Joseph Silverstein, former BSO concertmaster, is dead at 83

Violinist Joseph Silverstein.

Joseph Silverstein, former concertmaster for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a beloved figure in Boston’s musical community, died on Sunday at the age of 83, according to the BSO.

Once hailed in The Boston Globe as a “violin virtuoso without vanity,” Silverstein served as BSO concertmaster for more than two decades. He also appeared as conductor or violin soloist with hundreds of orchestras in the United States and abroad, according to the BSO.


Mark Volpe, managing director of the BSO, issued a statement in tribute to Silverstein on Sunday:

“Joseph (or Joey as we all addressed him) Silverstein was one on the most important figures in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Not only was he a legendary concertmaster, he also served as the BSO’s assistant conductor and was a leading teacher who led the faculty at Tanglewood for many years. His students populate the violin section of the BSO as well as many other leading orchestras in the United States and beyond. Furthermore, he served as artistic director of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players from its founding until his departure from the BSO to serve as the Music Director of the Utah Symphony. His legacy with the Boston Symphony Orchestra will continue for decades to come through his students and the multitude of recordings and television shows featuring Joey leading the string section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.”

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