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.
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.
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