Obituary: Chicago Symphony violinist Joseph Golan, 80

Posted on: June 30, 2011

In Thursday’s (6/30) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein writes, “Joseph Golan, a gifted and widely esteemed violinist, teacher and longtime member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who most recently served as that orchestra’s principal second violin for 33 years, died Monday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He was 80. … Golan was only 22 when his exceptional musical abilities caught the ear of conductor Fritz Reiner. The famously exacting CSO music director appointed him to the orchestra’s second violin section in 1953. Jean Martinon, Reiner’s successor, named him to a position in the first violins in 1964. He became the CSO’s principal second violin in 1969 at the start of Georg Solti’s first season as music director. He held that position until his retirement from the orchestra in 2002. Many inside and outside the CSO were surprised when he left, since he was still playing superbly. … Golan appeared as soloist with the CSO on several occasions, including concertos by Schoenberg and Bartók, with Solti conducting. He played the world premiere of Richard Manners’ Violin Concerto in 1980, under conductor Kazuhiro Koizumi. He also championed rarely-heard concertante works by Kurt Atterberg and Mario Davidovsky.”

Posted June 30, 2011