A quick rundown of the duties of an orchestra concertmaster. Seattle Symphony's new concertmaster, Alexander Velinzon, will appear with the orchestra in his new role on June 21, 2012.

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The concertmaster is easy to recognize: He or she walks on stage after the musicians have taken their places but before the conductor comes on. This symbolizes one of the roles of the concertmaster — a liaison.

Concertmasters communicate what the conductor wants the music to sound like and how it should be played, even when the conductor is not there; they have a big influence on how a symphony sounds.

As first violin, the concertmaster is also responsible for leading the violin section and preparing the section’s scores — by arranging technical details — and usually plays all the violin solos within a piece of music.

The position is competitive, and those chosen for it have to show exceptional musicianship as a soloist, leader and ensemble player.