“Yosuke Kawasaki got the call when he was in Japan,” writes Peter Robb in Friday’s (2/15) Ottawa Citizen (Canada). “The New York born violinist was about to perform in a chamber concert in a city called Mito when his cellphone rang. Pinchas Zukerman was on the phone. The maestro was in the process of putting his personal stamp on the National Arts Centre Orchestra and he was looking for a new concertmaster for the NACO. Zukerman was in the cab with Kawasaki’s manager, who had been managing a tour by Zukerman. She dropped Kawasaki’s name. He said, impulsively, let’s call him. … The end of the story: Kawasaki is the second concertmaster in the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s history. For the now 36-year-old Kawasaki, the fates have been pretty kind. He has a tenured job with the NACO—although ‘it does feel strange to be settled’—and married fellow musician Jessica Linnebach, a violin talent in her own right who is originally from Edmonton. In fact, as the NACO’s associate concertmaster, she sits right behind her partner in concerts, bow at the ready to keep him in line. ‘She’s the real boss,’ he says with typically understated humour. Kawasaki’s parents, both musicians, ‘were involved in the founding of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, a well-known conductor-less ensemble in New York. So his family home was full of music and musicians.”

Posted February 20, 2013