Milton Katims. Have you heard of him? He was a world-renowned violist (Played the viola, not the violin.) and played with other such artists as Isaac Stern and Pablo Casals. He was responsible for editing and transcribing many pieces of music originally written for violin and even cello to the viola. The viola repertoire would not be the same without his efforts. (I could not find a photo anywhere.)
He taught at Juilliard School of Music (1947-54), was the music director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (1954-7) and later he served as artistic director of the University of Houston School of Music (1976-84) and helped sign up promising young players like Yo-Yo Ma (who was just 15 at the time) and Itzhak Perlman as soloists early on. Eleven years found him as a protégé of Arturo Toscanini.
Other positions included: Assistant conductor and first violist for the NBC Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor and solo violist for radio station WOR, as well as the Mutual Broadcasting System (1935-43), and guest-conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony and London Philharmonic.
But the reason I picked him today is because he was a violist. I play viola, amateur status. (See My Music page) Milton was at the University of Houston while I lived in Houston. I met his wife once, the red-haired Virginia, who, at the time, organized a group of classical musical lovers to get together for concerts and dinner, etc. Virginia Katims’ “Meet a fellow classical music lover” group, I guess you could call it. I never studied with Milton though. I don’t know why I didn’t try to take advantage of that opportunity. What an opportunity lost.
Brahms: Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18 – 2. Andante ma moderato (That’s a picture or Brahms, not Katims :-] )
Isaac Stern, Alexander Schneider, Milton Katims, Milton Thomas, Pablo Casals, Madeline Foley
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