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Meet Concertmaster Michael Ludwig

Michael Ludwig is our concert master in New York City, New Brunswick, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Ludwig has been praised for his "sensitivity to colour and flair for golden-age style" by BBC Magazine. Ludwig enjoys a multi-faceted career as a conductor, violinist, recording artist, and pedagogue. He has served as Music Director of the Roxborough Orchestra in Philadelphia since his appointment in 2015. His guest conducting appearances include performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, Delaware County Symphony, and Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. He also appears regularly as a guest conductor of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. Devoted to education, Ludwig has conducted the Skidmore College Orchestra, the All Catholic High School Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Luzerne Music Center String Orchestra. He has conducted the South Jersey Honors Orchestra, as well as the New Jersey All State Intermediate Orchestra. He studied conducting privately with Gustav Meier, and participated at workshops in Bulgaria, Ukraine, NY, and South Carolina with Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, Donald Schleicher, Donald Portnoy, and Maurice Peress. He served as a jury member for the 2017 HKIVS Shlomo Mintz International Violin Competition and gave master classes at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. Michael returns to China this year for performances and master classes in Zhangzhou.

{The text above was borrowed from Micheal Ludwig's website}

What do you get out of doing a concert series like Salute to Vienna?

ML: I love the tradition that Salute to Vienna represents, celebrating the New Year with music that hearkens back to a time and place of elegance, refinement, and sophistication. The atmosphere is warm and festive, and each year Salute to Vienna brings people together with a feeling of nostalgia and reflection, as well as a sense of looking forward with excitement to the new year.

How do you spend your time when you aren't working?

ML: I love to spend time with my family. I like to read, and I enjoy following a variety of sports.

How much do you travel for work, what's your favorite city to work in?

ML: I travel a great deal as a violin soloist, performing with orchestras throughout the United States and around the world. Performing in New York City is always particularly exciting. It is a great cultural capital of the world and carries a feeling of incredible importance. As Frank Sinatra sang in the song "New York, New York," if I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere.

What's next in your career?

In addition to my work as a solo violinist, I am taking a more active role as a teacher. I am currently Artist in Residence Professor of Violin at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. I am also active as a conductor, currently serving as Music Director of the Roxborough Orchestra in Philadelphia.

What is the most challenging part of your job? And the most exciting?

ML: The most challenging and exciting aspects of my work are really one and the same. The challenge to maintain the highest standard of playing is very exciting when it is realized on the concert stage. And the artistic exploration of so much of the world’s greatest music is both a great challenge and extremely rewarding. I hear and express music in new ways that I hadn’t in the past, always learning new things, which may be the most exciting aspect of my work.

Who is your favorite person to travel with?

ML: My favorite people to travel with are my wife, Rachael, and our son, Jacob. I love being with my family. We spend as much time together as possible. The experiences of exploring new places and meeting new people are so much more gratifying when we are doing them together as a family.

Describe your perfect New Year's Eve.

ML: Of course, my perfect new year’s eve is performing a Salute to Vienna concert with my wife, Rachael!

What is your favorite musical composition?

ML: Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23

What languages do you speak?

ML: English.

What is your favorite journey?

ML: Becoming a husband and father.

What are you reading right now?

ML: Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood

What is your favourite breakfast?

ML: Lox and bagels!

Where is home?

ML: Cherry Hill, New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia.

Images courtesy of Michael Ludwig

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