Former Utah Symphony director Joseph Silverstein dies |

Former Utah Symphony director Joseph Silverstein dies

Submitted by the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera,

The administration and artists of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera announced the death of former Utah Symphony Music Director, Joseph "Joey" Silverstein on Nov. 22.

Maestro Silverstein, 83, led the Utah Symphony for 15 years from 1983 until 1998 as the organization’s fifth music director and was named as conductor laureate in 1998.

He was an internationally acclaimed violinist, chamber musician, teacher, soloist, recording artist, and conductor and held the title of concertmaster at the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1962 to 1984.

During Silverstein’s tenure with the Utah Symphony the orchestra released eleven recordings, including recordings of him performing the Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Barber, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Dvořák Violin Concerti with the Utah Symphony.

He conducted the Utah Symphony on a European tour in 1986, which was distinguished by a return to the Berlin Festival and performances in both East and West Berlin.

"We are saddened to learn of the death of our former Music Director, Joseph Silverstein. On behalf of the board and staff of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, I want to express my condolences to Adrienne and his family," said Interim President and CEO Patricia A. Richards. "As Music Director for fifteen years, Maestro Silverstein’s tenure was surpassed only by (Utah Symphony Founder) Maurice Abravanel, and he had a profound influence on the Orchestra and our community. He was a great violinist, a wonderful musician and a generous leader. He will be remembered with respect and fondness."

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"We speak so much about Maestro Abravanel here, and with good reason, but it is also important to honor the contributions of Maestro Silverstein to this institution," said Thierry Fischer, the Utah Symphony’s current music director. "He came at a time when a steady hand and a huge heart were needed, and he is a strong part of anything we accomplish today. I met him only once, but I recall our conversation well and will always remember him as a gentleman and an artist of the highest caliber.

"I pass his picture every time I come to Abravanel Hall, and I know that this legendary man will always be an important part of our story. I offer my deepest condolences to his family."

"I am very saddened to hear of the death of Joseph Silverstein. I joined the Utah Symphony at the tail end of his tenure here, and it was the knowledge of his exceptional playing and musicianship that drew me to this organization," said David Porter, who has played violin with the Utah Symphony for 20 years. "Joey, both as a violinist and conductor, performed with a minimum of fuss and believed simply in leading by example, a trait also exemplified by students of his in leadership roles in the Utah Symphony.

His passing is a great loss to our musical community, and I would like to convey my deepest sympathy to his family and friends, as well as to my many past and present Utah Symphony colleagues who hold him dear to their hearts."

The Utah Symphony will pay tribute to Maestro Silverstein at its performances on Dec. 4 and 5, when Maestro Thierry Fischer leads the Utah Symphony and the Utah Symphony Chorus during the "Ode to Joy" concert at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City.

Tickets, priced from $18 to $85, are available for purchase through or by calling (801) 355-2787 .