In Sunday’s (8/30) Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Zachary Lewis writes, “From one angle, Gary Tishkoff is one of the least conspicuous members of the Cleveland Orchestra. From another, he’s one of the most recognizable. No matter how you view him, though, the violinist is a treasure, and his retirement Sunday, Aug. 30, after 43 years leaves a gap. … Visually, there’s no mistaking Tishkoff, who is 70. With his distinctive bushy eyebrows, 6-foot frame, custom-built chin rest and exposed seat on the conductor’s far left, he’s often the player audience members notice first. … Tishkoff’s first job, at age 19, was in the Utah Symphony Orchestra. From there, he climbed the proverbial ladder to orchestral positions in St. Louis and Pittsburgh, and to tours with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster and soloist. … Then, in 1966, came his audition in Cleveland. … Growing up and attending concerts in Northeast Ohio, Tishkoff had a healthy respect for his hometown orchestra and George Szell, its legendary former music director. … Even from his distant seat, the violinist was fully invested in the conductor’s mission to raise the orchestra’s profile internationally. His departure Sunday leaves the orchestra with just a handful of players who were hired by Szell and can attest to the maestro’s manner firsthand.”

Posted August 31, 2009