Curtis Mourns the Loss of Beloved Faculty Member Joseph Silverstein (Violin '50)
Curtis mourns the loss of beloved faculty member Joseph Silverstein, revered violinist, conductor and chamber musician. Mr. Silverstein passed away on November 22 after a heart attack. He was eighty-three years old.
Curtis President Roberto Diaz recalls, "Joey perfectly exemplified the type of artist we wish to develop here at Curtis – he had the kind of multidimensional career that we hope all of our students will embrace. I will always remember and admire Joey for his ability to reach toward musicians of different generations. He was a great supporter of Curtis on Tour, and the joy he took from being on stage with his students was palpable. We were fortunate to count him as a member of our family. He will be dearly missed."
Mr. Silverstein was music director of the Utah Symphony for fifteen years and was named its conductor laureate in 1998. Read the Salt Lake Tribune'
Though his considerable musical gifts earned him individual recognition, his commitment to the collaboration that music demands will be a lasting part of his legacy. "One of the most important facets of playing professionally, both in orchestras and in chamber music, is learning how to enjoy the act of merging with other personalities," Mr. Silverstein said in a 2002 Overtones interview. "This is not a sacrifice of creativity. However, it is using creativity in a slightly different way; to be part of a performance rather than the dominating force in a performance as when one is a soloist or conductor. And that is something that can only be learned in professional life."
A 1950 Curtis graduate, Joseph Silverstein began his musical studies with his father, Bernard. He continued with Josef Gingold, and, at Curtis, studied with Efrem Zimbalist and Veda Reynolds. He then held positions with the orchestras of Houston, Philadelphia, and Denver before joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1955 as its youngest player. In 1959 he won third prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and in 1960 he won the Naumburg Award. In 1962 he was appointed concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he became its assistant conductor in 1971.
A member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Mr. Silverstein performed frequently in New York and has appeared as a soloist and conductor with more than one hundred orchestras in the United States, Japan, Israel, and throughout Europe.
He has served on the faculties of Yale and Boston universities, New England Conservatory, and Tanglewood Music Center, and he has recorded for such labels as RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, Delos, CBS, Nonesuch, EMI, and Image.
Mr. Silverstein joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2000. He will be remembered with deep gratitude and respect by every member of the Curtis community. The Curtis Institute of Music extends its most sincere condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and students.
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