Magazine article Strings

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Selects a Pair of Co-Concertmasters

Magazine article Strings

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Selects a Pair of Co-Concertmasters

Article excerpt

Alexander Kerr and Nathan Olson will split the coveted role of liaison to musicians and maestro

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS HISTORY, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has appointed two violinists to share concertmaster duties. Alexander Kerr, who will assume the Michael L. Rosenberg concertmaster chair, and Nathan Olson, who will have the title co-concertmaster, will officially begin in the fall. The duo represents two generations of string playing: Kerr is 40 and Olson is 24. Olson will sit second chair and share the concertmaster 's stand, but Kerr is quick to deny seniority. "Whether I'm considered the older statesman, well, basically, he's my equal and I'm going to treat him that way," Kerr says. "He's my colleague and I will rely on him as much as he relies upon me."

The team replaces veteran violinist Emanuel Borok, who served the DSO for 25 years and retired in August.

Kerr, a violin professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and guest concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, joins the DSO with a wealth of experience, having served from 1996 to 2006 as concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, where he succeeded current DSO music director Jaap van Zweden in that position.

"[Van Zweden] was a wonderful concertmaster and that has translated into his conducting," says Kerr, adding that he's known van Zweden for 16 years. "I've seen him improve every year since I've met him. His career has come from an incredible amount of talent but also an incredible amount of work."

The younger Olson has a resumé that boasts quite a few accomplishments and appearances, including a silver medal from the 2005 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition when he was in the Kashii String Quartet, and the Joseph and Elsie Scharff prize in violin from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees. …

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