An orchestra made up of concertmasters

An orchestra made up of concertmasters


norman lebrecht

May 19, 2023

The Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra has finalised its summer lineup for a six-concert tour.

Thew orchestra is comprised of concertmasters and principal players from 27 orchestras: Atlanta Symphony, Canadian Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Naples Symphony, National Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Utah Symphony and Vancouver Symphony.

Here’s the list:

Los Angeles Philharmonic Concertmaster Martin Chalifour (pictured, June 15, 18, 20, 22), Newly-appointed Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster David Radzynski (June 17)

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Alexander Kerr (June 24)

*Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Principal players noted in bold.


Nurit Bar-Josef, Principal Second: National Symphony, Concertmaster

Marie Berard: Canadian Opera Orchestra, Concertmaster

Justin Bruns: Atlanta Symphony, Associate Concertmaster

Zachary DePue: Naples Symphony, Concertmaster

Aloysia Friedman: Red Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Concertmaster

Angela Fuller: Dallas Symphony, Principal 2nd

Jeffrey Multer: Florida Orchestra, Concertmaster

Wes Precourt: San Diego Symphony, Associate Concertmaster

Lauren Roth: Tucson Symphony, Concertmaster

Jeanne Skrocki: Pacific Symphony, Assistant Concertmaster

Lisa Sutton: Los Angeles Opera, Assistant Concertmaster

Jeff Thayer: San Diego Symphony, Concertmaster

Nicholas Wright: Vancouver Symphony, Concertmaster


Brant Bayless, Principal: Utah Symphony, Principal

Michael Casimir, Principal: Toronto Symphony, Principal

Joan DerHovsepian, Principal: Houston Symphony, Acting Principal

Derek Mosloff: Florida Orchestra, Principal

Jay Liu: San Francisco Symphony, Associate Principal

Remi Pellitier: Toronto Symphony, Associate Principal


Robert deMaine, Principal: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Principal

Karen Freer: Atlanta Symphony, Assistant Principal

Barry Gold: Los Angeles Philharmonic

Austin Huntington: Indianapolis Symphony, Principal

Jason Lippmann: Los Angeles Philharmonic

Una O’Riordan: Detroit Symphony

Brinton Smith: Houston Symphony, Principal


Nate Farrington, Principal: Los Angeles Opera, Principal

Scott Pingel, Principal: San Francisco Symphony, Principal

Robin Kesselman: Houston Symphony, Principal

David Allen Moore: Los Angeles Philharmonic


Jeffrey Khaner: Philadelphia Orchestra, Principal

Clay Ellerbroek: Florida Orchestra, Principal

Demarre McGill: Seattle Symphony, Principal

Diana Morgan: San Diego Symphony, Acting Piccolo


Frank Rosenwein, Principal: Cleveland Orchestra, Principal
Andrea Overturf, Principal: San Diego Symphony, Principal (Eng. Horn)

Anne Marie Gabriele: Los Angeles Philharmonic

Kevin Pearl: Milwaukee Symphony, Assistant Principal


Boris Allakhverdyan, Principal: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Principal

Christopher Pell, Principal: Cincinnati Symphony, Principal

Frank Renk: San Diego Symphony


Ted Soluri: Dallas Symphony, Principal

Catherine Van Handel: Milwaukee Symphony, Principal

Erik Holtje: Delaware Symphony

Leyla Zamora: San Diego Symphony (Contrabassoon)

French Horn

Abel Pereira, Principal: National Symphony, Principal

Jaclyn Rainey, Principal: Minnesota Orchestra, Acting Associate Principal

Elizabeth Linares: Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gregory Roosa: Los Angeles Philharmonic

Kaylet Torrez: Pacific Symphony, Associate Principal


Ryan Darke: Los Angeles Opera, Principal

Jonah Levy: San Diego Symphony

Frank Glasson: Pacific Symphony


David Rejano Contero: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Principal

James Miller: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Associate Principal

John Lofton: Los Angeles Philharmonic (Bass Trombone)


Daniel Chavarin, Principal Percussion: San Diego Symphony
Jauvon Gilliam, Principal Timpani: National Symphony, Principal

Wesley Sumpter, Principal: Los Angeles Philharmonic

Mika Nakamura: San Francisco Symphony


Nicholas Halbert (Harmonium)

Joanne Pearce Martin: Los Angeles Philharmonic (piano)


  • CarlD says:

    Happy two see our concertmaster included in this, along with two Florida Orchestra principals — all genuine talents. Have a blast, y’all!

  • trumpetherald says:

    Impressive lineup!

  • Gerry McDonald says:

    A bit reminiscent of Sid Sax’s National Philharmonic Orchestra!

  • drummerman says:

    Just curious…who organized this, how is it being funded, etc.? Is this under the auspices of the Mainly Mozart Festival of San Diego?

  • Byron Nilsson says:

    “Comprises” or “is composed of” is the correct usage. A typo like “Thew” is excusable, although it does grate on the eye.

  • Just sayin says:

    It’s a gimmick to those who think being principal always equals excellence. Of course, it’s all about who you know. Some of these principals are no better than section players in other fine orchestras

  • Anon says:

    You might want to double check your info. Some of what’s written here regarding positions people hold is quite inaccurate.

  • Zandonai says:

    Why is Martin Chaulifour in the photo when he’s not on the list?
    I think as LA Phil concertmaster he makes 750k a year.

  • opus30 says:

    This arrangement reminds me of recordings made by Das Orchester der Deutschen Kinderarzte. They made a fine recording of Schubert’s 9th under the direction of Eduard Melkus in the Wiener Musikvereinssaal several years ago, issued on CD.

  • Mr. Ron says:

    This is a gimmick.

    • Third Violin says:

      Classical music needs as many gimmicks to boost audience numbers. What’s weird is lack of money and talent amongst composers, there is NO contemporary equivalent to Mozart, eh???

  • H says:

    Indulgent exercise? Leaving aside banal observations like ‘there are no first or second violins, only musicians’, is there a visible uplift to artistic merit from this ‘constellation’ of stars?

  • Jon says:

    Um…not totally sure an orchestra made up of only principal players is the best idea. Not every principal clarinet is a great 2nd, for example.

  • Robert Scharba says:

    You have to wonder – does this make a cohesive ensemble…or just the opposite?

  • Julius Bannister says:

    Reminds me of London’s premiere session orchestra in the 70’s & 80’s, the National Philharmonic Orchestra …

    • John Bakewell says:

      I remember it well as I used to play a lot with Sid. Chailly did a recording of Rossini overtures with Sid’s band and couldn’t believe it when the first run through was a perfect take.

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    So who are the all-star conductors?

  • Nick2 says:

    I cannot see what all the fuss is about! Decades ago the orchestra at the Grand Teton Music Festival was made up of players only from US symphony orchestras having an easy summer holiday with their families. There used to be at least 7 or 8 well established concertmasters in the violin sections as well as a host of principal players. The music director was pretty dreadful but an orchestra with members of that caliber could more or less play without a conductor. Not sure where the players come from nowadays but in Sir Donald Runnicles it has a really excellent MD.

  • Wannaplayguitar says:

    Oooh…let’s play……the Fantasy-football super league game (but with an orchestra). I’m not convinced this approach gets the best integrated sound from classical musicians. (Won’t all these soloist leaders resent being told to follow the guy or gal up at the front…… leading from the back please)

  • Alecia Lawyer says:

    It’s river oaks not Red oaks chamber orchestra please. After Aloysia Friedman’s name. Thx!

  • David K. Nelson says:

    It’s time to drag out this old joke.

    There is a wonderful orchestra in heaven. Both violin sections are made up entirely of the greatest concertmasters who ever lived, all the famous and great names, and the same goes for every section of the orchestra. And the greatest composers and conductors in heaven (those that made it that is) regularly lead them in fabulous concerts.

    Out of respect for each other, the concertmaster seat itself is always unoccupied.

    So one day this heavenly orchestra has gathered and Berlioz is to lead them in a performance of his Requiem. At the very last minute, who should stride in but God holding a violin and He sits in the concertmaster’s chair.

    One member of the tutti nudges his stand partner and asks indignantly “who does He think He is? Heifetz?”