Death of New York concertmaster, 68

Friends have reported the death from cancer of Judson Griffin, a leader in New York’s period instrument community.

He was concertmaster of Concert Royal, Amor Artis, and the American Classical Orchestra, among others. Before that, he was a principal player with Helicon, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, and Apollo’s Fire of Cleveland; and concertmaster of the Philadelphia Classical Orchestra. He was formerly a sought-after viola soloist.

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  • It should also be mentioned that as a viola player, he was a member of the pioneering American string quartet, the Smithson Quartet, with Jaap Schröder, Marilyn McDonald, and Kenneth Slowik.

  • Judson was also the principal violinist for Abendmusik, New York’s Period Instrument String Band. His contributions to programming, generous, beautiful music editions and exquisite performances will be missed.

  • I knew Judson as a dedicated and skilled interpreter of the best chamber music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He will be missed by his colleagues and those music lovers fortunate enough to have heard his performances.

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