Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sidney Weiss

Sidney Weiss is an American violinist, teacher, and conductor born (in Chicago) on June 28, 1928.  There is not too much information about him on the internet.  He is best known as one of the former concertmasters of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  He is also known for making violins, although I don’t know how many he has constructed.  I don’t know at what age he began studying but I do know he later studied at the Chicago Musical College.  Later still he attended De Paul University (Chicago.)  From 1956 to 1966 he played in the Cleveland Orchestra – in the first violins but I don’t know how far up.  He was 28 years old when he joined.  George Szell was the conductor back then.  From 1967 to 1972 he was concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony.  He then left for Europe with his pianist wife and toured Europe with her as the Weiss Duo while also serving as concertmaster of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic (the Orchestra of the Monte Carlo Opera) between 1972 and 1978.  In 1979 he came to play with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as concertmaster.  He remained until his abrupt departure in early May, 1994.  He soloed with the orchestra on several occasions, one being April 15, 1981 (with the Sibelius concerto and Simon Rattle - before he became a very famous conductor - on the podium) and another on March 21, 1991 (featuring the Korngold concerto, Lawrence Foster conducting.)  Among other orchestras, he has conducted the Glendale Symphony (1997-2001) and participated in numerous recording sessions in Los Angeles as well as undertaken tours as the violinist with the Weiss Duo.  You can find a few of his recordings here.  Sample sound files are available here and here.  One of them is of the Mendelssohn concerto for violin and piano, a seldom heard work.  As far as I know, his best-known pupil is Armen Anassian.  

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