NY Phil concertmaster plans his post-job future

NY Phil concertmaster plans his post-job future


norman lebrecht

October 30, 2013

We’ve been informed by one of the participants that Glenn Dicterow, outgoing #1 violin of the New York Phil, has formed a trio with Robert DeMaine, principal cello of the LA Philharmonic, and the pianist Jeffrey Biegel.

Dicterow was the highest paid concertmaster in the US. DeMaine belongs to the highest-paid orchestra. How do the three guys split the fees? If they follow Artur Schnabel’s method, they’d count the notes. That way, the pianist comes out tops.




  • harold braun says:

    Great news!A great trio in the making!

  • ed says:

    What an allocation system. Did it include a deduction or penalty for wrong notes, and/or a sliding scale for more obvious vs. less obvious boo-boos? And what about interpretation? Any extra rewards for visionary thinking vs. merely strict adherence to text? And as for intonation, (or sostenuto) would the pianist get stung because his string associates could produce the real thing, or would he be given a handicap for being at the mercy of his instrument and its limitations? What about a piece composed by a player? Would he get credit for ALL the notes plus those he performed? If a critic panned one player but not another, would that go into the equation, either as a negative (or positive) factor? And in the event of a dispute, who would umpire? Would it go to a court or to arbitration or some other venue for a resolution? Ah, the allure of money.

  • Michael says:

    Two of my favorite string players! Can’t wait to hear them!

  • smakila says:

    I thought Bill Preucil was the highest paid concert master in the US! We need to see some figures now.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      More interesting is the question, did Dicterow make as much as those super stagehands at Carnegie hall? Jeffrey?

      • m2n2k says:

        According to published records for the last couple of years, he was in fact the country’s highest paid CM and his annual salary at the NY Phil was in the same neighborhood as that of the average CH stagehand.

  • Eric says:

    Should be an excellent trio.

  • John Kelly says:

    Glenn Dicterow has been a fantastic servant to the NYPO for many years. Superb concertmaster, wonderful soloist on the occasions he’s done a concerto, he will be missed.

  • I am extremely excited that Glenn Dicterow and Robert DeMaine took time to join me at Steinway Hall to read through piano trio music. Their sound together is like one–a warm, passionate, singing, beautiful voice. I have high hopes for this ensemble, and anticipate that we will have many opportunities to share music with orchestras, and in recitals worldwide very soon! Thank you for sharing this, Norman!

  • sixtus says:

    If played with vibrato, a string instrument actually creates an enormous number of pitches as the fundamental frequency slides from one extreme to another (depending on the width and rapidity of the vibrato and how you slice up time). Dicterow, in my experience as a NY Phil subscriber, can have an annoyingly prominent vibrato, he thus produces an enormous number of frequencies for each notated pitch and therefore should be paid the most.


  • Roy Lisker says:

    Until the late quartets of Beethoven, chamber music was primarily the province of (hopefully good) amateurs. After that the music was too difficult for non-professionals and the specialized chamber ensemble was born. What I’m reading about in this blog is the formation another trio of super-professionals demanding top dollar. This makes me acutely aware of how impoverished our musical culture has become

    • m2n2k says:

      How do you know that they are “demanding top dollar”? And even if they are, being “super-professionals”, why shouldn’t they? However, for all we know when reading this post, they may be planning to perform for free for the rest of their lives. That is highly unlikely of course, but I am also certain that (if this news item is indeed accurate) their repertoire will include lots of music written after Beethoven.

  • concerned musician says:

    Wonder how the concertmaster of the LA phil feels about this. Shouldn’t he be in a trio with his principal cellist?

    • m2n2k says:

      It’s a valid question, but knowing Robert, my guess is that before agreeing to this he probably made sure that the CM MC does not object.

      • concerned musician says:

        Was there a reason(s) why Dicterow didn’t form a trio with his high powered principal cellist in NY – Carter Brey? It seems they could have taken NY by storm with any number of very fine pianists living there. Something doesn’t sound right about the announcement of this trio in Los Angeles – from an aging (retired) violinist and two younger colleagues.

        • Mr. Brey is already involved in a trio. This new trio is my brainchild. I have known Mr. DeMaine for twenty years, and his playing has grown into the most mature, beautiful, intense and warm sound I can imagine, fusing with my concept of sound at the piano. I know Mr. Dicterow’s playing, and believed his sound would blend perfectly with Mr. DeMaine’s. My instinct proved correct. Even though Mr. Dicterow will be based in LA, as is Mr. DeMaine, I am in NY. We will be able to rehearse before engagements wherever they will be.

          • concerned musician says:

            You sound like an angel from outer space. Are you an angel – a human with feathered wings? You do know how to make “great” PR for yourself. I grew up with the marvelous performances and recordings from the Istomin-Stern-Rose and Beaux Arts Trios. I can assure you that they did not “fly” in, meet up for a few rehearsals, then perform. Good luck to you.

        • Dicterow grew up in Los Angeles, son of LA Philharmonic principal second violinist Harold Dicterow, and is returning to LA to teach at University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. It only makes sense that he would lean toward working with LA players.

        • m2n2k says:

          When we have a chance to hear them play together, then and only then will we be able to say whether they “sound right” or not.

  • m2n2k says:

    These three fine musicians have not performed a single note together yet, but they are already being compared here to some of last century’s best trios… They must be paying “con.mus.” big bucks for such wonderful publicity!