Six Degrees of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

How the city's top musical talent is connected to classical masters.

As the Dallas Symphony Orchestra begins its TI Classical Series this month, we take a look back—way back. In six degrees or less, we trace the musical lineages of 11 DSO players whose roots are linked to masters such as Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Holst, Wagner, and others.

Click on a face to see his or her connections.

Conductor

Jaap Van Zweden

(b. 1960)

Leonard Bernstein encouraged van Zweden to take up the baton during a rehearsal Bernstein led years ago of Mahler’s First Symphony.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN

(1918–1990)

Aaron Copland met Bernstein while he was still a student at Harvard, and the two formed a lifelong friendship.

AARON COPLAND

(1900–1990)

Copland studied with French composer, conductor, and teacher Nadia Boulanger.

NADIA BOULANGER

(1887–1979)

Boulanger was mentored by renowned French pianist, organist, and composer Raoul Pugno.

RAOUL PUGNO

(1852–1914)

Pugno studied with French composer and pianist Georges Mathias.

GEORGEs MATHIAS

(1826–1910)

Mathias was a pupil of Frédéric Chopin’s.

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN

(1810–1849)

Assistant Conductor

Karina Canellakis

(b. 1981)

One of Canellakis’ most prominent conducting mentors is conductor and violinist Alan Gilbert.

ALAN GILBERT

(b. 1967)

Gilbert studied with violinist Masuko Ushioda at the New England Conservatory of Music.

MASUKO USHIODA

(1942–2013)

Ushioda studied with Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti in Switzerland.

JOSEPH SZIGETI

(1892–1973)

Szigeti was friends with Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.

BÉLA BARTÓK

(1881–1945)

Bartók was a pupil of Hungarian piano virtuoso Istvan Thoman.

ISTVAN THOMAN

(1862–1940)

Thoman was a favorite student of Franz Liszt’s.

FRANZ LISZT

(1811–1886)

Concertmaster and violinist

Alexander Kerr

(b. 1970)

Kerr studied with American violinist Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music.

AARON ROSAND

(b. 1927)

Rosand studied with violinist, conductor, and composer Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music.

EFREM ZIMBALIST

(1889–1985)

At age 12, Zimbalist entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied with Leopold Auer.

LEOPOLD AUER

(1845–1930)

Auer was intended to be the first performer of the Violin Concerto in D Major, which was composed and dedicated to him by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY

(1840–1893)

Principal Violist

Ellen Rose

(b. 1948)

Rose has performed chamber music with Yo-Yo Ma.

YO-YO MA

(b. 1955)

When he was 19, Ma studied at The Juilliard School with American cellist Leonard Rose.

LEONARD ROSE

(1918–1984)

Rose, at age 18, joined Arturo Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra and almost immediately became principal cellist.

ARTURO TOSCANINI

(1867–1957)

Toscanini played cello in the world premiere of Verdi’s Otello (La Scala, Milan, 1887) under the supervision of Giuseppe Verdi.

GIUSEPPE VERDI

(1813–1901)

Co-concertmaster and violinist

Nathan Olson

(b. 1986)

Olson studied with Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil.

WILLIAM PREUCIL

(b. 1958)

At the Cleveland Orchestra, Preucil performed under Christoph von Dohnányi.

CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI

(b. 1929)

German conductor Christoph von Dohnányi was grandson of Ernst von Dohnányi.

ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI

(1877–1960)

The premiere of von Dohnányi’s 1895 Piano Quintet in C minor was organized by Johannes Brahms.

JOHANNES BRAHMS

(1833–1897)

Principal Clarinetist

Gregory Raden

(b. 1970)

Raden studied at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division with David Weber.

DAVID WEBER

(1913–2006)

Weber was assisted in obtaining a New York Philharmonic Scholarship by the conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Ossip Gabrilowitsch.

OSSIP GABRILOWITSCH

(1878–1936)

Gabrilowitsch studied piano and composition at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Russian composer and conductor Anatoly Lyadov.

ANATOLY LYADOV

(1855–1914)

Lyadov entered the composition classes of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV

(1844–1908)

Principal Horn

David Cooper

(b. 1984)

Cooper studied with Jerome Ashby of the New York Philharmonic.

JEROME ASHBY

(1956–2007)

Ashby was a student of former Philharmonic principal horn James Chambers.

JAMES CHAMBERS

(1920–1989)

Chambers played with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner.

FRITZ REINER

(1888–1963)

Reiner worked closely with Richard Strauss at the Semperoper Dresden.

RICHARD STRAUSS

(1864–1949)

Strauss was an assistant conductor to Hans von Bülow.

HANS VON BÜLOW

(1830–1894)

Von Bülow’s wife, Cosima, was a mistress of Richard Wagner’s.

RICHARD WAGNER

(1813–1883)

Principal Tubist

Matt Good

(b. 1961)

Good’s mentors include longtime New York Philharmonic tubist Warren Deck.

WARREN DECK

(b. 1955)

Deck studied with Abe Torchinsky.

ABE TORCHINSKY

(1920–2009)

Torchinsky was hired to join the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra by Hungarian conductor and violinist Eugene Ormandy.

EUGENE ORMANDY

(1899–1985)

Ormandy’s tutor was Jenö Hubay.

JENÖ HUBAY

(1858–1937)

Hubay spent three years studying with violinist Joseph Joachim.

JOSEPH JOACHIM

(1831–1907)

Joachim was friends with Robert Schumann.

ROBERT SCHUMANN

(1810–1856)

Principal Flutist

Demarre McGill

(b. 1975)

McGill studied at The Curtis Institute of Music with American flutist Julius Baker.

JULIUS BAKER

(1915–2003)

Baker took classes with Marcel Tabuteau at The Curtis Institute.

MARCEL TABUTEAU

(1887–1966)

Tabuteau served as principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1915 to 1954 under Leopold Stokowski.

LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI

(1882–1977)

Stokowski was an organ student with Ralph Vaughan Williams.

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

(1872–1958)

Williams was a student alongside Gustav Holst.

GUSTAV HOLST

(1874–1934)

Principal Cellist

Christopher Adkins

(b. 1959)

Adkins returned to his native Dallas in 1987 to occupy the chair once held by his former teacher, Lev Aronson.

LEV ARONSON

(1912–1988)

Aronson immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1948, reuniting with his mentor Gregor Piatigorsky.

GREGOR PIATIGORSKY

(1903–1976)

Russian cellist Piatigorsky was hired as the principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic by Wilhelm Furtwängler.

WILHELM FURTWÄNGLER

(1886–1954)

Furtwängler was appointed conductor of the Berlin Staatskapelle in 1920, succeeding Richard Strauss.

RICHARD STRAUSS

(1864–1949)

Principal Percussionist

Douglas Howard

(b. 1948)

Howard studied with former Philadelphia Orchestra principal percussionist Charles Owen.

CHARLES OWEN

(1912–1985)

Owen studied timpani with Saul Goodman of the New York Philharmonic.

SAUL GOODMAN

(1907–1996)

Goodman succeeded his own teacher, Alfred Friese.

ALFRED FRIESE

(1876–1971)

Friese performed under the baton of Fritz Reiner, Arturo Toscanini, Richard Strauss, and Gustav Mahler.

GUSTAV MAHLER

(1860–1911)

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