Violist Karen Dreyfus and violinist Glenn Dicterow (Photo/Christian Steiner)


Music luminaries to join USC Thornton

May 24, 2012 Evan Calbi

Violinist Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, and his wife, Karen Dreyfus, an acclaimed violist who teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, are slated to join the USC Thorton School of Music faculty in fall 2014.

After 32 years as concertmaster, Dicterow will return home with his new appointment. A native of Los Angeles, he made his debut at the age of 11 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where his father, Harold, served in the violin section for more than 50 years. As a teenager, Dicterow studied with legendary violinist and USC faculty member Jascha Heifetz. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic, Dicterow served as associate concertmaster and concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

“We are very excited for Glenn Dicterow and Karen Dreyfus to join us at USC,” said USC Thornton dean Robert A. Cutietta. “The addition of Glenn and Karen to our faculty rounds out an already stellar group of individuals who are both distinguished musicians, as well as dedicated and inspiring teachers.”

Dicterow has been nominated to become the first person at USC Thornton to hold the Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music, a recently established position created by Alfred Mann to celebrate the musical accomplishments of his brother and to honor the life and work of the founder and first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet.

Dicterow’s formal nomination resulted from a two-year international search to find the perfect person to honor Mann and complement the faculty at USC.

“Glenn Dicterow is a superb violinist-musician who will add his exceptional performance and teaching abilities to the school’s already outstanding musical activities,” said Robert Mann, who added, “Bravo!”

Dreyfus is a renowned violist who teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School and Mannes College The New School for Music. She is a founding member of the Lyric Piano Quartet, the Amerigo Trio and the Antonin Quartet. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, she has performed extensively in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and South America.

“These are great appointments,” said Midori Goto, holder of the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin and chair of the strings department at USC Thornton. “Both Glenn Dicterow and Karen Dreyfus will undoubtedly make invaluable contributions to the legacy of our department. They have had illustrious careers in such versatile ways, and their expertise will benefit both our students and the entire community.”

In addition to Goto, USC Thornton’s strings program features cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, holder of the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello; violinist Alice Schoenfeld, holder of the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Endowed Chair in String Instruction; violist Donald McInnes; bassist David Allen Moore; and a host of other exceptional artists. The program is unique among the nation’s top music schools, educating its students to become scholars and exemplary global citizens, as well as great musicians.

“Unlike many other top conservatories, our strings students are part of a supportive community where they interact with and are tutored by many of our renowned strings faculty while also receiving all of the benefits and experiences that come from attending the University of Southern California, one of America’s top universities,” Kirshbaum said.

“The appointment of Glenn Dicterow, one of the icons of American orchestral life, is simply great news for L.A.’s musical community,” said Deborah Borda, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. “Beyond marking the return of a native son, it is emblematic of the vitality of our artistic culture and the simple fact that this is a thriving and ever-evolving center for creativity. We welcome him and his family’s long time connection to the Philharmonic home.”

Dicterow will continue as the New York Philharmonic’s concertmaster through the 2013-2014 season. He and Dreyfus plan to make several trips to USC during the 2012-13 school year to teach master classes.

The appointments are another example of the impact USC Thornton has had in classical music following the recent Piatigorsky International Cello Festival. Organized by USC Thornton and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in partnership with The Colburn School and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the festival featured an international cast of artists and students.