Houston, Texas, May 17, 2004 – – Uri Pianka, Concertmaster of the Houston Symphony since 1987, today announced that he will retire at the end of next season.
In making the announcement, Pianka said, “For 47 years I have had the luxury of performing music with two great orchestras. For the last 17 years, I have had the privilege of collaborating with my colleagues of the wonderful Houston Symphony. Now the time has come for a change of pace in my life. I have, therefore, decided to retire from my duties as concertmaster of the Houston Symphony at the end of the 2004-2005 season. It is with a heavy heart that I am stepping down”.
“In 1987, having been the concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic for 18 years, at an age when most people are looking forward to their retirement, I embarked on a new phase in my career and became concertmaster of the Houston Symphony. Musicians, management and subscribers embraced me and made me feel so much at home that in fact, I am at home. The talent, passion and dedication of my colleagues to their playing made me realize that this is a truly great orchestra and I was honored to be its Concertmaster. The Houston Symphony will always be part of me. Its soul beats in mine.”
Music Director Hans Graf commented, “Uri has made a tremendous contribution to our orchestra, in his music-making, through his exemplary work ethics and in his dedication to us. His insights into the music and his artistic leadership have played a vital role in making this orchestra what it is today.”
Ann Kennedy, Executive Director and CEO of the Houston Symphony, said, “Throughout his long an illustrious career, Uri has made a truly significant contribution to the world of music, and for the past seventeen years, to the Houston Symphony. We are grateful that he has shared his enormous talent with us for all these years, and we shall miss him.”