Jeremy Black, Concertmaster1st Violin

Concertmaster Jeremy Black

What is your hometown?

Pittsburgh, PA, but I grew up in Evanston

When did you join the Grant Park Music Festival?

2000-2003 in 1st violins, 2005 as Concertmaster

Where did you study?

Case Western Reserve University, University of Michigan

What is your career highlight?

That’d have to be this summer’s (2008) concert performing the Bach Double with Pinchas Zukerman and the Grant Park Orchestra to a capacity crowd at Millennium Park.

What do you love most about your instrument?

My instrument in particular? Its responsive and beautiful sound. It’s also a bit on the small size, so it’s easy to get around!

What are you listening to right now?

Nielsen Symphony No. 4, Radiohead “In Rainbows,” American Public Media: Marketplace. Lullabies to help my one-year-old sleep!

What would you be if you weren’t a musician?

Something in international finance or policy. Globalization is affecting so many people and cultures, and their intersections fascinate me.

Who is your all-time favorite performer?

Nathan Milstein. My favorite recording is Martha Argerich and the Berlin Philharmonic playing Prokofiev’s 3rd piano concerto.

Who would you love to work with in a future musical collaboration that you haven’t already worked with?

I wouldn’t have dreamed of working with Pinchas Zukerman just a year ago, so I won’t jinx my chances with anyone else! I do hope to perform in an orchestra under Maestro Lorin Maazal at some point. Since I joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, he was forced to cancel both times he was to appear with the orchestra.

If you could chat with any musical figure (dead or alive) who would it be?

Mozart. I’d need a translator, though—my German is terrible!


Photography, computers, racquetball. Spending lots of time at the park with my family!

Can you share any memorable stories about your experience with the Grant Park Music Festival?

Once during the Air and Water show (maybe 2001?), three Apache helicopters decided it would be a good idea to hover over the Petrillo Band Shell during a rehearsal. We tried shouting, waving them off, and jumping up and down, but I think they may have just waved back! We ended up taking an extended break until they left the area.