Obituary: David Nadien, former New York Philharmonic concertmaster, 88

Posted on: June 10, 2014

“David Nadien, a violinist whose appointment as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic raised eyebrows because of his thriving career as a studio musician, died on May 28 in Manhattan,” writes Vivien Schweitzer in Sunday’s (6/8) New York Times. “When Leonard Bernstein, the Philharmonic’s music director, appointed Mr. Nadien concertmaster in 1966—replacing John Corigliano Sr., the father of the composer, who was retiring—it was a highly unusual choice. Concertmasters are typically poached from other orchestras or promoted from within the ranks, but Mr. Nadien, then 40, was a freelance commercial musician … [with] almost no experience playing with a major symphony orchestra. After winning the prestigious Leventritt Award (judged by a panel that included Arturo Toscanini) at 20, Mr. Nadien made a good living recording television jingles, film soundtracks and other projects…. Nadien left the Philharmonic in 1970 to pursue a solo career and more studio work.… He was born on March 12, 1926, in Brooklyn … [and] attended the Mannes Music School…. He also attended Juilliard. His teachers included Adolfo Betti, Ivan Galamian and Adolf Busch. He made his debut at age 14 at one of the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts and his recital debut at Town Hall the same year.”

Posted June 10, 2014