Musician moves from the stage to the pit

Posted on: July 15, 2010

On Tuesday’s (7/13) New York Times ArtsBeat Blog, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “Erik Ralske, a member of the New York Philharmonic’s French horn section, had an interesting choice: be promoted to the principal horn position at the Los Angeles Philharmonic or take that job at the Metropolitan Opera. Both orchestras are excellent, and both pay quite well: around $135,000 as a rough minimum … there are the obvious contrasts between Left Coast and Right Coast; between a dynamic young conductor in Los Angeles, Gustavo Dudamel, and an established podium sage at the Met, James Levine; between the symphonic repertory and the operatic one. Mr. Ralske chose the Met. In a telephone interview Mr. Ralske, who lives in Edgewater, N.J., said he had made the decision mainly for family reasons. … Normally, such personnel moves in the orchestra world do not merit major notice from the general population. But Mr. Ralske’s pending decision emerged in a recent New York Times article about an extraordinarily large number of openings in the Philharmonic, so an update is warranted. Mr. Ralske’s decision prompts another thought: what will it be like for a longtime symphony player like him to move from the stage to the pit?”

Posted July 15, 2010