The New York Philharmonic, Thursday at 8:00 PM
“Strauss must have hated violinists because he wrote the most challenging, impossibly hard licks for the violin.”
—Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow gets to share the spotlight (or hot seat) on Thursday’s broadcast of the New York Philharmonic when they perform Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss. He comments, “That’s one way to get one’s feet wet: trial by fire. Strauss must have hated violinists because he wrote the most challenging, impossibly hard licks for the violin. It ends with one of the most heavenly dialogues that Strauss ever wrote for solo violin and horn.”
It is worth taking a moment to consider the career of this orchestral player. He was eleven when he first stood before a major orchestra—and he did it with one of the toughest pieces in the repertoire: the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. That was with his hometown band, the Los Angeles Philharmonic; it would be nice to think he had a little help from his dad, who was principal second violin, but nothing but talent and hard work gets a player through that piece. The younger Dicterow’s New York Philharmonic debut followed at age 18, again as soloist in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Mr. Dicterow became the Philharmonic’s concertmaster in 1980, a post he’ll keep through the end of the 2013-2014 season.
It’s been a tradition for the concertmaster to solo with the orchestra each year. In June he will play the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Yefim Bronfman and Carter Brey. Mr. Dicterow will be heading home to southern California to teach at USC’s Thornton School of Music.