San Francisco Symphony’s principal viola in the spotlight

Posted on: May 22, 2015

“Childhood nonconformity comes in all shapes and sizes,” writes Joshua Kosman in Thursday’s (5/21) San Francisco Chronicle. “Some kids dress in ways designed to provoke their parents and other adults; others cultivate offbeat hobbies.… Jonathan Vinocour took up the viola. ‘I didn’t want to do the same thing everyone else was doing, and this seemed like something a little different,’ says the San Francisco Symphony’s principal violist. ‘I liked the tone of the viola—it’s huskier and not quite so extroverted. I found it intriguing, and I still do.’ Vinocour, 36, is in the spotlight at Davies Symphony Hall this week, sharing solo duties in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with his violinist colleague, concertmaster Alexander Barantschik.… [Vinocour] didn’t go right to a conservatory after high school—’my parents thought music was not a very secure way to earn a living’—and instead enrolled at Princeton as a chemistry major.… Once he threw himself into music full-time, Vinocour’s gifts quickly blossomed. He was appointed principal violist with the St. Louis Symphony at 27, and two years later, in 2009, joined the San Francisco Symphony. ‘It seemed to me at the time that San Francisco was on the forefront of American orchestras.’ ”

Posted May 22, 2015