Death of an enterprising US concertmaster, 74

Death of an enterprising US concertmaster, 74


norman lebrecht

February 28, 2021

The death has been announced of the busy Russian-Israeli violinist Yuval Waldman. His son said the cause was heart disease, allied to Covid-19.

Born to Holocaust survivors in Ukraine, he was discovered in Israel by Isaac Stern and brought to the US to study with Josef Gingold at  Indiana University.

In between playing concertmaster in various orchestras and leading a string quartet, he created, directed, and conducted the New American Chamber Orchestra, an orchestra for Russian refugees, and was professor of strings at the State University of New York (Purchase?.

He was music director for the Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra.

His stints as concertmaster included Kansas City, Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Yuval was widely loved and esteemed.



  • NL you should give lessons in writing an obit for the New York Slimes….Here is a snippet from their “woke” announcement: “he liked to spotlight music composed in times of oppression, including the Holocaust” How insensitive to his memory, to me at least.

    • Simon Scott says:

      NY Times. Let them be damned

    • True North says:

      I’m really not sure what your problem is. This was clearly a fundamental artistic value of Mr. Waldman’s. The article goes on to say the following:

      “He also played and conducted programs of music that had been composed under duress. Among them was a solo program titled “Music Forgotten and Remembered” and that featured works by Eastern European Jews, many of whom died in World War II or were silenced by the repressive practices of the Soviet Union. Another was “The Music of Oppression and Liberation,” featuring composers of various nationalities who were persecuted for their beliefs.”

      “I feel it’s my duty to revive the memory of these composers by performing their music,” Mr. Waldman told The Oklahoman in 2011 when he performed the “Liberation” program at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. “It’s not just a privilege but a calling.”

      There is nothing remotely “woke” about any of this. And by twisting this obituary into something it isn’t, the only person being disrespectful to Mr. Waldman’s memory is you.

      • not that it is worth engaging in any discussion with you on this site, but FWIW, my issue is with the headline and The New York Slimes editors. As the daughter of Holocaust survivors I know exactly how much influence that experience has over one’s life decisions, and it is clear whoever made up the headline to this obit is not only insensitive AND as you so bluntly phrased it, disrespectful to Waldman’s memory but also to his parents and others. Enough mud slinging twist us.

        • BruceB says:

          Ms. Kamonier: I mean this with the greatest respect. Would you mind explaining what is so disrespectful about the headline? I don’t see what the problem is, but I realize I’m not able to see it from a point of view that would recognize the problem. I have unintentionally offended people a few times with remarks I had no idea were disrespectful; I hate doing that, and would love to be able to avoid it in a context like this. Thank you.

          (link to the NY Times obituary:

        • Max Raimi says:

          “my issue is with the headline and The New York Slimes editors…” And yet your first deranged screed began ” you should give lessons in writing an obit for the New York Slimes”. Um, doesn’t that express an issue not with the editor, but with the writer? Their is a fascinating subtext in so many of these comments: New York Times Derangement Syndrome.

          • Hey Max, editors write headlines for articles by writers as far as my 40 years of experience in the deranged PR world has taught me. FYI you should use the word there instead of their…completely different meaning. I guess you also mean to say screen, but that’s misspelled.

          • Max Raimi says:

            Yes, I saw the typo after I hit send, but of course there is no “edit” option on this forum. I am delighted that it put a little joy in your life of cherished grievances to point out my error; it is always a blessing to spread a little happiness among those for whom it is so elusive.
            As to my main point, I’m so sorry it was beyond your acumen to grasp it. I’ll try one more time.
            1: Your first post stated in part: “you should give lessons in writing an obit for the New York Slimes…” You say lessons “in writing”; one might reasonably conclude that you feel that the piece in the Times was not written well, don’t you think?
            2: Your second post stated, “my issue is with the headline and The New York Slimes editors.” Now here is the real tricky part, Helene. Try to hang with me here. If your issue is with the headline writers and the editors, and thus not with the writer of the obit, then why does said writer need a lesson from Mr. Lebrecht?
            There’s a little problem here, isn’t there? Hope I’m not going too fast for you.
            Oh, and by the way–“New York Slimes” is a real knee slapper. Very clever. That’s a real towering intellect at work you got there.

          • it is always a blessing to spread a little happiness among those for whom it is so elusive.

  • Nathaniel Rosen says:

    He leaves a beautiful family to whom I send my love in their grieving time.