Big News at Seattle Symphony: Alexander Velinzon Named New Concertmaster
by Jen Graves
on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM
PHOTO BY SUSAN WILSON
This is the biggest news to come out of Seattle Symphony since it announced that Ludovic Morlot would be taking over as music director this season: Alexander Velinzon has been selected as the new concertmaster (full release).
The concertmaster position is arguably the most important after the music director in terms of shaping the sound of the orchestra. He's the music director's right-hand man (or woman, but in this case man); he leads the violins, helps to shape all the strings, and is responsible for seeing that the conductor's ideas get communicated clearly throughout the strings. He is a leader, a trusted deputy.
Velinzon was born in St. Petersburg and has been playing violin since the age of 6. He studied with the revered Dorothy DeLay at Juilliard, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees. Since 2005, he has been assistant concertmaster with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
This is my favorite comment music director Morlot makes in the press release: "I cannot wait to share many musical emotions with him on stage at Benaroya Hall." (It is so very French!)
Velinzon will start in June 2012. He succeeds Maria Larionoff, who left at the end of last season.
Have you heard him yet? Velinzon performed with the orchestra on the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances program on October 6 and 8, and also on the October 8 matinee family concert The Story of Babar.