Press "Enter" to skip to content

Opus 1: Episode 5 – “May the Paycheck Be With You”

Episode 5 is all about the different ways you might explore earning a living as a 21st century musician, from a look at the past, to non-performance based careers, to being one of the biggest international soloists (Augustin Hadelich!!), and everything in between.

Justin opens with a segment about the early history of the string quartet in the United States. It’s a fascinating look at how professional string quartets took hold and shaped the future of chamber music in the United States.

Members of early pioneering ensembles in the United States:

Kneisel Quartet (1885-1917)
1st Violin: Franz Kneisel (member 1885-1917)
2nd Violin: E. Fiedler (member 1885-1887); Otto Roth (member 1887-1899); Karel Ondricek (member 1899-1902); J. Theodorowicz (member 1902-1907); Julius Röntgen (member 1907-1912); Hans Letz (member 1912-19017)
Viola: Louis Svećenski (member 1885-1917)
Cello: Fritz Giese (member 1885-1889); Anton Hekking (member 1889-1891); Alwin Schroeder (member 1891-1907); Willem Willeke (member 1907-1917)

Kneisel Quartet
Kneisel String Quartet: Franz Kneisel (1st violin), Alwin Schroeder (cello), Otto Roth (2nd violin), Louis Svećenski (viola), c. 1891

Flonzaley Quartet (1902-1928)
1st Violin: Adolfo Betti (member 1902-1928)
2nd Violin: Alfred Pochon (member 1902-1928)
Viola: Ugo Ara (member 1902-1917), Louis Bailly (member 1917-1924), Félicien d’Archambeau (member 1924-1925), Nicolas Moldavan (member 1925-1928)
Cello: Iwan d’Archambeau (member 1902-1928)

Budapest Quartet (1917-1967)
1st Violin: Emil Hauser (member 1917-1932), Josef Roisman (member 1932-1967)
2nd Violin: Alfred Indig (member 1917-1920), Imre Pogany (member 1920-1927), Josef Roisman (member 1927-1932), Sasha Schneider (member 1932-1944 and 1955-1967), Edgar Ortenberg (member 1944-1949), Jac Gorodetzky (member 1945-1955)
Viola: István Ipolyi (member 1917-1936), Boris Kroyt (member 1936-1967)
Cello: Harry Son (member 1917-1930), Mischa Schneider (member 1930-1967)

Juilliard Quartet (1946-present)
1st Violin: Robert Mann (member 1946-1997), Joel Smirnoff (member 1997-2009), Nick Eanet (member 2009-2011), Joseph Lin (member 2011-2018), Areta Zhulla (member 2018-present)
2nd Violin: Robert Koff (member 1946-1958), Isidore Cohen (member 1958-1966), Earl Carlyss (member 1966-1986), Joel Smirnoff (member 1986-1997), Ronald Copes (member 1997-present)
Viola: Raphael Hillyer (member 1946-1969), Samuel Rhodes (member 1969-2013), Roger Tapping (member 2013-present)
Cello: Arthur Winograd (member 1946-1955), Claus Adam (member 1955-1974), Joel Krosnick (member 1974-2016), Astrid Schween (member 2016-present)

Cleveland Quartet (1969-1995)
1st Violin: Donald Weilerstein (member 1969-1988), William Preucil (member 1989-1995)
2nd Violin: Peter Salaff (member 1969-1995)
Viola: Martha Strongin Katz (member 1969-1980), Atar Arad (member 1980-1987), James Dunham (member 1987-1995)
Cello: Paul Katz (member 1969-1995)

In the technique portion of Episode 5, Willie interviews Alyssa Saint about her non-performance based career in music. While many assume that all music majors are aiming for a career as a performing musician, there are many career options open to music majors in the 21st century.

Alyssa Saint

Alyssa Saint
Photo by Victor Xie

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Alyssa completed two degrees (BM, MM) in violin performance at Arizona State University under the tutelage of Jonathan Swartz. Utilizing the skills she developed in the practice room, she has held administrative positions at major performing arts organizations such as the Aspen Music Festival and School, San Francisco Ballet, and San Francisco Opera. Alyssa is passionate about helping musicians find the next step in their studies and is currently guiding students and parents through the admissions process as Associate Director of Admission at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Alyssa offers some fantastic advice for students who may be interested in applying to a music degree program. We’ll post an unabridged version of her interview soon, along with a more comprehensive set of resources and links for students who are researching music schools. In the meantime, here are a few links Alyssa recommends to students who want to establish themselves as professional musicians:

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music has a list of guides and handouts for creating the written materials you’ll need as a professional musician.

College Prep for Musicians: A Comprehensive Guide for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Counselors has lots of information about the process of applying for music programs.

TCC WorksheetOur worksheet for Episode 5 is a large list of just some of potential careers open to people who have music degrees. We brainstormed all kinds of musical jobs and there are so many that aren’t on this list. It’s worth noting that in our work as the Skyros Quartet, we’ve done many of the jobs (either just some aspects of a job, or sometimes the complete work) at some point or another. Download the complete list here.

We are thrilled to have violinist and chamber musician Augustin Hadelich join Sarah and Justin for an interview about his career and his advice to aspiring musicians. We would like to thank the Seattle Chamber Music Society and Director of Outreach and Operations Rachel Ciprotti for helping us schedule this time with Augustin.

Augustin Hadelich

Augustin Hadelich“The essence of Hadelich’s playing is beauty: reveling in the myriad ways of making a phrase come alive on the violin, delivering the musical message with no technical impediments whatsoever, and thereby revealing something from a plane beyond ours.” — Washington Post

Augustin Hadelich is one of the great violinists of our time. From Adès to Paganini, from Brahms to Bartók, he has mastered a wide-ranging and adventurous repertoire and is often referred to by colleagues as a “musician’s musician.” Named Musical America’s 2018 “Instrumentalist of the Year,” he is consistently cited around the world for his phenomenal technique, soulful approach, and insightful interpretations.

Augustin Hadelich is the winner of a 2016 Grammy Award – “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” – for his recording of Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, L’Arbre des songes, with the Seattle Symphony under Ludovic Morlot (Seattle Symphony MEDIA). Recently signed to Warner Classics, his first release on the label – Paganini’s 24 Caprices – was released in January 2018. One of Germany’s most prestigious newspapers, Süddeutsche Zeitung, wrote about this recording: “Anyone who masters these pieces so confidently has, so to speak, reached the regions of eternal snow: he has reached the top.” His second recording for Warner Classics, the Brahms and Ligeti concertos with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Miguel Harth-Bedoya, followed in April 2019. Other recent discs include live recordings of the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky and Lalo (Symphonie Espagnole) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on the LPO label (2017), and a series of releases on the AVIE label including an album of violin concertos by Jean Sibelius and Thomas Adès (Concentric Paths), with Hannu Lintu conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (2014), which was nominated for a Gramophone Award and listed by NPR as one of their Top 10 Classical CDs of that year.

Augustin Hadelich plays the violin “Leduc, ex-Szeryng” by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù of 1744, generously loaned by a patron through the Tarisio Trust.

Here is one of Justin’s favorite YouTube videos, “Fantasia di Gatti,” (translation: Fantasy of the Cats) a short animated film of Augustin’s recording of Caprice No.17 from the 24 Caprices for Solo Violin by Paganini.

This is a live video recording of the full Brahms Violin Concerto featuring Augustin Hadelich and the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, Germany.

You can listen to our full interview with Augustin Hadelich online.

Pencil Gnome Union Sketch
Drawing by Sarah Pizzichemi
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *