Music mourns pal Joey

National US media have not got around to reporting the death yesterday, after a heart attack, of the Boston concertmaster and Utah music director Joseph Silverstein, but tributes are flooding social media for a musician who was known to thousands of friends as, simply, Joey.

Utah’s former concertmaster Ralph Matson spoke for many when he said: ‘He was someone who made the making of music on the violin a guilty pleasure. For him to find an hour with a violin and nothing to do but practice was the equivalent of finding half a beautiful cake in the kitchen and you just couldn’t treat yourself to it. It was that kind of delight in music-making. It was quite contagious.’

joseph silverstein1

May he find eternal rest.

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  • The Boston Globe has printed on line a formal statement by Mark Volpe, BSO manager, but as of yet its chief music critic, Jeremy Eichler, has not weighed in. Silverstein was an immensely talented, intelligent, and personally engaging “regular guy”. His reminiscences about former BSO Music Director William Steinberg and other conductors can be heard (in a delightful conversation with former Globe critic,Richard Dyer) on YouTube.

    What with Robert Craft, Seymour Lipkin, and now Joseph Silverstein dying in a ten-day period, it makes one wonder if any spate of deaths has occurred like this since Szell and Barbirolli died on consecutive days.

  • Actually, the Globe does have an obit online under Jeremy’s byline:
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/obituaries/2015/11/24/joseph-silverstein-renowned-violinist-and-bso-concertmaster-for-years-dies/akvXsKrere1lokotflC1GL/story.html

    The delay may be because (I’m speculating here) the Globe may not have had an advance obit of Silverstein ready.

    As for Jeremy “weighing in,” well, he was ten years old when Silverstein retired as the Boston Symphony’s concertmaster. It might make more sense for the Globe to run a remembrance-and-tribute column from Jeremy’s predecessor, Richard Dyer.

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