Retired Cleveland Orchestra Violinist Dies

Classic Arts News   Retired Cleveland Orchestra Violinist Dies
 
Berton "Bert" Siegel, a Cleveland Orchestra violinist for 30 years, died February 15 at the age of 80, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Siegel was invited to join the orchestra in 1965 by music director George Szell; he remained until his retirement in 1995. Siegel's wife, Joan, was also a violinist in the ensemble. The two met in 1955 in the St. Louis Symphony before transferring together to the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1960. Joan Siegel also retired in 1995.

Siegel was born in Chicago and studied at DePaul University. Before joining the St. Louis Symphony, he played with the New Orleans Philharmonic. He was on the faculty of the string department at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, where he was appointed department head in 1988.

According to the Plain Dealer, the Seigels said in a joint interview before their 1995 retirement that playing under Szell was particularly stressful. Bert Seigel said, "Sometimes it was agonizing. We would make jokes that we were going to rehearse finger by finger."

Retirement didn't slow down the musical activities of the Siegels, who continued to perform chamber music and served as members of Florida's Sarasota and Fort Myers Symphonies.Classical Music


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