The New York Philharmonic

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Glenn Dicterow

Glenn Dicterow has established himself worldwide as one of the most prominent American concert artists of his generation. His extraordinary musical gifts became apparent when, at age 11, he made his solo debut in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (where his father, Harold Dicterow, served as principal of the second violin section for 52 years). In the following years, Mr. Dicterow became one of the most sought-after young artists, appearing as soloist from coast to coast.

Mr. Dicterow, who has won numerous awards and competitions, is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Ivan Galamian. In 1967, at the age of 18, he performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Andre Kostelanetz in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. In 1980 he joined the Orchestra as Concertmaster, and performed as soloist every year until his retirement at the end of the 2011–12 season. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic, he served as Associate Concertmaster and Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Mr. Dicterow, who frequently appears as a guest soloist with other orchestras, has made numerous recordings. His most recent CD is a solo recital for Cala Records entitled New York Legends, featuring John Corigliano’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing, the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, and Martinů’s Three Madrigals for violin and viola, in collaboration with violist Karen Dreyfus and pianist Gerald Robbins. His recording of Bernstein’s Serenade, on Volume 2 of the American Celebration set, is available on the New York Philharmonic’s Website, Mr. Dicterow can also be heard in the violin solos of the film scores for The Turning Point, The Untouchables, Altered States, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Interview with the Vampire, among others. Glenn Dicterow is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, as well as a faculty artist at the Music Academy of the West, following three years of participation in Music Academy Summer Festivals. Beginning in the fall of 2013 he became the first to hold the Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

Learn about The Glenn Dicterow Fund.

“When you grow up as a symphony brat as I did, you cannot help but feel attracted to that way of life. It was surrounding me. There was no way I was going to be a lawyer.”

Q&A with Glenn Dicterow
THE FACTS: Born in Los Angeles, California. Educated at The Juilliard School. Prior to the Philharmonic: Performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (as associate concertmaster and concertmaster). At the Philharmonic: Joined in 1980 as Concertmaster. Made solo debut with the Orchestra in 1967 playing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, with Andre Kostelanetz conducting. Teaches at The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music.

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: Listening to my parents make music together in our living room. My mother was a concert pianist, and my father was the principal second violin of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for more than 50 years! I used to lie under the piano to soak up their sound while they played.

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU BEGAN PLAYING THE VIOLIN? Eight. My father was such a fine musician and I wanted to emulate him. However, it was really my mother who was so incredibly encouraging and supportive. Without her I never would have been a violinist.

WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF NOT A MUSICIAN? I always wanted to be a doctor. My brother, Maurice, who is an excellent violinist, became a doctor. He manages to juggle a career of music and medicine.

MOST INSPIRING COMPOSER: If forced to select just one, I would have to say that Beethoven’s genius speaks to me in the most personal way.

DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE AS CONCERTMASTER: The Concertmaster is often the conduit between conductor and orchestra, helping to clarify musical phrasing and technical issues that may come up. I am responsible for all the bowings and musical phrasing for the strings; I’m also responsible for all the Concertmaster solos in the symphonic literature.

WHAT KINDS OF CHANGES HAVE YOU WITNESSED DURING YOUR 32 YEARS WITH THE ORCHESTRA? This once all-male orchestra now has more women than men, with a significant number of string players coming from Korea, China, and Japan.

MOST RECENT RECORDING: Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola with my wife, violist Karen Dreyfus, led by Carl St. Clair (MMC label).

WHAT DO THE OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY DO? I have four children: Laura works for the Humane Society and is the mother of my four-year-old granddaughter, Zoe; Julie is a singer/songwriter/pianist and a designer of shoes and handbags; Whitney is a clinical psychologist; and Adam has just graduated from the Tisch Film School at New York University and is a filmmaker.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? I love to bike, see plays, and go to museums and art galleries.

As of 6/12
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