Philharmonia forsakes leader

Philharmonia forsakes leader


norman lebrecht

September 02, 2019

Benjamin Marquise Gilmore, 31, has been named joint concertmaster of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, alongside Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay.

Gilmore will continue to work part-time with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, where his title is joint leader.

It appears the Philharmonia has quietly dropped the English title ‘leader’ for the American ‘concertmaster’.

press statement:

We are delighted to announce that violinist Benjamin Marquise Gilmore has been appointed Joint Concert Master, a position he will share with longstanding Philharmonia Concert Master Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay.

Benjamin (31) was appointed leader of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2016, where he will continue as Joint Leader alongside his new position with the Philharmonia, which he will begin at the start of the 2019/20 season.


  • Pete Parker says:

    They used the term concertmaster in the 90’s when Christopher Warren Green was there.

  • Alexander Hall says:

    Not only that, there was a period when Visontay was joint concertmaster with James Clark before the latter departed for the RLPO and RSNO. Nothing odd here at all, neither in the titles used nor in the fact that all leading orchestras have more than one individual who is there to lead.

  • Nik says:

    Is it American, or rather a translation of the German Konzertmeister?

  • Mike Schachter says:

    It is both, we forget the huge German cultural influence

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Barenboim joked about this with black humour at the Proms when when making a speech for the farewell of his orchestra’s C/M. He said “In this country, you say ‘Leader’ but to Germans that doesn’t translate well’.

    Blimey – only he could get away with that !

  • On the contrary, the Philharmonia has had a concertmaster since Christopher Warren-Green’s day, which is a few decades ago, and ever since (I believe).

  • Emily says:

    Let’s focus on how fantastic Ben is instead. Yay go Ben and lucky Philharmonia!