatory, and was founding member of Pro Musica Rara, a chamber group specializing in baroque music. After the 1987-1988 season, Timothy Day left the Baltimore Symphony to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory. His wife, Robin McKee had already relocated to San Francisco as Associate Principal flute of the Symphony three seasons previously. Also, beginning in 1987, Timothy Day in the summers Day taught students at the Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. In 2004, when Paul Renzi retired from the San Francisco Symphony, Robin McKee was asked to become acting Principal flute of the SFS. At the same time, Michael Tilson Thomas asked Timothy Day to assume the second flute chair as acting Associate Principal flute. Then, after two seasons with this arrangement, at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season, Timothy Day was selected as Principal flute of the San Francisco Symphony, and Day and McKee swapped positions, with Robin McKee resuming her responsibilities as Associate Principal flute.
the great San Francisco Symphony flutes in 2011 (l to r): Catherine Payne, Robin McKee, Linda Lucas, and Timothy Day
Timothy Day announced that he would retire from the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
San Francisco Symphony Principal Horns
Walter Hornig in 1927
Walter Hornig (or in some records, Hörnig) was born June 3, 1884 in New York City of German parents. Walter Hornig had come from New York City with Henry Hadley for the first season of the San Francisco Symphony. Hornig had been recommended by Victor Herbert, a friend of Hadley. In fact, Victor Herbert seems to have been the source of a number of Henry Hadley's choices for the initial season of the San Francisco Orchestra. Walter Hornig had played horn with Victor Herbert's Pittsburgh Symphony. After the first two seasons, Walter Hornig was replaced in the first horn chair of the San Francisco Symphony by Paul Roth. The next season, 1914-1915, Hadley moved Walter Hornig back to the Principal horn position, where Hornig remained until 1930. The next season, he moved to third horn, with the lineup being Charles E. Tryner Principal, Herman Trutner, Walter Hornig, Paul Roth. Walter Hornig stayed with the San Francisco Symphony until 1938-1939, surviving the year of orchestra shutdown 1934-1935. Of these 27 seasons, Hornig was Principal for 19 seasons. During much of this time, third horn was Carl Findiesen 138. Walter Hornig earlier in his career had also played with Henry Cowell's New Music Society, giving the premiers of several works by Henry Cowell and Charles Ruggles in 1926-1927 228. Walter Hornig moved from Alameda (San Francisco Bay) to Hollywood in 1939, where he lived at least until 1954. Walter Hornig played horn in several Hollywood studios. Walter Hornig died in June, 1970 in Cooperstown, North Dakota at age 86, although why he was in North Dakota or perhaps moved to North Dakota is not clear.
Paul Roth in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives 1945
Paul Roth was born in Germany on October 6, 1881. Paul Roth studied horn at the Leipzig Conservatoire. In 1901, he emigrated to the US. In the 1910s, Paul Roth was a theater musician, including at the California Theater in San Francisco. He joined the San Francisco Symphony horn section in the second chair, which would today be termed the Assistant Principal horn, in its second season, 1912-1913. In 1913-1914, Henry Hadley named Paul Roth as Principal horn, succeeding Walter Hornig. In the next season 1914-1915, Walter Hornig returned to the San Francisco Symphony as Principal horn. Paul Roth resumed his position as Assistant Principal horn for two seasons. In 1915-1916, Paul Roth become Third horn. Then Alfred Hertz moved Roth back to the Assistant Principal horn chair, where he remained 1916-1930. Paul Roth was Fourth horn of the San Francisco Symphony 1930-1934 and 1935-1948. Paul Roth completed his service in the San Francisco Symphony in the fifth horn chair 1948-1950. After retiring, Paul Roth continued to teach until he died from cancer April 1, 1956 at age 74.
Pierre Lambert was born in France in 1892. He was Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony under first Basil Cameron and then Pierre Monteux, 1932-1934 and 1935-1940, the 1934-1935 season being cancelled. During the 1934-1935 cancelled season, Pierre Lambert did benefit from participation in the 1935 Brahms Festiveal. The Brahms festival was held at the University of California - Berkeley in June and July of 1935. That great benefactor of chamber music performance Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge financed a four week Brahms Festival of chamber music performances which featured some of the SFS leading musicians, including Lambert.162. After leaving the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 1939-1940 season, Pierre Lambert then moved to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the 1940-1941 season.
Charles Tryner in 1945 photo: San Francisco Symphony archives 1945
Charles Tryner was born in Chicago, Illinois March 2, 1895. He studied first with his father, Joseph Tryner who was a French horn player and orchestra conductor in Chicago. Charles Tryner then studied at the Chicago Musical College with Leopold de Mare, French horn and Gaston Dufresne solfege (both Chicago Symphony Principals). Charles Tryner joined the San Francisco Symphony early in his career, joining as Third horn in the 1921-1922 season under Alfred Hertz. After departing for one season Tryner was Assistant Principal horn 1923-1925. For two seasons, Charles Tryner was in the horn section of the Chicago Symphony 1925-1927. Charles Tryner then returned to San Francisco where he served eighteen seasons as Third horn of the San Francisco Symphony 1927-1930, 1931-1934 and 1935-1946, except the 1930-1931 season as Principal horn. Charles Tryner also played horn with the Walter Roesner T&D Band from about 1922-1926, He returned to the San Francisco Symphony horn section in the 1923-1925 seasons in the third horn chair. In the 1930-1931 season, Charles Tryner was rewarded for his musicianship with the Principal horn chair of the San Francisco Symphony. When Pierre Lambert was named Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony 1931-1936, Charles Tryner moved back to the third horn position. Charles Tryner died of a heart attack in San Francisco on May 16, 1969, age 74.
Herman Trutner was born on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay on June 3, 1904. Herman Trutner Jr. conducted the Oakland Municipal Band 1927-1961. At the recommendation of his father, Herman Trutner studied with Anton Horner of the Philadelphia Orchestra (privately; not at the Curtis Institute). He joined the San Francisco Symphony in the 1927-1928 season in the fifth horn chair with Walter Hornig, Paul Roth, Charles Tryner, Raffaele Rocco, and Herman Trutner. In 1930-1931, Herman Trutner became Assistant Principal horn with Charles Tryner. Herman Trutner continued in the second horn chair through the 1941-1942 season. Then in 1942-1943, Herman Trutner was elevated to the Principal horn position, which he continued through 1946-1947. In 1947-1948, when William Sabatini was appointed Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony, Herman Trutner reverted to the Assistant Principal horn position. This continued through 1950-1951, when in 1951-1952 Herman C. Trutner moved to Fourth horn. Unfortunately, Herman Trutner died during the 1955-1956 season, following twenty-nine seasons of service. He and his wife were killed in a house fire in their home in Alameda, California, across the Bay from San Francisco on March 24, 1956 before his 52nd birthday.
Attilio De Palma
Attilio De Palma succeeded Herman Trutner as Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony. Attillio De Palma studied horn with Anton Horner at the Curtis Institute Class of 1935.
William Sabatini was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 10, 1925. In Philadelphia, William Sabatini studied at Temple University. William Sabatini said in interviews that he studied at the Curtis Institute 215, but Curtis records do not show him to have graduated 145. William Sabatini was Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony, appointed by Pierre Monteux in the second part of the 1946-1947 season. Sabatini remained Principal horn for the subsequent nine seasons 1946-1955. With the arrival of Enrique Jorda, William Sabatini moved to the Symphony of the Air in New York City in 1955-1956. William Sabatini then became Principal horn of the Detroit Symphony under Paul Paray in 1956-1963. Following the departure of Enrique Jorda, William Sabatini then returned to the San Francisco Symphony under Josef Krips as Co-Principal horn with Ross Taylor in the 1963-1964 season. The next season, Sabatini was Co-Principal horn with Herman Dorfman, which he continued 1964-1971. Seiji Ozawa moved William Sabatini to the Assistant Principal horn chair in 1971-1972, where he remained for nine seasons 1971-1980.
Then, under Edo de Waart, William Sabatini became Associate Principal horn from the 1980-1981 season until the first part of 1987-1987 season. While in San Francisco, Sabatini was also active in chamber music, including being a founding member of the Camara Brass Quintet: William Sabatini horn, Wilbur Sudmeier trombone, Edward Haug trumpet, Ronald Bishop tuba and Chris G. Bogios trumpet. William Sabatini died in Berkeley, California on December 14, 1989 not long after retiring from the San Francisco Symphony.
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 165 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 165. 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.
Herman Dorfman was appointed to the San Francisco horn section in the 1958-1959 season under Enrique Jorda. He became third horn in 1959-1960, serving in that position for five seasons, 1958-1964. In 1964, Herman Dorfman was appointed Co-Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony by Josef Krips, serving with William Sabatini. In the 1972-1973 season, Herman Dorfman was Co-Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony with David Krehbiel. David Krehbiel and Herman Dorfman were Co-Principal horns for six seasons, 1972-1978. Krehbiel then became Principal horn in the next season, 1978-1979.
David Krehbiel was born in 1936 in Reedley, California. As a student, he studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. David Krehbiel studied for three years at Fresno State University and played with the newly-formed Fresno Philharmonic. During these years, he spent summers pumping gas at Yosemite National Park. "Every night I would take my horn up to Mirror Lake. The sound would float across the lake and reflect off Half Dome and seem to fill the whole valley. This was Horn Heaven.". In 1957, Krehbiel he went to Northwestern University for his fourth university year to study with Philip Farkas, famous Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony. In the Fall of 1958, David Krehbiel became Assistant Principal horn with the Chicago Symphony. He continued in this second chair position 1958-1963. The next season, 1963-1964 season, David Krehbiel moved to Detroit. He became Principal horn of the Detroit Symphony for nine seasons 1963-1972 under Sixten Ehrling. Krehbiel then moved to the San Francisco Symphony, where he became Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony under Seiji Ozawa in the 1972-1973 season. David Krehbiel's performances can still be enjoyed today in his many San Francisco Symphony recordings both with the orchestra and with chamber groups. David Krehbiel was a founding member of both the Summit Brass and Bay Brass. During his San Francisco years, Krehbiel taught and conducted at the Music Academy of the West for ten years. He also was Chair of the Brass Department at the San Francisco Conservatory during most of his tenure with the San Francisco Symphony.
Krehbiel in about 1996
After twenty-six seasons of distinction, David Krehbiel retired from the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 1997-1998 season. Following his retirement, David Krehbiel also aided the symphony in several of the recordings of the Mahler symphonies in the early 2000s. After the SFS, David Krehbiel became Professor of horn at the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, passing on his art to future generations of French horn musicians.
Following David Krehbiel retiring from the San Francisco Symphony, John Zirbel was selected as a candidate to assume the Principal horn chair of the San Francisco Symphony. Zirbel was appointed to a year which, in effect, amounted to an audition for the Principal position to join the great horn section of the San Francisco Symphony. This is a practice more and more used by the leading orchestras. Although John Zirbel is one of the great musicians of his instrument as his career has demonstrated, and as the critics agreed during his San Francisco season, it was not to be. In October, 2000, the orchestra announced that tenure would not be granted 180. John Zirbel was hardly at loose ends, since he had already been selected by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under Charles Dutoit to be their Principal horn. However, it demonstrated again the elevated level of competition for the very highest positions of the world's leading symphony orchestras.
John Zirbel was born in Janesville, Wisconsin about 60 km west of Milwaukee, and he went on to study at the University of Wisconsin with John Barrows (1913-1974) of the Minneapolis Symphony and Douglas Hill (1946- ) of the Rochester Philharmonic. After winning international horn competitions, John Zirbel joined the Denver Symphony for two seasons prior to his selection by the San Francisco Symphony and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. John Zirbel's career in Montreal, and his Decca recordings with the orchestra document his achievements. As a note of the community of the great musicians, John Zirbel is brother-in-law to violinist Gil Shaham and sister of pianist Orli Shaham.
Robert Ward with colleague Bruce Roberts in the background
Robert Ward was born on August 6, 1956 in Schenectady, New York. He studied at Oberlin College Conservatory in Ohio where he earned his BMus in 1977. Ward played with the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia (now known as Symphony Nova Scotia). He also was horn with the Denver Symphony (now the Colorado Symphony) for one season. Bob Ward joined the San Francisco Symphony in the 1980-1981 season under Edo de Waart as Associate Principal horn, seated at the first stand with David Krehbiel. Following the retirement of David Krehbiel, John Zirbel was selected as candidate for the Principal horn position of the San Francisco Symphony 180. When John Zirbel was not given tenure following the 1999-2000 season, the San Francisco Symphony horn section was in an "Acting" situation. The Principal horn position officially stayed open for much of the following decade, with the horns of the San Francisco Orchestra officially listed as "Acting". So: Robert Ward, Acting Principal horn, Bruce Roberts, Acting Associate Principal horn, Jonathan Ring, Acting Second horn, Kimberly Wright, Acting Third horn, Doug Hull (husband of Naomi Hull), Acting Fourth horn, Chris Cooper, Acting Utility horn. "Acting" or not, it was (and is) one of the great horn sections of the world's symphony orchestras, and all during this period intensively recording the Mahler symphonies in which all the horns, regardless of which chair, are exposed.
Robert Ward was appointed Principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony in the 2007-2008 season under Michael Tilson Thomas, much deserved, and making official what had been for the previous seven years. During his tenure in San Francisco, Robert Ward was has been an advocate of chamber music. He was a founding member of The Bay Brass and of the Foxglove Chamber Ensemble. Also active as a composer, Robert Ward has created a number of works, including his Quartet for Horns, played by several groups, including his colleagues shown in the Lea Suzuki photo below: (left to right) Robert Ward, Bruce Roberts, Kimberley Wright and Jonathan Ring.
Photograph by Lea Suzuki, San Francisco Chronicle, 1999.
Robert Ward also composed choral works Sound of the Sea and And All the Sea Sang composed for chorus and solo horn. Robert Ward in both playing and composing continues the strong tradition of the horn section of the San Francisco Symphony.
Also: Visit Bob Ward's interesting website:
SFSO brass in 1999: Glenn Fischthal, Principal trumpet, Craig Morris Associate Principal trumpet,
John Zirbel in his 1999-2000 season as Principal horn, Paul Welcomer, Second trombone, John Engelkis, bass trombone
San Francisco Symphony Principal Trumpets 1
A. Seiferth identified as first trumpet in the initial San Francisco season was likely Adam Seiferth, born January 24, 1847 in Munchberg, Bavaria about 100 km north of Munich, Germany. Adam Seiferth emigrated to the US in the spring of 1873 to New York City. Adam Seiferth was an active orchestral musician in New York City during the 1880s-1910. He stayed in San Francisco only one season, living at the Hotel Belmont. Adam Seiferth seems to have been selected by Henry Hadley while in New York, anticipating his musician needs in the creation of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1911. During the first San Francisco season, 1911-1912, David Rosebrook was second trumpet under Seiferth, moving up to the first chair the next season. Adam Seiferth died while on a trip to Germany on July 28, 1921, age 74.
David Rosebrook was born in Portland, Maine January 19, 1874. David Rosebrook was Assistant Principal trumpet 1911-1912, and moved to Principal for the next seven seasons. David Rosebrook's early career was as a cornet player in New York and Boston. He moved to San Francisco in 1899, where he was solo cornet with Henry Ohlmeyer's Band in the summer of 1910. Herbert Clarke had played with this band as special cornet soloist during David's tenure with the group. 1916-1925, he played solo cornet with the Golden Gate Band and played as special cornet soloist with the Oakland Municipal Band in the 1920's. 1919-1925, he conducted the Islam Shrine Band in San Francisco. David Rosebrook returned to the San Francisco Symphony as second trumpet in 1930, and stayed with the Orchestra for four additional seasons 1930-1934, until the Orchestra was suspended during the 1934-1935 season. As well as Principal trumpet, Rosebrook also on occasion conducted the Orchestra. In 1935, he played solo cornet with the Goldman Band replacing Charles Delaware Staigers. Rosebrook left the organization after only five weeks, as a result of illness. Rosebrook died in Oakland, California March 31, 1937, age 63 26.
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). Clemens Baler was third trumpet at this time 138. Samuel Miller became Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony for two seasons, 1919-1921, succeeding David Rosebrook. Samuel 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.
William Thieck was born March 27, 1883 in Mecklenburg, in northern Germany. When only 19, Thieck was Principal trumpet in the Hamburg, Germany orchestra of Julius Laube (1841-1910). Thieck emigrated to New York City, where he became Principal trumpet with the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York City 1906-1908. During 1909-1911, William Thieck was Principal trumpet of the St. Paul Symphony in Minnesota under Walter Henry Rothwell (1872-1927) who was later the first conductor of the Lost Angeles Philharmonic. After the St. Paul Symphony failed, still in Minnesota, William Thieck was Principal trumpet of the Minneapolis Symphony for 8 seasons, 1912-1920 under Emil Oberhoffer (1867-1933). Then in the 1921-1922 season, Thieck relocated to the San Francisco Symphony. After leaving San Francisco, Thieck became leader of the 150th Cavalry Band in Madison, Wisconsin.
William Thieck as a band player with his cornet circa 1912
As to his home life, Dave Hickman (who is working on a biographical dictionary of trumpet players) in trumpetherald.com wrote: "...According to his granddaughter, Lori Brosh, whenever William returned home from a long trip, he would play a love song on his trumpet as he walked towards his house. His wife, a professional opera singer, would open a window and sing the song with him..." 178 - certainly a loving couple. Apparently distraught, William Thieck was reported to have hanged himself on November 10, 1930 in Watertown, Wisconsin 27, although his family has speculated on "foul play".
Harry Glantz with the 1922-1923 SFSO Trumpet Section
Percy Code, second, Harry Glantz, Principal, Otto Kegel, third, Bert Dering, fourth
Harry Glantz was born in what was then Proskuriv, in the Ukraine in Russia (now named Khmelnytskyi, in the Ukraine) on January 1, 1896. He emigrated to the US with his family at age 4 in 1900. His family followed his father, Pincus Glantz (1866-1939), who had traveled to New York City nine months earlier. Pincus Glantz was a violinist, but unfortunately had to earn his living mostly as a cloth cutter, although he also played in theater orchestras. Harry Glantz studied trumpet with Jacob Borodkin beginning at age 9. He also studied with Max Bleyer, Christian Rodenkirchen, and Gustav Heim, all of whom were at various times Philadelphia Orchestra Principal trumpets. Harry Glantz was also a student of the famous trumpet teacher Max Schlossberg (1873-1936), who after emigrating from Russia became a long-term trumpet teacher at the New York Institute of Musical Art (predecessor of the Julliard School) and New York Philharmonic trumpet. Max Schlossberg is often called the '...father of the American School of trumpet playing...' 92. From 1911-1915, Harry Glantz was Principal trumpet of the New York Russian Symphony Orchestra Society, which was a training ground for many leading U.S. orchestral players. During much of 1915, Harry was in San Francisco, California as Principal trumpet at the San Francisco Exposition Orchestra. Beginning with the 1915-1916 season and also for half of the next season, Harry Glantz was Principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In December, 1917, Glantz was drafted into the U.S. Marine Band, and discharged in 1919 at the end of WW1. From 1919-1922, Harry Glantz was Principal trumpet of the New York Symphony. Then, in 1922, Glantz moved back to San Francisco where he was Principal of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra during the 1922-1923 season. Harry Glantz said that San Francisco conductor Alfred Hertz urged him to remain with the Orchestra, since only with brass of this quality could Hertz perform Wagner as it should be done. Glantz instead moved back to New York to be with his parents 91.
Harry Glantz went to the New York Philharmonic as Principal trumpet for 14 seasons, 1928-1942. In 1942, Harry Glantz then went on to become the Arturo Toscanini's Principal trumpet at the NBC Symphony, where he stayed until the Symphony disbanded in 1954, but continued with the renamed NBC Symphony, the "Symphony of the Air" at least in 1953-1954. In 1958, Harry Glantz retired to Bay Harbor, Florida. Harry Glantz taught a number of orchestral musicians, including his nephew Philip Fisher (born Fischberg), Assistant Principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra 1944-1945 and Principal of the Radio City Music Hall for many seasons. Glantz also taught Seymour Rosenfeld and Frank Kaderabek of the Philadelphia Orchestra and David Zauder of the Cleveland Orchestra. Beginning in 1972 until his death, Glantz taught trumpet at the University of Miami Graduate School of Music. Harry Glantz died in Bay Harbor, Florida 18 December 1982 at age 86 after a rich and varied career at the top of his profession.
After the departure of Harry Glantz, Ewald Dietzel was named Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony for two seasons, 1923-1925. In immigration records and in programs of 1924-1925, he was listed as "E. Ditzel" 91. Ewald Dietzel or Ditzel was born in Hombruch, Dortmund, Germany (60 km north of Cologne) April 24, 1880. He later lived and perhaps studied in Wiesbaden, Germany. Prior to San Francisco, Ewald Dietzel had been Principal trumpet of the Detroit Symphony for one season 1922-1923 under Ossip Gabrilowitsch 159. Before that, Ewald Dietzel seems to have lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (perhaps an interesting story behind that). After the San Francisco Symphony, Ewald Dietzel also played in the "San Francisco Symphony Ensemble", a pick-up orchestral group organized by Alexander Saslavsky for local concerts in the San Franciso area. Thereafter, Ewald Dietzel (Ditzel) seems to have moved to New York City, where he died sometime after 1946.
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. During his San Francisco years, Vladimir Drucker also had played with Henry Cowell's New Music Society, giving the premiers of several works by Henry Cowell and Charles Ruggles in 1926-1927 228. 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.
During the period of Vladimir Drucker's four seasons with the San Francisco Symphony, Edward Tarr lists in his excellent East Meets West: The Russian Trumpet Tradition from the Time of Peter the Great to the October Revolution 93, the trumpet section of the SFSO:
1925-1926 Vladimir Drucker, Alfred Arriola (later conductor of the San Francisco Municipal Park Band), Otto Kegel, Victor Kress
Otto Kagel in 1923
1926-1927 Vladimir Drucker, Alfred Arriola, Otto Kegel, Victor Kress (not permanent with the SFS)
1927-1928 Vladimir Drucker, Alfred Arriola, Otto Kegel, Victor Kress, Silvio Savant (not permanent with the SFS)
1928-1929 Vladimir Drucker, Leland S. Barton, Silvio Savant, Otto Kegel, Victor Kress
Karl Rissland in New York, 1920
Karl Rissland was born in New York City December 22, 1894 of German parents. Karl's father, Rudolf L. K. Rissland (1868-1960) who emigrated to the US in 1885 from Königssee (Bavaria) Germany, was also an orchestra musician, who played violin with the New York Symphony and with the Chicago Symphony 1891-1892. Karl Ernest Rissland's uncle Karl Rissland (1872-1960), also born in Königssee, Germany, was a first violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1894-1920.
Karl Rissland, Boston Symphony violinist and Rudolf Rissland, NY Symphony violinist, uncle and father of Karl Rissland
Rudolf Rissland, violinist and son Karl Rissland, trumpet played in the 1920 New York Symphony tour of Europe. Karl Rissland was later Principal trumpet of the Minneapolis Symphony 1927-1929 before moving to the San Francisco Symphony for the 1929-1930 season. In the 1940s and 1950s, Karl Rissland bacame an 'Official Racetrack Bugler' in Saratoga, New York. He appearing on the TV show 'What's My Line?' (people try to guess a guest's profession), in which he was described as being a bugler '...for all the horse racetracks in the New York City area...'. Karl Rissland died in Saratoga, New York February 13, 1971.
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 132. 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 133. 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.
1934-1935 season was essentially cancelled, due to financial problems.
Benjamin Klatzkin was born in Russia November 26, 1884, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1904. Benjamin Klatzkin also trumpet at the Republic Theater in New York City in the 1910s. Then, Benjamin Klatzkin was appointed Principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic for six seasons, 1914-1920. He may have kept up his performances with theater orchestras at that time to supplement his income. Klatzkin then went to the Minneapolis Symphony as Principal trumpet 1921-1923 under Emil Oberhoffer. Benjamin Klatzkin was Principal trumpet with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for six seasons, 1925-1931. Klatzkin was then appointed Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony for twelve seasons 1931-1944, not counting the 1934-1935 season (the season suspended for financial reasons). Benjamin Klatzkin's son, Leon Steven Klatzkin (1914-1992) was Third trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony 1937-1950 91. (note: Leon Klatzkin was later in the 1950s and 1960s, a successful composer of movie music in Los Angeles). According to Robert Commanday 136 and others, it seems that Benjamin Klatzkin lost his position with the San Francisco Symphony in an unusual way. Pierre Monteux and the SFSO had been regularly recording, in part because the musicians worked for the union scale wage, and Victor did not have to pay the musicians a premium for recording. Benjamin Klatzkin approached Pierre Monteux, stating that he should be paid a recording premium. Monteux then decided that Charles Bubb, the Assistant Principal, would play instead of Klatzkin. When Bubb made a mistake during the recording, he was upset and apologized to Monteux. According to the story, Monteux replied that everyone knew that Bubb played superbly, and would believe that it was Klatzkin's error (a good story, whether true or not). In any case, Monteux promoted Charles Bubb to Principal trumpet, leading to the departure of Benjamin Klatzkin. After San Francisco, in the 1945-1946 season, Benny Klatzkin went back to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he stayed two seasons 1945-1947. Benjamin Klatzkin died in Los Angeles on April 13, 1965.
Charles Bubb, Jr. in 1937 age 24
Charles Bubb was born in Riverside, California, east of Los Angeles on November 17, 1913. His family were California pioneers, of the Santa Clara Valley, and Charles grew up on a ranch. His father, Charles Bubb Senior, introduced Charles to the trumpet at an early age. Charles Bubb graduated from Stanford University in 1936 having studied mathematics. At Stanford, Charles Bubb was also Principal trumpet of the University Orchestra, with others such as Robert Diehl, trombone. Bubb had studied trumpet with Leland Barton, at that time Assistant Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony, and with whom Charles Bubb would play when he joined the San Francisco Symphony. After Stanford University, where he also briefly pursued a Ph.D. in mathematics, Charles Bubb then began a career as a university mathematics professor, teaching at Rutgers University in New Jersey, at the University of California - Davis, and at the University of Oregon. In 1944, Budd left the University of Oregon, and joined the San Francisco Symphony trumpet section as Assistant Principal trumpet. According to the story recounted above regarding Benjamin Klatzkin, during the 1944-1945 season, Charles Bubb was suddenly advanced to Principal trumpet by Pierre Monteux. Charles Bubb remained Principal trumpet until the end of the 1956-1957 season. When Enrique Jorda appointed Donald Reinberg as Principal trumpet, he and Charles Bubb had the title of "Co-Principal trumpet for two seasons 1957-1959. During his tenure at the San Francisco, like most of the San Francisco Symphony musicians, Charles Bubb performed in both the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera, as well as the Ballet orchestras until 1980, when the orchestras split. In 1959, it is said that Charles Bubb became dissatisfied with the direction of Enrique Jorda, and decided to leave the Orchestra. Charles Bubb went back to Stanford University to gain his teaching certificate, and the returned to teaching mathematics. Charles Bubb taught mathematics in Woodside, California (just south of San Francisco) until about 1970. He was Principal trumpet of the Carmel Bach Festival. Bubb also continued playing trumpet with community orchestras, well into his late 70s. Charles Bubb died on February 11, 2002 in Menlo Park, California, after having been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.
San Francisco Symphony Archives
Donald Reinberg was born in San Francisco on August 26, 1933. He grew up in a musical family; his father, Herman Reinberg (1898-1975), was Assistant Principal cello of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1950s, and played in string quartets with Naoum Blinder and a young Isaac Stern, among others 2. Donald Reinberg studied at Juilliard with William Vacchiano 91. In the 1950s, prior to returning to San Francisco, Donald Reinberg was a sessions trumpet in New York City, playing in Broadway musicals and on call with the New York Philharmonic. Donald Reinberg joined the San Francisco Symphony in the 1957-1958 season under Enrique Jorda. During his first two seasons, 1957-1959 Reinberg was listed as "Co-Principal trumpet with Charles Bubb. Donald Reinberg was favored by Jorda and Josef Krips and was Principal trumpet under them and into Seiji Ozawa's Directorship, being Co-Principal 1957-1959 and Principal trumpet from 1959-1976. In 1976, Seiji Ozawa wanted to re-seat Robert Sayre from Principal cello, Rudolf Persinger from Principal viola, and Donald Reinberg from Principal trumpet. Persinger accepted a demotion in the viola section, but Sayre did not 9. Sayre instead resigned. Donald Reinberg remained with the Orchestra as Acting Principal trumpet 1976-1979, and then became Associate Principal trumpet, sitting next to Laurie McGaw who was appointed Principal trumpet for the 1979-1980 season. The following season 1980-1981, Glenn Fischthal was selected Principal trumpet by Edo de Waart, with Laurie McGaw moving again to second chair, and Donald Reinberg moving to the third trumpet chair. Donald Reinberg retired from the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 1994-1995 season, after 38 seasons with the Orchestra.
San Francisco Symphony Archives
Laurie McGaw was born in Alameda, California, across San Francisco Bay from San Francisco on June 10, 1937. In his fascinating and scholarly description of the trumpets of the San Francisco Symphony 1911-1995 91, Stefan Cooper quotes Laurie McGaw's memory of the early impact of the trumpet on him: '...Before dawn on Easter, 1947, my parents bundled me into the car and drove to Albany Hill, where, as the first sunlight broke over the Golden Gate, the sound of a trumpet filled the air. At then years old, I suddenly knew I wanted to play this instrument...'. Laurie McGaw studied just a few miles from his Alameda home at the University of California, Berkeley, studying with Victor Kress and Charles Bubb, Jr. McGaw took his Master's degree in Geography at Rutgers University in New Jersey, at which time he studied trumpet with Armando Ghitalla and Gerard Schwartz. Laurie McGaw joined the San Francisco Symphony under Seiji Ozawa in 1970. He was Associate Principal trumpet, sitting next to Donald Reinberg. In the 1979-1980 season, Laurie was elevated to the Principal chair by Edo de Waart, with Donald Reinberg becoming Associate Principal trumpet, and the newly appointed Chris G. Bogios becoming third trumpet. The next season, 1980-1981, Glenn Fischthal was appointed Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony, and Laurie McGaw again moved to the second chair of the SFSO trumpet section, with Chris Bogios remaining in the third trumpet postion. This trumpet section continued through the accession of Michael Tilson Thomas to the Music Director position. Laurie McGaw retired from the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 1994-1995 season. Laurie McGaw continued to teach at his alma mater, UC Berkeley.
San Francisco Symphony Archives
Glenn Fischthal was born in Wisconsin February 22, 1948, and grew up in New York. Glenn Fischthal studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Bernard Adelstein. Fischthal graduated in 1970, after which he pursued further study at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia. In 1970, while still a student, Glenn Fischthal performed as a trumpet substitute with the Cleveland Orchestra. As a result, he was asked to join the Szell/Cleveland Far East tour of 1970 under Szell and Pierre Boulez. Fischthal then played with a series of orchestras: the San Antonio Symphony, the National Ballet of Canada, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Kansas City Philharmonic. In 1976, Glenn Fischthal became Principal trumpet of the Israel Philharmonic. In 1979, Fischthal moved back to the US to become Principal trumpet of the San Diego Symphony. This lead to his audition and selection as Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony in the 1980-1981 season. In the 2004-2005 season, Glenn Fischthal moved to the Associate Principal trumpet chair, with Bill Williams becoming Acting Principal. An advocate of chamber music throughout his career, Glenn Fischthal was a founding member of The Bay Brass.
Bill Williams, or more formally William M. Williams, Jr. was born in Connecticut in about 1963. He studied at the Eastman School earning a BMus and his Performer's Certificate. Bill Williams also studied psychology at the New School in New York City, earning an MA. After his study at Eastman, Bill Williams was Principal trumpet at a series of orchestras, including the Santa Fe Opera, the Berne Symphony in Switzerland, the Syracuse Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the City of Barcelona Symphony in Spain 1993-1994. in 2004, Bill Williams was appointed the Acting Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, which chair he held for four seasons 2004-2008. Bill Williams was also named Dean of Fellows at The New World Symphony, the Florida-based training orchestra for young musicians founded by Michael Tilson Thomas. Williams has also used his performance experience and psychology training to develop performance practices related to dealing with performance anxiety and stress, the subject of workshops he has organized.
Mark Inouye was born May 18, 1971 and grew up in Davis, California. After high school in Davis, Mark Inouye attended the University of California - Davis studying civil engineering for two years. Inouye then decided to concentrate on music and gained admission to the Juilliard School where he gained a Masters degree in Music in 1994. He studied with a number of teachers, including Raymond Mase. After Juilliard, Mark Inouye has been active in both the world of the symphony orchestra and in jazz. While in New York City, he was founding member of the Juilliard Jazz Sextet at Lincoln Center. He has composed The Bull Behind the Horns and Find the Cheese, both of which he has recorded (see his website www.inouyejazz.com). He also toured the United States with Toccatas and Flourishes a duo for organ and trumpet in 1994. He also toured with Empire Brass in 1995. He played his Washington Street Sidewalk Grooves with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach in 1997. With the same orchestra, he soloed in the Haydn Trumpet Concerti of Haydn and Tomasi. Mark Inouye was Principal trumpet of the Charleston Symphony 1998-1999. Mark Inouye joined the San Francisco trumpet section for five seasons 1999-2004. In 2004-2006 Inouye was on leave from the SFS to become Principal trumpet of the Houston Symphony. In the 2006-2007 season, Mark Inouye returned to the San Francisco Symphony trumpet section. He was selected as Principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony in the 2008-2009 season. Mark Inouye has also continued to perform regularly with the New World Symphony since 1999 and was named its Principal Trumpet in 2008.
Mark Inouye performing with the New World Symphony
Principal Trombones and Tubas of the San Francisco Symphony
The "Low Bass" of the San Francisco Symphony have a history of distinction; this section is a work-in-progress.
Orlando Giosi in 1942
Orlando Giosi was born near Naples, Italy on October 5, 1899. His was a musical family, and his brother Guido Giosi was also a musician, listed as being a theater musician in New York City in the 1930s and 1940s. As a youth, Orlando Giosi studied at the Real Collegio di San Pietro, in Naples, Italy. Giosi then emigrated to New York City as a youth in 1913 with Guido and his family. In New York, Orlando Ciosi studied and with Simone Manti, Principal trombone of the Metropolitan Opera and with Mario Falcone New York Philharmonic trombone. In 1917, Orlando Giosi was a hotel musician in New York City. Then, with the US entry into World War 1, Orlando Giosi served in the US Army in France in 1918. Orlando Giosi joined the San Francisco Symphony for the 1935-1936 season, selected by Pierre Monteux when he was rebuilding the orchestra in the period of September to December 1935. In newspaper sources of 1936, Orlando Giosi is cited as being appointed to the trombone of the San Francisco Symphony 164. His son was also a musician. Orlando Giosi Jr. was born in New York City in May 1926, and graduated from San Francisco State College with BMus degree in June 1953. Orlando Giosi Senior died relatively young on November 21, 1959 in San Francisco. On his death, Orlando Giosi Sr. was buried in the US military cemetery in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Francisco.
Philip Laspina studied at the Eastman School of Music, graduating in 1949. In the 1950s, Philip Laspina was Principal trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony under William Steinberg in the 1955-1956 season. In 1956-1957, Laspina moved to the San Francisco Symphony under Enrique Jorda as Assistant Principal trombone under Orlando Giosi. In the 1958-1959 season, Philip Laspina assumed the Principal trombone chair. During the early 1960s, Philip Laspina performed with Willard Spencer and John Bischof Bass trombone. Beginning in 1964-1965 he performed with Ned Meredith and John Bischof Bass trombone. In the 1968-1969 season, Josef Krips appointed Mitchell Ross as Principal trombone of the San Francisco Orchestra. In 1969-1970, Krips appointed Robert Szabo as Principal trombone.
Mark H. Lawrence was born in Ames, Iowa in 1950, and grew up in the Grosse Pointe in suburban Detroit. After playing with student bands and and the Grosse Pointe Symphony in the Detroit area, he studied at the University of Michigan. Concentrating on music, Lawrence was admitted to the Curtis Institute, earning his BMus in 1972. Lawrence was Principal trombone with the Denver Symphony at age 23 1973-1974. At that time, he also performed as Principal trombone of the Colombia Symphony Orchestra in Bogata, Columbia. Mark Lawrence was also a member of the Empire Brass Quintet with Rolf Smedvig trumpet, Charles A. Lewis Jr trumpet, David Ohanian horn and Samuel Pilafian tuba. He was a founding member of the Summit Brass ensemble and active with Chicago's Music of the Baroque. With the San Francisco Symphony under Herbert Blomstedt, Lawrence performed the Christopher Rouse Trombone Concerto in November 1994. Mark Lawrence is married to Kimberly Wright of the San Francisco horn section. After the San Francisco Symphony, Mark Lawrence has taught at several universties, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Colburn School in Los Angeles and the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara).
photo: San Francisco Symphony
Timothy Higgins was born in Houston, Texas. As a student, he played in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for young musicians of the Chicago area. Timothy Higgins studied at Northwestern University, Chicago, graduating in 2005. In 2011, Higgins joined the teaching faculty of Northwestern. While at Northwestern, he founded the trombone quartet CT3. With CT3, he was winner of the ITA Quartet Competition in 2005. After Northwestern, Timothy Higgins was a freelance trombonist in the Washington DC area. He was also acting Second trombone of the National Symphony of Washington DC prior to being named Principal trombone of the San Francisco Symphony in the 2008-2009 season. He has also been active in music festivals, including the Grand Teton Music Festival (Wyoming), Sun Valley Summer Symphony (Idaho), Round Top Festival (Texas), the National Repertory Orchestra summer orchestra (Colorado), and the Tanglewood Music Center. Timothy Higgins has also transcribed a number of works for trombone quartet, including the Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition with which CT3 won the 2005 ITA Trombone Quartet Competition. He is married to actress Sharon Rietkerk who is active in musical theater.
Nick Platoff, Timothy Higgins and Paul Welcomer in Tokyo 2016 during the San Francisco Symphony's Asia tour
Principal trombone Timothy Higgins (l) and Paul Welcomer, second trombone, on tour in Madrid summer 2011
photo: Jean Shirk, San Francisco Symphony
A section on the percussion of the San Francisco Symphony will be added here once research on the musicians has been completed.
William Wood was the first Principal timpani of the newly-formed San Francisco Symphony in the initial 1911-1912 season. So far, not much has been discovered in research of this musician, other than he lived in San Francisco only in 1911-1913. Wood may have been recruited from the East Coast by Henry Hadley when he was initially forming the new San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
After the fleeting tenure of William Wood as timpani of the newly founded San Francisco Symphony in 1911-1912, George Wagner was the first important Principal timpani of the San Francisco Symphony for ten seasons 1912-1922. He came from a musical family. Both he and his brother Roland Wagner --- usually listed as "R. E. Wagner" in San Francisco rosters --- had studied with his musician father. His father was Chicago Symphony Orchestra percussionist Ernst F. Wagner (1848-1922) and his German-born musician grandfather Franz Hoffman (1834- ) was also a percussionist.
Roland E. Wagner or R. E. Wagner as he was always listed in San Francisco Symphony rosters succeed his brother George Wagner as Principal timpany in the 1922-1923 season under Alfred Hertz. As mentioned above, Roland Wagner had studied with his musician father. His father was Chicago Symphony Orchestra percussionist Ernst F. Wagner (1848-1922) and his German-born musician grandfather Franz Hoffman (1834- ) was also a percussionist.
photo: San Francisco Symphony archives 1945
Walter Larew was born in Madera, California in the state's central valley on January 12, 1910. However, Walter Larew grew up in Oakland, California, across the Bay from San Francisco . Walter Larew studied in the band and the orchestra at Roosevelt High School, Oakland California and then with San Francisco Symphony percussionist Roland Wagner, whom Larew succeeded in the Orchestra. He also studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where he played in the University Orchestra. He graduated from Berkeley in 1933. While studying at Berkeley, in 1932-1933, Walter Larew also directed the Oakland YMCA amateur orchestra. He entered the San Francisco Symphony under Pierre Monteux in the 1937-1938 season, succeeding Roland Wagner. Walter Larew also taught percussion at San Francisco State College. Walter Larew owned a music store on Market Street in San Francisco for a time in the 1940s-1950s. Walter Larew suffered from illness for several years after retiring from the San Francisco Symphony in 1955. Larew died in Alameda, California on February 27, 1959 just six weeks after his forth-ninth birthday.
Lloyd Davis was a long-time member of the percussion section of the San Francisco Symphony. He was Principal timpani during the 1955-1956 season. Then, with the appointment of Roland Kohloff as Principal timpani, Lloyd Davis remained in the San Francisco percussion section for a further thirty-three seasons 1956-1989. Prior to the San Francisco Symphony, Lloyd Davis performed with the Dave Brubeck Quartet Jazz at Oberlin in 1953, and played in the Dave Brubeck Octet in the early 1950s. Lloyd Davis was also part of Dave Brubeck's previous group called the "Jazz Workshop Ensemble" 229.
Roland Kohloff was born on January 20, 1935 and grew up in Mamaroneck, New York, where his father worked for the Post Office. Roland Kohloff succeeded in gaining admission to the Juilliard School, studying under famous timpanist Saul Goodman, whom Kohloff later succeeded at the New York Philharmonic.
Roland Kohloff, right, with his teacher Saul Goodman
After graduation from Juilliard in 1956 Kohloff went immediately to the San Francisco Symphony as Principal timpani under Enrique Jorda. Roland Kohloff is still remembered in San Francisco for his premier of the Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra in San Francisco in 1957. The departure of Roland Kohloff was said by David Schneider to be because of the criticism of Seiji Ozawa. "There had been several 'voluntary' relinquishment of first-chair positions in the firs years of Ozawa's tenure...Roland Kohloff, our timpanist was one man who gave up his position rather than endure Ozawa's relentless attacks..." 264. Roland Kohloff then went on to become Principal timpanist with the New York Philharmonic for 32 seasons, 1972-2004. With the New York Philharmonic, Roland Kohloff gave the New York premieres of several works, including the Franco Donatoni (1927-2000)Concertino for Strings, Brass and Solo Timpani and Siegfried Matthus (1934- ) Timpani Concerto. A famous incident while Roland Kohloff was Principal timpani of the New York Philharmonic occurred in 1978 when the father of Philadelphia Orchestra Principal timpani Gerald Carlyss died. Carlyss was to have played the important timpani part of David Del Tredici's Final Alice. Kohloff had played Final Alice with the Philharmonic the previous season, so after playing in the New York Philharmonic concert of that evening, he ran from Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall to play the second half of the Philadelphia Orchestra concert under Eugene Ormandy. While in New York, Roland Kohloff taught at his alma mater, the Juilliard School. Roland Kohloff did the public the service of openly discussing his bouts of depression and his need for regular therapy 265. Roland Kohloff died in New York after a struggle with cancer on February 24, 2006, age 71.
Elayne Jones was born in New York City in 1928 of Barbados parents. She gained her initial musical training at the La Guardia Music and Art High School (now La Guardia School of the Arts) 1942-1945. As a student, Elayne Jones was one of six winners of the Duke Ellington Scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music. While at Juilliard, she was a Tanglewood Fellow at the summer festival. In New York City, she was timpanist with the New York Opera 1949-1960. Then she joined Leopold Stokowski's American Symphony Orchestra in New York City as Principal timpani from approximately 1960-1971. Elayne Jones was also an active freelance musician in New York City.
Leopold Stokowski (l), American Symphony Associate conductor Ainslee Cox and Elayne Jones in 1965
Elayne Jones then auditioned for the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. She won the San Francisco Symphony audition and joined the orchestra in the 1972-1973 season under Seiji Ozawa. Jones was Principal timpani in San Francisco for two seasons. However, she was not granted tenure. Orchestra Principal Second violin David Schneider wrote:"...the orchestra committee had voted that neither Ryohei Nakagawa, Principal bassoon nor Elayne Jones, timpanist would achieve tenure...[Jones] had captured the fancy of many as a kind of folk heroine...to deny her tenure and to have that decision come from the orchestra was foolhardy..." 263. Jones sued the orchestra twice for racial and sexual prejudice, but was unsuccessful, within a background of a firestorm of public controversy. However, Elayne Jones continued for an unprecedented third season as a probationary member of the San Francisco Symphony 1974-1975. She also continued as Principal timpani of the San Francisco Opera until her retirement in 1998. Elayne Jones then returned to New York City to be close to her family.
1975-1975 the San Francisco Symphony timpani chair remained open.
Barry Jekowsky was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 17, 1952. He started his professional training early, enrolling in the Juilliard School pre-college division in about 1960. Jekowsky continued at the Juilliard School, graduating with his BMus and MMus. As a teen in New York City, while studying at Juilliard, Barry Jekowsky played in the orchestra of several Broadway shows in the 1960s.
Barry Jekowsky also pursued a career as orchestra conductor, including Associat Conductor of the National Symphony of Washington D.C. (1994-1995), founder of the California Symphony based in Walnut Creek, California, and Music Director of the Reno Philharmonic (Nevada) 1998-2008 304.
David Herbert comes from a musical family, having studied piano initially with his pianist parents in Saint Louis. David Herbert studied at the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music, earning his BMus and at the Juilliard School, gaining a Masters in percussion performance. He was timpani in the New World Symphony in Florida under Michael Tilson Thomas prior to joining the San Francisco Symphony in the 1994-1995 season. Herbert gave the premier of the William Kraft (1923- ) Concerto no. 2 for Timpani: The Grand Encounter in 2005 with Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. He also gave the San Francisco premier of the Kraft Concerto no. 1 for Timpani, and was soloist in Lou Harrison's Concerto for Organ and Percussion, and Michael Tilson Thomas's Island Music. He is also active in summer music festivals, including as Principal timpani with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony - Idaho. In July 2013, David Herbert was appointed Principal timpani of the Chicago Symphony.
2013-2016 the San Francisco Symphony timpani chair remained open.
In August 2013, the San Francisco Symphony announced "Alex Orfaly will fill the position of principal timpani as a one-year substitute." 301
Edward Stephan grew up in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburth. He studied at the University of North Texas, BMus and then at the New England Conservatory of Music where he earned his MMus. In Texas, he was Principal timpani of the the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra 2001-2009, and then of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2009-2011. Edward Stephan was Principal timpani of the Pittsburgh Symphony 2010-2016. He was appointed Principal timpani of the San Francisco Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas in July 2016.
Jack Van Geem, Principal percussion
playing Jack in the Box for solo marimba by Darren Jones in 2010
Tom Hemphill (left) and Hemphill, Raymond Froehlich and David Herbert in performance in 2011
San Francisco Symphony Baseball
As with other leading symphonies, entry to the ranks of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra is elevated. And, once in, a musician will have to compete at an elevated level to gain admittance to the San Francisco Symphony softball team.
This team is at the top of its league and has competed with the softball teams of a number of other famous US and even international orchestras. To read more about the San Francisco Symphony softball team and its exploits click here
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1 Trumpet Source includes: Cooper, Stefan. The Trumpet Players of the San Francisco Symphony 1911-1995, February 1996 ITG Journal. http://www.trumpetguild.org/journal/f96/9602Coop.pdf
2 page 18. Stern, Isaac and Potok, Chaim. My First 79 Years. Da Capo Press. New York, 2001 ISBN 0-3068-1006-9.
3 page 104. Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony. Music, Maestros, and Musicians. Presidio Press. San Francisco. 1983. ISBN 0-89141-296-4.
4 page 19. Stern, Isaac and Potok, Chaim. My First 79 Years op. cit.
5 from J. Willis Sayre Photographs, University of Washington Libraries
6 Howe, Granville L. and Mathews, William Smythe Babcock A Hundred Years of Music in America G.L. Howe, 1889
7 Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians-1920. The Macmillan Company. New York. 1920.
8 page 225. Kenneson, Claude Musical Prodigies: Perilous Journeys, Remarkable Lives Hal Leonard Corporation. 1998 ISBN 1574670468
9 pp. 205, 225 Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony op. cit.
10 page 437. Heiles, Anne Mischakoff. America's Concertmasters. Harmonie Park Press. Sterling Heights, MI. 2007. ISBN-13 978-0-89990-139-8.
11 page 225. Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony op. cit.
12 page 6. New York Times. New York. February 6, 1912.
13 page 84. Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony op. cit.
14 Kozinn, Allan. Enrique Jorda Obituary. The New York Times. New York. March 31, 1996
15 Forty-Third Season Notes, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra: Enrique Jorda Conductor. San Francisco Symphony Association. San Francisco. April 1955.
16 Hall, Mordaunt. Review: The New York Times. New York. October 29, 1924.
17 pages 296, 308. Music and Maestros: The Story of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis. 1952.
18 page 74 Vail, Joseph H. "Litchfield County Choral Union, 1900-1912" Litchfield County University Club. 1912
19 page 244. Hughes, Rupert. Contemporary American Composers. Page and Company. Boston 1900.
20 page 166 Werner's magazine: a magazine of expression. Volume 19. Music Teachers National Association. New York. 1897.
21 page 311. Apel, Willi. Harvard Dictionary of Music, Second Edition 1969. Cambridge, MA 1944 and 1969. ISBN 0-674-37501-7
22 page 93. Hadley, Henry. Henry Hadley Talks of Writing Music for the Movies. Musical Courier December 9, 1926.
23 page X8. Society: Music Here and There. New York Times. New York. October 6, 1912.
24 page 386. Krips, Harrietta and Athanasiada, Georges. Souvenirs: Pas de Musique Sans Amour.
25 page 9. That Symphony Orchestra Oakland Tribune. August 10, 1910.
26 Schwartz, Richard I. Well-known Soloists from All Walks of Life: Chapter 2 2001. http://www.angelfire.com/music2/thecornetcompendium/well-known_soloists_10.html
27 page 2. Musician Ends Life With Rope Wisconsin State Journal. November 12, 1930.
28 page 438. Elson, Louis Charles. University Musical Encyclopedia, Volume 10. University Society, Inc. New York. 1912.
29 pages 114-116. O'Day, Edward Francis. Varied Types. Town Talk Press. San Francisco. 1915.
30 pages 104-111. Kenneson, Claude. Musical Prodigies: Perilous Journeys, Remarkable Lives. Amadeus Press. March 2003. ISBN-13: 9781574670462.
31 page 121-135. John Canarina, John. Pierre Monteux, Magre. 2003. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN-13: 9781574670820.
32 page 132. John Canarina, John. Pierre Monteux, Maitre. op.cit.
33 page 451. Schwarz, Boris. Great Masters of the Violin. Simon and Schuster. New York. 1983. ISBN 0-671-22598-7.
34 page 264. Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony op. cit.
35 page 212. Sauners, Richard Drake. Music and Dance in California and the West. 1948 3rd Edition. Hollywood Press. Hollywood, California.
36 page 19. Death Takes Violinist Frank Houser. Oakland Tribune. October 14, 1973.
37 page 3. Normal Concert Promises Big Hit. Daily Free Press. Carbondale, Illinois. December 8, 1919.
38 page 298. Shanet, Howard. Philharmonic: A History of New York's Orchestra. Doubleday and Company. New York. 1975. ISBN: 0-385-08861-2.
39 page 113. Heiles, Anne Mischakoff. America's Concertmasters. op.cit.
40 Aldrich, Richard. Amusements section, page 23. Mishel Piastro, Russian Violinist. New York Times. New York. October 4, 1920.
41 email information, March, 2010, from Arthur Ness, clarinet student of Frank Fragale.
42 page 39. S.F. Composer to Conduct Own Work at U.C. Concert. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, CA February 6, 1949.
43 page 14. Peterson, Pearl Famed Composer-Conductor Greets Renoites. The Nevada State Journal. Reno, Nevada February 8, 1970.
44 Searle, Humphrey. Chapter 16. Memoires: Quadrille With a Raven. Memoires completed 1982; unpublished. http://www.musicweb-international.com/searle/titlepg.htm
45 page 13. Symphony Orchestra will Give Concerts . Berkley Daily Gazette. Berkley, California July 7, 1937.
46 page 40. Van Den Burg Joins Faculty at Mills. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California March 29, 1942.
47 page 22. Cellist to be Soloist Over KGO Tonight. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California July 6, 1928.
48 page 5. Van Den Burg to Lead Symphony . San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California July 24, 1936.
49 page 24. Music Institute Plans Summer Program . The Valley News. Van Nuys, California May 18, 1971.
50 page 127. Canarina, John. Pierre Monteux, Ma?re. op.cit.
51 email information, March, 2010, from Laila Storch, oboe student of Julien Shanis and Marcel Tabuteau, and author of the superb biography of Tabuteau: Storch, Laila. Marcel Tabuteau "How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom?". Indiana University Press. Bloomington. 2008. ISBN-13 978-0-253-34949-1.
52 page 125. Canarina, John. Pierre Monteux, Ma?re. op.cit.
53 page 124. Canarina, John. Pierre Monteux, Ma?re. op.cit.
54 page 8. Basil Cameron Due Tonight. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. July 18, 1935
55 page 1. Reno Evening Gazette. Reno, Nevada. June 3, 1930.
56 page 32. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 23, 1933.
57 page 23. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 25, 1930.
58 page 77. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. August 3, 1930
59 page 13. Krips, Josef and Krips, Harrietta. Souvenirs: Pas de musique sans amour. Paris. 2004.
60 pages 146-148. Krips, Josef and Krips, Harrietta. Souvenirs: Pas de musique sans amour. op. cit.
61 pages 420-424. Krips, Josef and Krips, Harrietta. Souvenirs: Pas de musique sans amour. op. cit.
62 Frank Fragale Collection. Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound. Stanford University Libraries. Palo Alto, California. http://www.oac.cdlib.org/data/13030/r6/kt529026r6/files/kt529026r6.pdf
63 page 4. Opera by Local Man has World Premier. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. August 29, 1953.
64 email information, March, 2010, from Arthur J. Ness, who played clarinet with Rudolph Schmitt.
65 page 24. Long Beach Symphony Offers Two Woodwind Features. Long Beach Press-Telegram. Long Beach, California January 17, 1966.
66 page 62. Municipal Band Marks 57 Years. Long Beach Press-Telegram. Long Beach, California March 6, 1966.
67 Associated Press story. Edo de Waart Signs. Associated Press. December 20, 1974.
68 page 23. Rotterdam Philharmonic to Play Here. Naples Daily News. Naples, Florida. March 31, 1975.
69 page 8. Blossom Releases Orchestra Dates. Elyria Chronicle Telegram. Elyria, Ohio November 5, 1974.
70 page 36. Music, Not the Personnel is Lacking . Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California March 2, 1974.
71 Stepping Down. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California March 12, 2010
72 Press Release SPCO Announces New Artistic Partner Edo de Waart. Saint Paul, Minnesota. March 19, 2008
73 Oslo Philharmonic website http://www.oslofilharmonien.no/
74 Herbert Blomstedt biography at the San Francisco Symphony website http://www.sfsymphony.org/music/
75 National Archives and Records Administration: World War I Draft Registration Adolph Blomstedt
76 Section 2 Conductor Making His Mark with Orchestra. Chicago Daily Herald. Chicago, Illinois November 29, 1988.
77 page 23. S.F Symphony to Open Season Friday . Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California December 3, 1939.
78 page 12. New Players in Orchestra. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California February 22, 1906.
79 page 107. Canarina, John. Pierre Monteux, Ma?re. op.cit.
80 page C-3. Chamber Unit in Two Concerts. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California July 9, 1950.
81 highly recommended, and fun: Storch, Laila. Marcel Tabuteau 'How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom?'. Indiana University Press. Bloomington. 2008. ISBN-13 978-0-253-34949-1.
82 Naoum and Eugenia Blinder Papers, 1909-1988. University of California, Berkeley.
83 page 16. Stern, Isaac and Potok, Chaim. My First 79 Years op. cit.
84 page 247. Saleski, Gdal. Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race Kessinger Publishing. 2006. ISBN 142862516X
85 page 99. The Violinist, Volume XXIV. Violinist Publishing Company. Chicago, IL. Volume XXIV. August, 1919.
86 page 9. Home Club. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California May 2, 1907.
87 page 9. Orchestra Membership Announced. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California September 9, 1906.
88 page 54. Questions from the Curious. New York Times. New York, NY October 17, 1909.
89 page 3. Hertz Acquires New Musicians. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California September 21, 1919.
90 page 55. Thornton, Mary. Trumpet Players of the Cleveland Orchestra 1918-1993. An Addendum. ITG Journal. International Trumpet Guild. Manhattan, Kansas December 1994.
91 pages 32-41. Cooper, Stefan Trumpet Players of the San Francisco Symphony 1911-1995. International Trumpet Guild Journal. February, 1996.
92 pages 226,227. Tarr, Edward H. Tarr, Carter, Stewart Carter, editors. East Meets West: The Russian Trumpet Tradition from the Time of Peter the Great to the October Revolution . Pendragon Press. New York, New York. March, 2004. ISBN-13: 9781576470282
93 pages 231-236. Tarr, Edward H. Tarr, Carter, Stewart Carter, editors. East Meets West: The Russian Trumpet Tradition from the Time of Peter the Great to the October Revolution. op. cit.
94 page 8. Iskander Akhmadullin, Iskander. The Russian Trumpet Sonata: A Study of Selected Representative Sonatas for Trumpet and Piano with Historic Overview. Ph.D. thesis. University of North Texas. May 2003.
95 web page: Curtis Institute of Music. Curtis Alumni Since 1924. http://www.curtis.edu/a
96 Section 4, page 9. Music Notes. The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. May 16, 1943.
97 Page 14A. Fremont Philharmonic Concert Set . San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. February 11, 1967.
98 page 31. A New Orchestra of All Under-25 Professionals. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. June 28, 1977.
99 page 7-EL. New Manager, Cellist Named Opera Orchestra. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. August 11, 1963.
100 Kosman, Joshua. He arrived as a wunderkind at age 18. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. July 26, 2004.
101 page 1. Trutner, Oakland Band Leader Dies. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. December 27, 1961.
102 Page 20. California Symphony to Play in Belmont. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. June 18, 1958.
103 page C-3. New Audience Seen by Ballet Maestro. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. June 27, 1954
104 Page 40. Mrs. Saroyan to Rewed . New York Times. New York, New York. January 14, 1957.
105 Kosman, Joshua. William Bennett, top Symphony oboist, back from beating cancer. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. July 20, 2005.
106 Kosman, Joshua. William Banovetz. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. February 2, 2001.
107 page 457. Colby, Frank Moore. The New international Year Book, Volume 1919 . Dodd, Mead and Company. New York, New York. 1917.
108 page X-3. Aldrich, Richard. Music. New York Times. New York, New York October 24, 1920.
109 page 11. New Wind Ensemble Make Debut Friday. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. February 8, 1925.
110 page 9. Signor Zannini is Given Great Ovation. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. April 14, 1913.
111 page 113. Medicus, Emil. Twin City Flute Club. The Flutist Magazine, Volume 1. Asheville, North Carolina. 1920.
112 page C-7. Kidney Ailment Fatal to Symphony Flutist. Long Beach Press-Telegram. Long Beach, California. June 21, 1957.
113 page B-4. S.F. Symphony Season Will Start Friday. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. December 1, 1940.
114 Michael Tilson Thomas official website. Biography . http://www.michaeltilsonthomas.com/MTTBiography.html
115 pages 186-190. Rosenberg, Deena Rosenberg, Rosenberg, Bernard. The music Makers Columbia University Press. New York, New York. 1979. ISBN 0-231-03953-0.
116 Section F page 1. Apone, Carl. Steinberg Opens Farewell Season Friday. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. September 6, 1975.
117 page 9. Chamber Series in Belmont. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. June 28, 1977.
118 page 23. Featured Soloist at HVP Concert. Kingston Daily Freeman. Kingston, New York. December 3, 1975.
119 St. Louis Symphony website. Jonathan Vinocour.
120 University of Colorado website. Faculty Biography: Geraldine Walther
121 Elson, Louis Charles Elson. University Musical Encyclopedia, Volume 10. The University Society. New York. 1912.
122 Kosman, Joshua. Marc Lifschey. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. November 10, 2000.
123 Lifschey, Marc. Playing Staccato on the Oboe. The Double Reed. Volume 25 no 1-2002.
124 Philharmonic Orchestra of Havana History. http://www.soycubano.com/bijirita/musica/orquesta_sinfonicai.asp
125 Joseph Wilds Sallenger's Favorite Flutes Index . http://goferjoe.bygones.biz/flutes.htm
126 pages 286-290. Blakeman, Edward. Taffanel: Genius of the Flute. Oxford University Press 2005. ISBN-13 978-0-19-517098-6.
127 page 8-S. Symphony to Open Summer Series in S.F.. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. July 15, 1934.
128 information from websites: Noe Valley Chamber of Commerce http://www.nvcm.org/season/20080406.htm and San Francisco Opera http://sfopera.com/artistbio.asp?castcrewid=1127
129 Ramsey, David. page 18. SSO Soloist Tackles Work of American Masters. Syracuse Herald Journal. Syracuse, New York. February 11, 2000.
130 Midgette, Anne. Yiddish Theater Lives in the Care of One Who Knows New York Time. New York. April 19, 2005.
131 page 455. Colby, Frank Moore, Churchill, Allen Leon. The New international Year Book Volume 1919. Dodd, Mead and Company. New York, New York. 1919.
132 pages 303-304. Sherman, John K. Sherman. Music and Maestros: The Story of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra University of Minnesota. Minneapolis. 1952.
133 page 250. Tarr, Edward H. (Stewart Carter, editor). East Meets West: The Russian Trumpet Tradition Historical Brass Society Series number 4. Pendragon Press, 2004. ISBN-13 978-1576470282
134 pages 54-60. Boone, Philip Sandford. The San Francisco Symphony, 1940-1972: Oral history transcript (1978) Bancroft Library. Regional Oral History Office. Bancroft Library, University of California. 1978.
135 pages 130-133. Altman, Ludwig. A well-tempered musician's unfinished journey through life: Oral history transcript Bancroft Library. Regional Oral History Office. Bancroft Library, University of California. 1990.
136 Commanday, Robert. Tribute: Charles R. Bubb Jr. (1913-2002) San Francisco Classical Voice. San Francisco, California. February 19, 2002.
137 Olshausen, Johannes and Olshausen, Detlev. 1876 from Hamburg to Panama and San Francisco to the Philadelphia World Fair Dorrance Publishing Company, Inc. San Francisco, California. September 2009. ISBN-13: 9781434994233.
138 page 3. Hertz Acquires New Musicians. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, CA September 21, 1919.
139 page 13. Desfor, Irving. Photo Exhibits on China. Winchester Evening Star. Winchester, Virginia. March 24, 1972.
140 page 35. Interesting Concerts Mark Year's Opening. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California December 29, 1935.
141 page 15. San Francisco Symphony to Open Pop Season. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California January 14, 1936.
142 page 39. New Leader Pierre Monteux. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California September 8, 1935.
143 page 81. Monteux Los Angeles Philharmonic Engagement. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California December 22, 1935.
144 page 18. Oakland Moose to Give Musicale at Clubrooms. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California October 18, 1923.
145 page 6. Wind Ensemble Climaxes Concert Series. Fairbanks Daily News. Fairbanks, Alaska. May 9, 1955.
146 page 5. Raymond Ojeca Performs with Buffalo Philharmonic. Hayward Review. Hayward, California Feb 7, 1949.
147 page 26. S.F. Symphony Picks Principal Bassoonist. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California August 20, 1976.
148 page 50. Symphonies Planned. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California December 5, 1915.
149 page 10. San Francisco Orpheum Dark After 42 Years. Lima News. Lima, Ohio August 13, 1929.
150 page 17. Popular Concert Finances Raised . Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California September 11, 1922.
151 page 5. Cathedral Choir to Sing Tonight . Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California April 7, 1923.
152 page 79. Danforth, Roy Harrison. Music News of the Weekend. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California November 7, 1926.
153 page 2. L.A. Baroque Players in 6th Concert . Long Beach Press-Telegram. Long Beach, California January 7, 1956.
154 page 41. Tollefsen Trio at Seaside Club . Bridgeport Telegram. Bridgeport, Connecticut November 26, 1919.
155 page 47. Souvenir. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California November 28, 1937.
156 Ferenc Molnar, 89. Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida May 13, 1985.
157 page 76. Silverman, Jan. Maria Adds Spice to Life. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California August 9, 1970.
158 page 6. Musicians Names are Announced. San Francisco Call. San Francisco, California. September 13, 1906.
159 page 6. Personnel of Symphony Orchestra. Pacific Coast Music Review. San Francisco, California. Volume XLV number 1 May 22, 1923.
160 Olivier-Rufus and Vida. Walter Green, Great Bassoonist Dies at 82. Bassoon Talk. San Francisco, California. December 15, 2007.
161 Walter Green. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. December 16, 2007.
162 page 10. Brahms Festival at U.C. Will Return Chamber Music to Fore of Concert Interest Tomorrow. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California June 16, 1935.
163 page 6. Mlle. Radisse to Play with Symphony. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California March 6, 1932.
164 page 3. Few Changes in Symphony . San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California July 2, 1936.
165 pages 266, 282. Rosenberg, Donald The Cleveland Orchestra Story, 'Second to None'. Gray & Company. 2000. ISBN: 978-1-886228-24-5.
166 page 13. Symphony Preview. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California April 12, 1950.
167 Suisheimer Quartet Heard. New York Times. New York, New York. December 3, 1914.
168 page 46.History of Music in San Francisco History of Music in San Francisco Series: Volume 5: 1940: Local Prodigies 1906-1940. Work Projects Administration of North California, San Francisco.
169 page 9. Idora Park Concerts. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California August 24, 1916.
170 page 6. Comic's Father Dies. Racine Journal-Times. Racine, Wisconsin. March 13, 1965.
171 page 8. Morey Amsterdam Heads Saturday Variety Show. Holland Evening Centinal. Holland, Michigan. May 16, 1962.
172 page 8. Funeral Tomorrow for Alfred Arriola. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California April 8, 1940.
173 page 6. Govea, Wenonah Milton. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Harpists. Greenwood Publishing. Westport, Connecticut, 1995. ISBN-13: 9780313278662.
174 Maestro Mariano Bracamonte. Bolet? de museos y bibliotecas. No. 1 Issue 4. Museo Nacional de Guatemala, Guatemala. 1945.
175 Wheeler, Patricia The Golden Gate Park Band. The Advance. Association of Concert Bands. Ohio, October, 2007.
176 Leonid Bolotine, 87, Violinist and Guitarist. New York Times. New York, New York. November 29, 1988.
177 page 30. Music Notes. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. April 14, 1976.
178 Hickman, Dave . Thieck, William Adelbert. Forum of trumpetherald.com. http://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1118250 February 19, 2011.
179 Fronckowiak, Ann. The oboe concerto of John Harbison: A guide to analysis, performance, and the collaboration with oboist, William Bennett. Doctor of Musical Arts disertation. Ohio State University Music faculty. Columbus, Ohio. 2006.
180 Kosman, Joshua. Symphony Turns Down Horn Player's Tenure Bid. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. October 17, 2000.
181 Heimberg, Tom. Edward Haug (August 4, 1925-May 22, 2001). San Francisco Classical Voice. San Francisco, California. May, 2001.
182 page 7. Stanford Concert By 200 Students Well Received. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. January 31, 1935.
183 page B4. DiLutis, John Joseph, Jr.. Spartenberg Herald-Journal. Spartenberg, South Carolina. April 1, 1993.
184 page 7. Japanese Violinist Is Matean. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. November 3, 1967.
185 Bramsen, Ludvig Ernst. Musikkens hvem hvad hvor - Biografier. Politikens forlag. Norway. 1961.
186 further information from: Storch, Laila. Marcel Tabuteau "How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom?". Indiana University Press. Bloomington. 2008. ISBN-13 978-0-253-34949-1.
187 Berger, Kenneth Walter. The March King and his Band; the Story of John Philip Sousa . Exposition Press. New York, New York. 1957.
188 Burton, Humphrey. Yehudi Menuhin: A Life". Northeastern University Press. Chicago, Illinois. 2000. ISBN 13: 9781555534653.
189 page 59. Danforth, Roy Harrison. In the Week's Musical News. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. June 19, 1924.
190 pages 126-142. Mead, Rita H.. Henry Cowell's New Music, 1925-1936. UMI Research Press. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1981.
191 page 265 Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony op. cit.
192 page 78. Concert features 2 Award Winners. Haywoood Daily Review. Haywood, California. April 27, 1973.
193 Bothin, Henry Ernest Men Who Made San Fransciso. Brown & Power Stationary Press. San Francisco, California. 1910.
194 for example: page 51. Hertelendy, Paul. A Refined Symphony Recital. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. December 8, 1966.
195 for example: page 27. Hertelendy, Paul. Beethoven's S.F. Return - In Style. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. May 12, 1965.
196 FIGEROID, Marguerite Baker. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. September 23, 2001.
197 Kosman, Joshua. Peter Shelton, S.F. Symphony cellist, dies. San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. May 15, 2009.
198 San Francisco Symphony press release: SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY CELLIST PETER SHELTON DIES. San Francisco Symphony Communications Department. San Francisco, California. May 12, 2009.
199 page 11. Musical Chit-chat. Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City, Utah. November 8, 1903.
200 page 8. The Philharmonic Orchestra Will Give a Concert. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. March 15, 1898.
201 page 21 Charm of Sweet Sounds. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. March 6, 1897.
202 page 5 Symphony Concerts . Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. January 25, 1896.
203 page 12 R M. Smith to Pay any Deficit in Fund. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 30, 1905.
204 Rothe, Larry Music for a City, Music for the World: 100 Years with the San Francisco Symphony. Chronicle Books. San Francisco, California. 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-8118-7600-1.
205 page 28 Concert Set For April 26. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. April 18, 1962.
206 page 28 Bay Area Orchestras Stir Up Old Rivalry. Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. December 3, 1964.
207 Heimberg, Tom. Orchestra Auditions - The Narrow Gate. San Francisco Classical Voice. San Francisco, California. December 29, 1998. www.sfcv.org/arts_revs/auditions_12_29_98.php
208 page 5 Two Musicians go to S. F.. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. May 27, 1967.
209 page 17 Stanford Ensemble. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. April 10, 1972.
210 Govea, Wenonah Milton. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Harpists: a bio-critical sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport, Connecticut. 1995. ISBN: 0-313-27866-0.
211 page 5 First McIntyre Concert. Berkeley Daily Gazette. Berkeley, California. September 11, 1914.
212 page 161 Huntington, Webster Perit. Among Those Present. The Ohio Illustrated Magazine. Columbia, Ohio. Volume 2, number 1. January, 1909.
213 page 15. De Pachmann, Master of Piano Coming to Oakland, and Musicians are Eager. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. January 28, 1912.
214 page 82. The Palace Warned. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 12, 1922.
215 page 2. Last Concert to have Wind Ensemble. Daily Sitka Sentinel. Sitka, Alaska. April 27, 1955.
216 page 6. Judge Locks Speeders Car. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. June 11, 1926.
217 page B-5. Ferrera Tells of Rare Violin. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. October 19, 1930.
218 Livingstone's Symphonic Band. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. January 24, 1923.
219 page 23. Orchestra Leader Wed to Dancer. New York Times. New York. November 5, 1922.
220 page 30. KGO Radio Program. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. June 5, 1925.
221 page S-3 Rehearsals fro Mozart Opera. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. July 10, 1921.
222 page 31 Sigmund Beel's Quartette. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. December 3, 1911.
223 page 28 Christmas Concert. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. December 9, 1947.
224 page 7 Opening at the American Theater. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 16, 1918.
225 page 8 Walter Manchester, Violinist, is Dead. Berkeley Daily Gazette. Berkeley, California. August 30, 1930.
226 page 5 High School Honors. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 2, 1931.
227 page 3 John Wharry Lewis and His Orchestra. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. April 19, 1919.
228 Miller, Leta E. Music and Politics in San Francisco: From the 1906 Quake to the Second World War. University of California Press. Berkeley, California. 2012. ISBN: 978-0-520-26891-3.
229 page 37 Brubeck Group to Aid P-TA Music Program. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. December 8, 1953.
230 page 27 Freuler concert. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. May 5, 1912.
231 page 45 New T&D Theater. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. January 5, 1919.
232 page 16 Lowes State Theater. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 12, 1920.
233 page 49 Famous Music is Given Library. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. October 14, 1917.
234 page 10 Bela Purt Forms Hungarian League. Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California. July 2, 1918.
235 page 2 Grand Concert. The Gleaner. Kingston, Jamaica. December 9, 1899.
236 page 34 Minetti String Quartet. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. October 28, 1917.
237 page 34 Mills Faculty Man Joins Trio. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. November 4, 1923.
238 page 33 Merry Music Echoes at the Fair. Portland Oregonian. Portland, Oregon. June 4, 1905.
239 Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame 2007. National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. Akron, Ohio. 35th Edition. 2007.
240 page 19 Women's Athletic Club. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. October 19, 1929.
241 page 2-B Atwater-Kent To Broadcast. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. March 25, 1928.
242 page 8. Concert Sunday at Amherst School. North Adams Transcript. North Adams, Massachusetts. July 24, 1958.
243 Gates, Willey Francis. Who's Who in Music in California. Colby and Pryibil. Los Angeles, California. 1920.
244 page S-7. Music and Musicians. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. September 29, 1929.
245 page B-7. Concerts Start at Hillsborough. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. June 23, 1935.
246 page 1. List of the Faculty. Des Moines Daily News. Des Moines, Iowa. August 22, 1896.
247 page 2. Dedication Week - The Auditorium. Des Moines Daily News. Des Moines, Iowa. August 29, 1899.
248 page 5. Francois Uzes Passes Away. Redlands Daily Facts. Redlands, California. October 17, 1952.
249 Tina Lerner Weds Again. New York Times. New York. November 21, 1915.
250 pages 153-154. Saleski, Gdal. Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race op. cit.
251 page 297. Schuster, Bernhard. Die Muzik Verlegt Bei Schuster & Loeffler. Berlin, Germany. 1905.
252 page 6. Special Music for Peace. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. November 27, 1925.
253 page 13. Resolution Endorses World Court Plan. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. December 2, 1925.
254 page 2. Concertmaster and Danseuse Wed. Logansport Reporter. Logansport, Indiana. January 15, 1908.
255 page 21. First Appearance Slated. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. January 19, 1967.
256 page 6. Classical Concert Sunday. Bakersfield Morning Echo. Bakersfield, California. December 2, 1914.
257 page 6. Musical Forum Set. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. January 1, 1951.
258 page 54. Piano Trio Makes Auspicious Debut. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. April 27, 1965.
259 page 14. Flutist with Mini is 'Maxi' in Talent. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Florida. June 13, 1970.
260 page 3. Charles Forsyth to be Head of Intimate Orchestra. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. October 28, 1922.
261 page 6. Symphony Member Dies. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. September 22, 1937.
262 Mattingly, Rick. Interview with Saul Goodman. Modern Drummer Magazine. Nutley, New Jersey. 1981.
263 pages 205-209. Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony. Music, Maestros, and Musicians. Presidio Press. San Francisco.
264 page 188. Schneider-David. The San Francisco Symphony. Music, Maestros, and Musicians. op. cit.
265 Wakin, Daniel J. Roland L. Kohloff, 71, Master of the Timpani, Is Dead New York Times. New York. March 3, 2006.
266 page 4. The Roney Concert. Janesville Gazette. Janesville, Wisconsin. February 27, 1892.
267 page 14. 42 Year-Old Race Again Scheduled. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. June 6, 1937.
268 page 44. Mills Ensemble Will Present Leon Kirchner Composition. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. January 11, 1956.
269 Heimberg, Tom. An Orchestra Is Split For Good, And For The Better. San Francisco Classical Voice. San Francisco, California. September 7, 1999.
270 page 4. Gessler, Clifford Jorda Guides Symphony in his First S.F. Concert. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. January 30, 1954.
271 page 4. Musical Program Marks Assembly at College Here. Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. Oshkosh, Wisconsin. April 25, 1939.
272 charcoal sketches by Bettina Steinke. The NBC Symphony Orchestra. National Broadcasting Company New York, New York. 1938.
273 page 5. Antonin Blaha, Violinist. Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. April 2, 1904.
274 page 54. Art Quartet Free Concert on Sunday. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. December 3, 1957.
275 page 54. Concierto de Ezequiel Amador en Centro Social de Ica. La Voz de Ica. Ica, Peru. April 13, 2012.
276 page 7. Loring Club Celebrates. Berkeley Daily Gazette. Berkeley, California. May 29, 1901.
277 Sascha Wolas' Carnegie Hall Debut. People Magazine. New York, New York. Volume 13 no 6, February 11, 1980.
278 page 4. Hother Wismer Will Appear In Concert. San Francisco Call. San Francisco, California. December 17, 1908.
279 Wakin, Daniel J. San Francisco Symphony Strike Ends. New York, New York. April 1, 2013. .
280 Vara, Vauhini. San Francisco Symphony Strike Drags On. Wall Street Journal. New York, New York. March 24, 2013.
281 Gereben, Janos. San Francisco Symphony and musicians sign contract, but harmony has yet to return. The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. April 14, 2013.
282 Maurice Feiler 1894-1949, Birth Date: 16 Aug 1894, Death Date: 2 May 1949, husband of Zina Feiler 1897-1956, Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California State of California. California Death Records, 1940-1997. Sacramento, California.
283 page 341. Edited by Ernest N. Doring Maurice Feiler. Violins and Violinists Magazine, Volumes 9-10. William Lewis & Son. Chicago, Illinois. 1949.
284 page 6. Twenty Years Ago. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California October 15, 1938.
285 page 79. Music Festival to Air. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. August 5, 1962.
286 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. Nippon Foundation Library. Tokyo, Japan. 2007.
287 page 18 Predicts Great Future. Berkeley Daily Gazette. Berkeley, California. August 6, 1938.
288 page 6. New York Times. New York. November 18, 1944.
289 page 17. Sweet Sounds. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. October 7, 1905.
290 page 1. Sweet Sounds. Ukiah Dispatch Democrat. Ukiah, California. February 25, 1921.
291 page 28. Faculty Artist Concert. Eugene Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Apr 12, 1984. 292 Rowe, Georgia Rowe. Review: George Cleve brings grace and finesse to the Midsummer Mozart Festival. San Jose Mercury. San Jose, California. July 27, 2012.
293 Bort, James Jr. Barton, Veteran Symphony Performer Readies Concert Finale. Fresno Bee Republican. Fresno, California. May 10, 1964.
294 page 44. Welcome New Musicians. San Francisco Symphony Stagebill, Volume 3. B & B Enterprises Inc. San Francisco, California. 1983.
295 page 4. The Feldenkrais Method for Cellists. Bridge & Bow. Portland, Oregon. Winter 2002.
296 Everett Dean O'Bannon Jr.. West Funeral Home. Carlsbad, New Mexico. September 4, 2013.
297 Anthony J. Cirone RESUME. downloaded from his site http://www.anthonyjcirone.com in 2014.
298 page 17. Frank Leroy Clawson. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. July 6, 1964.
299 page 4. String Ensemble Will Offer Program. San Mateo Times. San Mateo, California. October 13, 1936.
300 page 5. Berkshire Players Appear Thursday. Del Rio News Herald. Del Rio, Texas. January 23, 1972.
301 Gereben, Janos. SFS to March to Different Drummer. San Francisco Classical Voice. San Francisco, California. August 27, 2013.
302 page 15. Concert Associat Named. The Petaluma Argus-Courier. Petaluma, California. 28 February 1970.
303 page 19. Symphony Plays Here Tomorrow.&
304 https://www.renophil.com/about-us/history/ accessed September 2020.
Notes on sources: Most birth and death dates, and birth locations come from World War 1 and World War 2 draft registration data, and from U.S. Passport Applications 1795-1925 data, as well as Social Security and state death records. Some information on where a musician lived or worked come from U.S. Census data. Biographical data often comes from reference books such as "Groves' Dictionary of Music and Musicians", and other directories of musicians, as well as from my files. Also, the many books of reminiscences of musicians and their careers and of orchestras are listed in the footnotes to this webpage Leopold Stokowski- Philadelphia Orchestra Bibliography, Sources and Credits elsewhere in this site www.stokowski.org