After 45 years with San Francisco Symphony, violinist Mark Volkert to retire

Posted on: September 13, 2017

“If you’re planning to attend the San Francisco Symphony’s opening gala concert this week, be sure to take note of the second stand of violins, where Mark Volkert, the orchestra’s longtime assistant concertmaster, will be playing,” writes Joshua Kosman in Monday’s (9/11) San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s been a stalwart presence since joining the Symphony’s ranks in 1972, as a Stanford undergraduate…. After this week’s concerts, at 66, he’s going to hang up his rosin and bow and step into retirement … without fanfare… ‘I’d rather be like Ted Williams, who hit a home run in his last at-bat, and then just ran into the dugout. He didn’t even doff his cap,’ [he says]… Volkert’s sideline as a composer has enriched the Symphony’s repertoire on several occasions. His arrangement for string orchestra of Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello made available a significant (and too little known) work of chamber music; more recently, the 2012 premiere of his ‘Pandora,’ also for string orchestra, introduced a work of abundant imagination and wit.… In retirement, he says, he plans to keep composing…. ‘Not having to set the alarm to get up for rehearsal—that’s very appealing to me. I don’t think I’ll be bored.’ ”

Posted September 13, 2017