Breaking: Cleveland snatches Israel concertmaster

Breaking: Cleveland snatches Israel concertmaster


norman lebrecht

May 27, 2022

The Cleveland Orchestra has appointed David Radzynski, concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic since 2015, to take over its front seat, vacant since William Preucil was fired in 2018.

Radzynski, who recently got engaged to be married, may be looking to improve his earning power. The veteran Preucil was America’s highest paid concertmaster, pulling down more than half a million dollars annually. Israel wages are much lower.

The Cleveland statement says: Today, The Cleveland Orchestra announced that after an extensive and rigorous audition and search process, Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra have appointed violinist David Radzynski as concertmaster. He will hold the Blossom-Lee Concertmaster Chair, which was endowed by Mrs. John A. Lee in 1975 in honor of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Blossom, Sr. Mr. Radzynski’s start date is in the process of being determined.


  • Amos says:

    He may also be looking to move from a good orchestra to an even better one! Who knows given that we all live in the 21st century his wife might even have an occupation that pays better than Mr. Radzynski’s.

  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    World class orchestra gets world class concertmaster. Listen to his Weinberg concerto with the IPO. And his Heldenleben is tonal gold.

  • Axl says:

    I don’t know what to say! At same time I’m so happy that Cleveland finally found more than good guy to concertmaster chair – but I’m also sad that Israel Phil lose again great player. They have massive holes in the orchestra to fill – especially in principal positions. Israel Phil looks now like London Symphony – everyone want leave them and also leaving massive holes in the roster.
    But… Radzynski and Cleveland will be super match together + he and Peter Otto makes great couple in front.

    • Eyal Braun says:

      As an Israeli who regularly attend the IPO concerts for 35 years, I must say that the orchestra in these days is in the best shape I have ever heard it. I regularly hear many of the great orchestras of Europe, and the IPO now is in a very high level even compared to the elite orchestras of the continent. They regularly play under many of the greatest conductors , and some very fine players were recruited- many of them were trained in Barenboim’s Divan orchestra. I assume, however, that the cannot offer salaries that come close to what the richest American orchestra can, and for an American born mucisian- it is a not suprising that he would want this move.

  • John McLaughlin Williams says:

    Cleveland has scored a huge win; Radzynski is absolutely great. It’s worth mentioning that he studied at Park University’s International Center for Music with Ben Sayevich, a highly gifted teacher and violinist.

  • Greg Takacs says:

    Great news! Now TCO needs a principal trombone.

  • music lover says:

    Haven´t heard him so far.But let me say associate concertmaster Peter Otto did a fantastic job the last 3 years.Peerless playing!!!!

  • Mark says:

    Doubtful Peter Otto will stay in Cleveland. The second chair in Cleveland, which is actually the third in terms of seating, has often gone on to secure the first chair in other orchestras. The last time Martin Chalifour left to become concertmaster of the LA Phil after Preucil was hired. It would be a loss for Cleveland, but it happens and decisions have to be made. This is why the co-concertmaster approach used by the Berlin Phil is appealing.

    • Gerry Feinsteen says:

      The Berlin Phil approach was tried in a slightly different way in Seattle about a decade or so ago, I believe, and it didn’t work.
      Berlin is a different kind of orchestra, sometimes breathtaking, sometimes a bit messy but still unified in that.

      Cleveland has an outstanding concertmaster now, with a distinguished tone. George Szell would approve.

      • music lover says:

        Sorry,the Berlin Phil sometimes a bit messy???Are you kidding???When did you hear them last time? 1988 under Karajan? Experiencing each single concert they gave since 2009 on their Digital Concert Hall,and many live in the hall too(since 1982):There is no,absolutely no other orchestra in the world which has the individual and collective virtuosity,stylistic variety,and level of internal communication like the BPO.As much as i like other orchestras,especially american orchestras,and the Cleveland and Boston in particular, they are unbelievable indeed..But the self cleaning abilities of the BPO are mind blowing..They don´t rely on the conductor in tricky situations.They fix things by themselves ,in a nanosecond.They need the conductor for inspiration.Especially in Kirill Petrenko´s tenure ,their playing has become superhuman.And if wanted,they can switch from the perfectest HIP band in the world to the lushest,yet athletic virtuoso luxus liner.If some old school maestro,like Barenboim,conducts,they can even do the plushy Karajan sound(not my cup of tea,but even i can´t resist them in such moments),in spite of the fact that there are only very few players left in the orchestra from that era.Last night,i attended a concert under Paavo Järvi.They did a marvellous,subtle Sibelius 7,a dazzling world premiere by a fascinating,incredibly virtuosic new flute concerto by Erkki Sven Tüür(the pied piper of Hamelin was principal flute Emanuel Pahud,for whom the concert was written),and a racy,speedy,witty Beethoven 8.Unbelievable playing of such a hard program.Book the Digital concerts,also for their chamber concerts and special events! It is a treasure trove.
        As for Cleveland,i don´t know if Mr.Szell would have approved.But it doesn´t matter.He died 52 years ago,and,great as he was in his times,we have moved on.There´s a much bigger repertoire these days,and stylistically orchestras have become much more versatile.And so,of course,have become the demands on the players….FWM has approved,and this is what counts most here.Godd luck,Mr.Radzinsky.

        • Amos says:

          Why wouldn’t Dr. Szell have approved? As a concertmaster, he always looked for superb artistry as well as someone who had the appropriate temperament to enhance the efforts of his colleagues. Mr. Gingold’s predecessor was dismissed for being judged a “sourpuss”.

    • Amos says:

      Since the 1950’s the assistant/associate concertmasters of TCO have included Berl Senofsky, Anshel Brusilow, Jacob Krachmalnick, Arnold Steinhardt, Daniel Majeske, and Sidney Weiss.

      • David K. Nelson says:

        That’s an all-star line-up. (From back when “all-star” games actually did have teams with the best players.)

  • Anon says:

    They already have at least 4 absolutely fantastic violinists sitting up front in TCO with various concertmaster titles.
    I’ve heard all of them play, a couple of them quite extensively.
    Radzynski is also very good but does he distinguish himself from this outstanding group of violinists?

    • An Israeli musician says:

      As I understand they all auditioned for this position and didn’t get the job. So clearly Radzynski is a better fit for that job and distinguish himself from the others. I’ve heard him play many times live and he has great recordings on YouTube. Aside from his unmatched playing, a concertmaster position is not only about being a great violinist, it’s a leading positions with many responsibilities. After seeing him here in the IPO, I can confidently say that Cleveland is incredibly lucky to have him, even though the IPO will miss him dearly.

      • Anon says:

        I think many of us guessed that nobody who attended their scheduled audition was going to be appointed.
        It’s unknown whether he is “clearly a better fit for the job” and how he would have fared if he had attended the audition.
        All the best to their new concertmaster.

        • Amer violin says:

          Rumor has it he was the only violinist being considered for the concertmaster job in Boston Symphony… and it was a screened audition which I know since my colleague attended.

    • George Cohen says:

      If they are playing in Cleveland than I’m sure they’re fantastic players… and so is he! Even better that he will join such a fantastic group of musicians sitting with him and making beautiful music together.

      I’ve heard him many years ago and felt like he has something special to say. Congratulations to him and to the CTO for an astounding appointment!

  • Noah Geller says:

    Bravo David!! So so happy for you man!!! Wow

  • Mark says:

    Other assistant concertmasters from Cleveland’s past who have gone on to first concertmasters in other orchestra include: Cecylia Arzewski in Atlanta (resigned), Richard Roberts in Montreal, Raymond Kobler in San Francisco (left around 1998) and as mentioned Martin Chalifour in LA. Many of,the assistant conductors have gone on to have notable careers as well (Levine, Levi, Ling, Gilbert and others).

  • Phil Greenfield says:

    Nu, Boston?

  • fflambeau says:

    He also seem the right age: not too young, and not old.

  • West Coast Back Row says:

    No audition, no trial, nobody on the committee heard him in person. Sounds like a typical dirty Cleveland audition.