In Wednesday’s (1/11) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Andrew Druckenbrod profiles the Pittsburgh Symphony’s new concertmaster. “Noah Bendix-Balgley has the best seat in Heinz Hall, the way he sees it. … Now in his fifth month as the classical music version of a lieutenant, Mr. Bendix-Balgley (pronounced ball-GLEE) has been caught up in a hurricane of duties and information. … Mr. Bendix-Balgley, 27, has been fulfilling the post’s time-honored duties such as marking scores with a pencil to indicate how the strings should bow and finger notes, working with conductors to convey their interpretations, and practicing like crazy for his many solos within symphonies and tone poems. … It’s not unheard of that an orchestra hires a young violinist as concertmaster. Mr. Bendix-Balgley’s predecessor, Andres Cardenes, was only a few years older when he took the job in 1989. But that doesn’t make the job any easier. ‘I knew coming in as a young leader [that it] could lead to some uncomfortable situations,’ says the Asheville, N.C., native, who began playing violin at age 4. ‘You have to make decisions that not everyone agrees with. But I feel I can go to other people in the orchestra and ask for advice. People have been welcoming personally and musically. I feel I can do my job.’ ” Look for an interview with Bendix-Balgley and other young concertmasters in the Winter issue of Symphony.

Posted January 11, 2012