WQXR's blog reports that Glenn Dicterow will step down as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic at the end of the 2013-14 season. He's been in that post since 1980, the longest-serving concertmaster in the orchestra's history. He's going to Los Angeles to head up the strings and chamber music program at USC.
Here's the Philharmonic's press release on Dicterow, including an overview of his illustrious career, both with the Philharmonic and as a solo and chamber musician.
Dicterow's departure will be another major transition for the Philharmonic in a few short years. Zarin Mehta retires as president of the orchestra at the end of this season, and the new president, Matthew VanBesien, and the orchestra have some big decisions to make. Avery Fisher Hall needs major renovations and there are not many locations in New York where an orchestra the size of the Philharmonic (and its audience) can play for a season. Alan Gilbert is in the third year of a five-year contract as Music Director and I haven't heard anything about whether the Philharmonic plans to extend his deal. Dicterow will be around for two more seasons so the orchestra has plenty of time to find a successor, but that's a big job to fill. Three years after Stanley Drucker's retirement, the Philharmonic is still looking for a principal clarinetist after Ricardo Morales turned down the job in January. If it's taking that long to fill the clarinetist post, how long will it take to find a new concertmaster? And if Alan Gilbert's job security is a question, who will make the decision about the concertmaster? The music director has the ultimate say in who gets those jobs.
Oh, wow. He's been there forever! Kind of a shock to read.
It's no different than someone retiring from a job they've had for 35 years, so I can't say I'm shocked.
Incidentally, I didn't call it a "retirement" in the post because the Philharmonic didn't call it that either.
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