Isidor Saslav, a former Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concertmaster and Peabody Institute violin teacher, died of complications from cancer Jan. 26 at a hospital in Tyler, Texas. The former Mount Washington resident was 74.
Born in Jerusalem, he moved with his family to Detroit as a young boy and studied violin under Detroit Symphony concertmaster Mischa Mischakoff.
Family members said at 17 he became one of the youngest members of the Detroit Symphony. He earned a bachelor's degree in music at Wayne State University and a doctorate from Indiana University, where he wrote his thesis on the string quartets of Franz Josef Haydn. He remained a Haydn scholar and edited the composer's works with Georg Feder.
After moving to Baltimore in 1969, he was the Baltimore Symphony's concertmaster under music director Sergiu Comissiona. When Dr. Saslav announced his resignation in 1980, he said in a Baltimore Sun article, "Having largely fulfilled the orchestral goals I set for myself some 25 years ago, I feel it's time for me to concentrate my efforts in other areas, other rooms in the great mansion of music." He left the orchestra in 1981 and became the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster.
Dr. Saslav was on the faculties of the Peabody and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He and his wife, the former Ann Heiligman, founded Mount Washington Concerts Inc., a nonprofit organization that brought music to students in schools.
He played a rare 1778 violin made by Michelangelo Bergonzi and a Peresson violin.
A resident of Overton, Texas, where he moved in the 1980s, he was the retired concertmaster of the Longview Symphony Orchestra.
He also headed a string instrument program at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Family members said he was a scholar of playwright George Bernard Shaw and collected his works. Dr. Saslav established a library in Overton where he displayed his Shaw books and other materials.
A memorial gathering will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the McMillan Memorial Library in Overton, Texas.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, a concert pianist who taught at Goucher College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; a son, David Saslav of Redwood City, Calif.; and a daughter, Leanora Saslav of San Francisco.Copyright © 2015, CT Now