Respondent
Siegel, Fritz
Interview Date
May, 1987
Abstract
Fritz Siegel, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony which he joined in the 1950s; birth year, 1917;
[T1S1] his birth in Vienna to parents of Russian and Czechoslovakian background; family's immigration to the United States in 1922; they settle in Chicago; his father's musical ability; begins study at age five; musical studies at Chicago High School; his retirement from Pittsburgh Symphony at age seventy to teach violin; his first professional job with Illinois Symphony; training at Chicago Symphony and Stevens College Symphony; effect of the depression on musicians; typical salaries at that time; playing with the Chicago Symphony on the Carnation Milk Radio Program, Percy Faith conducting; becomes concertmaster for the Seattle Symphony in 1939; marriage; birth of two children; returns to Chicago to play for NBC Orchestra; plays with the Indianapolis Symphony, CBS Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony from 1943 to 1954;
[T1S2] auditions for Steinberg and the Pittsburgh Symphony; his five children by his second wife; his grandchildren; his work with Steinberg and Andre Previn; discussion of Previn, conductors in general; discussion of Pittsburgh Symphony and its relationship with Steinberg; views about mandatory retirement at age seventy; a concerto commissioned in his honor by Marshall Turkin;
[T2S3] his friendship with Aaron Chafitz, a viola player for the symphony; teaching at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne University; the development of new orchestra for the Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera; playing in the Tri-City Symphony in Chicago; playing with Bernstein; discussion of non-Jews in Berlin and Vienna orchestras; travels overseas with orchestras;
[T2S4] discussion of solo artists such as Perlman, Stern, Zuckerman, Yo Yo Ma, and Midori; comparison of baseball to symphony; playing with Serkin in Chicago, Rubenstein; views about aging.
Subjects
Musicians; Music; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Previn, Andre, 1929-; Steinberg, William, 1899-1978
Birth Date
1917
City
Vienna
Country
Austria
Emigration Date
1922
Profession
Violinist
Work
Pittsburgh Symphony
Length (hours)
2
Interviewer1
Winer, Ruth
Interviewer2
Menlowe, Mildred
Indexer
Winer and Menlowe
Collateral Materials
Box 106 FF 22
Identifier
ais196440.428
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh