by Daniel Hathaway
Touring string quartets seem to change first violinists a bit more often than second violinists, violists and cellists, but the Juilliard String Quartet may have established a record: three different individuals have sat in its driver’s seat in the last fifteen years.
When Robert Mann, one of the quartet’s founders in 1946, decided to retire in 1997, second violinist Joel Smirnoff moved up a chair. After Smirnoff left to become president of the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2008, Nicholas Eanet, one of the concertmasters of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, was chosen to take his place. Ebullient at receiving the good news about his appointment, Eanet went inline skating in Central Park and broke his wrist — while trying to avoid an accident. Though the wrist healed in record time, Eanet withdrew a year later for unrelated health reasons. Joseph Lin took his place in November of 2011. [Read more…]