Obituary: Longtime National Symphony Concertmaster William Steck, 79

Posted on: April 24, 2013

In Tuesday’s (4/23) Washington Post, Emily Langer writes, “William Steck, a violinist who performed under some of the most eminent conductors of the latter half of the 20th century and served as concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra for nearly two decades, died April 13 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He was 79. … Mr. Steck was a familiar and essential presence at NSO performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington and on tours around the world. … Mr. Steck was brought to Washington by Mstislav Rostropovich, the celebrated cellist-conductor who served as NSO music director from 1977 to 1994. Dozens of violinists had tried out for the job, but ‘Slava’ found none who met his standards—until the NSO leadership flew Mr. Steck to Paris to meet him for an audition. … He had an impeccable musical pedigree. In the early 1960s, he was a violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. He graduated to assistant concertmaster positions with the Philadelphia Chamber Symphony and then the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell and later Lorin Maazel. In the 1970s, Mr. Steck scored his first appointments as concertmaster with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Max Rudolf and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Shaw.”

Posted April 24, 2013