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DSO Announces New Concertmaster

The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is pleased to announce violinist Eleanor Bartsch has been named its new Concertmaster, and she will begin her new role with the DSO at the March, 2016 Classics Concerts.

Ms. Bartsch is a Minnesota native, currently residing in Chicago. She holds the Associate Concertmaster position of the Elgin Symphony and performs frequently with many other orchestras throughout the Midwest. In May 2015, she completed her Masters Degree at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Music. She concurrently earned a graduate certificate in Business Entrepreneurship from the UW-Madison School of Business.

The process of selecting and hiring the new Concertmaster has been going on for several months, beginning with auditions in June 2015, when ten highly qualified candidates, some who flew in from around the country, auditioned in three separate rounds. After those auditions, Ms. Bartsch and DSO Associate Concertmaster Tim Kamps were selected as the two finalists. They each performed as Concertmaster with the orchestra this past fall as part of the final audition process.

The Concertmaster of any orchestra is a position of extreme importance. This person is the lead first violinist and serves as the “team captain.” The Concertmaster makes numerous, crucial artistic decisions for every concert by determining the specific bowings and nuances for the violins and the strings as a whole. The Concertmaster is also frequently called upon to perform solos, both within symphonic music as well as in concerto genres. In addition to their playing, the leadership qualities of the Concertmaster are extremely important. The Concertmaster serves as an ambassador for the orchestra in the community and is a figurehead of the orchestra who, at times, represents the entire personnel of the orchestra.

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