Nathan Cole (Violin ’00) Named Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

The renowned violinist is the eleventh concertmaster in BSO history and only the fourth in the last 104 years

Acclaimed violinist, pedagogue, and Curtis alumnus Nathan Cole (Violin ’00) has been named concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, succeeding fellow Curtis alum Malcolm Lowe (’74), who retired in 2019 after serving in the role for 35 years. When Mr. Cole takes the prestigious Charles Munch Chair at the beginning of the BSO’s 2024 Tanglewood season in July, he will become the eleventh concertmaster since its founding in 1881 and only the fourth in 104 years. Mr. Cole has served as the first associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2011, was a member of the Chicago Symphony, and principal second violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The author of ScalesThe Road to Repertoire, he has served as a faculty member at Azusa Pacific University, leads the orchestra repertoire program for violin at the Colburn School, is an online teaching artist with ArtistWorks, and has taught at Roosevelt University and coached the Chicago Civic Orchestra.

“This opportunity to be the BSO’s next concertmaster feels like something that I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” said Mr. Cole. “When I auditioned with the BSO back in January, for me it was an immediate, warm feeling both from my colleagues in the orchestra and Andris [Nelsons] on the podium. I loved the way that Andris spoke in terms of imagery and was really clear about the sound that he wanted. I felt that he left it to us and our creativity to decide how to get those sounds, but at the same time, he was very specific and persistent about what he wanted, and I loved that. I also felt great support from the orchestra, especially from my fellow violins.”

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, who grew up in a musical family with two flutist parents, Mr. Cole made his debut with the Louisville Orchestra at age ten while studying with Donna Wiehe. After eight years working with violinist Daniel Mason, he enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he earned his bachelor of music degree in 2000 and studied with Pamela Frank (89), Felix Galimir, Ida Kavafian, and Jaime Laredo (59). While at the school, he formed the Grancino String Quartet with violinist Zachary Depue (’02), violist Jessica Thompson (’00), and cellist Priscilla Lee (’03), making their debut in New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Cole participated for three summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, including national tours, and will lead the Boston Symphony Chamber Players as artistic director alongside his new appointment with the BSO.

Read the news at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s official website HERE.

Visit Nathan Cole’s official website. Photos of Mr. Cole courtesy of the artist.

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