Countdown to Retirement: Starting the 81st Season

By Peter Marck

Starting the 81st Season

October 2016 has arrived and the beginning of the 81st Season. Last July we had auditions for the principal bass opening of Teddy Kling, my partner of 38 years. It was the third audition and we finally found a player: Robin from America. He joined us for the remainder of the month and the South American Tour. Because Robin is Principal in Houston, he actually came to try us out and July was his chance to see Israel.

What a pleasure to play with him; although we are 40 years apart in age, we share a common background in that each of our teachers came out of the same schooling. What does that mean? We approach the instrument the same way: the bow moves with the same motion; the fingerings are the same, making intonation a trivial matter; the sound production is similar because the bow contacts the string in the same way. For me, playing with Robin was a complete affirmation of my style of playing. It was a rare combination where the sum of our efforts was really much greater that each of us alone. Robin also got on with everyone in the section, and made piles of friends in the orchestra. In short, he was perfect for us. But we were not perfect for him; at the end of the tour he had to decide, and he decided that his future is in the US. He’s probably right and will one day be a leading player in one of the great orchestras in the States like Boston or Philadelphia. You have to want Israel to come to the IPO from abroad and that is a very important lesson for us to learn.

Needless to say, I will sorely miss him as a stand partner.

While in Athens, I spoke to Zubin about giving our own young players a chance to lead in October and he agreed.


October 2016

The season is here and Zubin is not! Still out for health reasons. We went ahead with giving our young players Uri and Noam a chance to lead and they were both very good. The last thing I want is to be remembered as a “stick in the mud” old-guy who is bitter and cynical, so I gave it my best effort to help them succeed. After six weeks with Robin, it was a slightly different experience; Robin had a sound you could really “stick” to! That’s natural leadership; he instills confidence and security and he’s always there. Now it was my turn to make them comfortable in a new position.

As I said, they were very good; so good that Zubin will have them lead a concerto at the 80th Festival so that I can have time off.

March 2019 will mark a huge change in the life of Peter Marck. Join us on an intimate and personal quest through the tides with a passionate musician and IPO icon, and a dear friend.

For the first time and exclusively to IPO colleagues and followers, a musician of our Orchestra will share insights into the challenging but also liberating process he goes through – towards his final performance with the IPO.