New concertmaster feels early connection with Seattle Symphony

Posted on: June 19, 2012

In Monday’s (6/18) Seattle Times, Michael Upchurch writes, “Russian-American violinist Alexander Velinzon, the Seattle Symphony’s new concertmaster, didn’t start his orchestral career by wanting to be a concertmaster—the leader of an orchestra’s first violin section, and who leads the orchestra’s tuning process before the conductor walks on, among other duties. But after serving in the role with freelance orchestras in New York and as a guest with orchestras around the world, he found he really loved it. … He couldn’t be happier to land the position in Seattle. … Last fall, as a guest concertmaster with the Seattle Symphony for a program that included Rachmaninov’s ‘Symphonic Dances,’ he was especially taken with the playing of the string section. ‘I found it so warm … a sound that really spoke to me,’ he says. He also played a children’s concert that week and was impressed with music director Ludovic Morlot’s presentation, choice of repertoire and the way he related to the kids: ‘My daughter was in the audience that day, and she kept singing the theme song from that children’s concert for months afterwards!’ … While the music director plays the biggest role in shaping a vision for the orchestra, it’s the concertmaster’s duty to help keep that vision on track. Velinzon also sees his role as a musical emissary to the general public.”

Posted June 19, 2012