Cleveland finds young concertmaster in Philly

Cleveland finds young concertmaster in Philly


norman lebrecht

April 25, 2018

Stephen Tavani will join the Cleveland Orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster and Zhan Shu as a member of the First Violin section from September 2018.

Tavani, 25, is presently concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Zhan Shu has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2014.


  • Cleve Orch fan says:

    Does this mean that current Assistant Concermaster Peter Otto is being shoved aside by Tavani? Or does it mean that Otto will (hopefully) replace William Preucil as Concert Master?

    • Cleve Orch fan says:

      My bad. Otto is First Associate Concertmaster. It appears Tavani would be replacing Jessica Lee.

      • themoreyouknow says:

        No he’s not replacing anyone, this is an open spot that was previously held by Preucil’s daughter who left the orchestra. Fixed 5th chair.

      • DoYourResearch says:

        No current member is being replaced. The Assistant Concertmaster position he won is 5th chair, and has been vacant for a couple of years. A simple look at the Cleveland Orchestra website auditions page answers the question. Some Fan you are…

      • Brian Weston says:

        On the Cleveland Orchestra’s website, one can see that the audition is for Assistant Concertmaster (5th chair). The Assistant Concertmaster Jessica Lee ostensibly occupies the 4th chair, so one could presume that Mr. Tavani would be seated after Ms. Lee, not replacing her. It is confusing, indeed, that the orchestra uses the same title for two different seats.

    • Sam says:

      Tavani will be fifth chair, sitting directly behind Otto. He has been studying at CIM for the last year with William Preucil in the Concertmaster Academy. A very fine and able violinist and musician; congratulations to him!

  • Rgiarola says:

    Guys, It is better do not play the classical joke, worse than most.;-)

  • Mark says:

    These talented musicians have secured positions in a superb orchestra that has a violin section that produces a rich, pure tone. The U.S. has many great orchestra, but Cleveland is unique. Any word on a principal horn appointment? Seems like this has been a challenge for both Cleveland and Chicago.