Two veteran CSO members retire

Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 1:38 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Arnold Brostoff. Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Two longtime Chicago Symphony Orchestra members have retired, the orchestra announced Wednesday.

Violinist Arnold Brostoff was a member of the CSO for 47 years. His final performance with the CSO was in Vienna on September 6 at the conclusion of the orchestra’s recent European tour.

Brostoff was appointed to the CSO second-violin section in 1964 by then-music director Jean Martinon. A Chicago native, Brostoff was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and attended Roosevelt University, studying with Morris Gomberg. He performed briefly with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops before being drafted and serving in Europe, where he played for two years with the Seventh Army Symphony.

Upon his return, he studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he was also a member of the Rochester Philharmonic. Prior to joining the CSO, Brostoff was a member of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and concertmaster of the Northwest German Orchestra. During his long CSO tenure, Brostoff conducted the Skokie Valley Youth Symphony and performed extensively around the Chicagoland area.

James Gilbertsen. Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Trombonist James Gilbertsen is also retiring from the CSO after 43 years with the orchestra. He was appointed to the CSO in 1968 by acting music director Irwin Hoffman. He first heard the CSO when attending a concert with his father, and later attended Northwestern University where he studied with Frank Crisafulli.

Before joining the CSO, Gilbertsen served as principal trombone in the Florida Symphony Orchestra in Orlando. His final performance as a member of the Orchestra was yesterday.

An onstage retirement ceremony for each musician is planned for later this season.

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2 Responses to “Two veteran CSO members retire”

  1. Posted Oct 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm by Gordon and Sue o'hara

    We remember those years in the fl. Sym. The very best to you Jim and may God speed. Please let us hear from you. We love you man!

  2. Posted Jul 05, 2019 at 10:05 am by Joel Williams

    Probably a day late and dollar short on this article (9 years ago) BUT………I took lesson from Jim ’65-’67 or thereabouts when Jim taught with my father E.W. “Jack” Williams at Rollins Arts Ext while Jim was with the OSO . Trying to contact him or his family to say “Hey alive and well and what-up?” . If someone knows his whereabouts would appreciate giving him or family my contact info.

    Thanks in advance.

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