Seattle Symphony Fires Concertmaster

Classic Arts News   Seattle Symphony Fires Concertmaster
The Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has declined to offer a contract to Ilkka Talvi, the orchestra's concertmaster for the last two decades.

Music director Gerard Schwarz said in a statement that the SSO was seeking "a new leader [to] help us achieve our potential as one of the great orchestras of the world. It is hard for me to say goodbye to a friend after so many years, and I wish him all the best."

The orchestra has named associate concertmaster Maria Larionoff as acting concertmaster for the 2004-05 season.

Executive director Paul Meecham told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the orchestra offered other positions to Talvi, which the violinist declined. In an email to the paper, Talvi said that the musicians union had filed a grievance on his behalf. "Too many musicians have been used as scapegoats," he said.

The SSO also announced that it has hired two violists: Mara Lise Gearman, formerly of the Oregon Symphony, and and Arie Schachter, who has been serving as a substitute for the Cincinnati Symphony.

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