Injured US concertmaster is forced to retire

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The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced the retirement of Concertmaster Emeritus Timothy Lees, who had stepped down as Concertmaster, at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season in August. Mr. Lees, who began his tenure with the CSO in June of 1998, became Concertmaster Emeritus in September 2018 and remained a member of the CSO’s first violin section, but a persistent injury prevented him from performing with the Orchestra.


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  • It always seems such a cruel turn of luck when someone has to retire becauses of injury, whether (as in this case) the person is a musician, or a professional sportsman or woman, or even any other professional. I do hope this player can turn his hand (successfully) to something else in the music field, given his obvious talent as a violinist.

  • How awful. I can’t imagine how hard that must be. But I am sure of this: that if he had the work ethic, perseverance, and intellect to master something as difficult as the violin at such a high level, then he’s got the work ethic, perseverance, and intellect to master anything, in the world of music or out of it.

  • Tim Lees is a wonderful musician and concertmaster. I fondly remember his performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto in Cincinnati. What a beautiful player! I know he will go on to have a respected career on the faculty at CCM.

  • That surely is disappointing for someone who appears not to be anywhere near retirement age.

    Perhaps, with more time than the orchestra was able to wait, he will regain his ability.

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