Vineta Sareika-Völkner, newly appointed concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, is the first woman in the role in the orchestra’s 141-year history.

“Latvian violinist Vineta Sareika-Völkner has today been announced as the new concertmaster of the acclaimed Berlin Philharmonic,” writes Sophia Alexandra Hall in Friday’s (2/17) Classic FM (U.K.). “Sareika-Völkner is the first woman to have ever held the position of concertmaster in the prestigious orchestra, and she takes on the role after joining the orchestra just 10 months ago in April 2022…. The violinist … completed her training at the Paris Conservatoire National … and at the Belgian Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel … She has performed as a soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Lisbon Philharmonic, Latvian National Orchestra and London Chamber Orchestra. From 2012 to 2021, Sareika-Völkner was the first violinist in the … Artemis Quartet…. Despite forming in 1882, the Berlin Phil only began accepting women musicians a century later, with the hire of violinist Madeleine Carruzzo in 1982…. This is not Sareika-Völkner’s first concertmaster position; from 2011 to 2013 she was the principal concertmaster of the … Royal Flemish Philharmonic under the direction of Edo de Waart and Philippe Herreweghe. Over the past few years she has also taken up … guest concertmaster roles at the Brussels Royal Opera Orchestra and the Brussels Philharmonic.”