1987

Steven Staryk, King of Concertmasters


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Is it the love of music, love of the violin, or love of teaching that gives UW music professor Steven Staryk his enthusiasm? "I've always enjoyed being with young people. Youth is our future. In performing you are re-creating, but in teaching you are creating," he explains.

Staryk joined the UW faculty in 1987 as head of the string division in the School of Music. Considered the "King of Concertmasters," he has been concertmaster of four of the world's major orchestras: the Royal Philharmonic of London, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Chicago Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony.

This Canadian-born violinist was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Royal Philharmonic of London when he was appointed by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1956. Staryk has since toured Europe, the Far East, and North America as soloist and founding member of Quartet Canada. More than 190 entries in the Creighton violin discography rank Staryk among the world's most prolific recording violinists.

In 1987, Staryk played the lead role of Antonio Vivaldi in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation feature entitled Vivaldi: A Biography, which recently was released as a video by Film for the Humanities & Sciences.

As head of the UW's string division, Staryk has influenced the lives and careers of many students. For his ability to inspire students, he was honored with the UW's 1995 Distinguished Teaching Award. Says one doctoral student: "I have not come across a more competent, challenging and thought-provoking mentor in all my years of study, neither in any other subject nor at any other institution."

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