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About Us: Meet the Musicians

The North Carolina Symphony is not just music; it's people. From composers to musicians, from conductors to staff, the Symphony is made up of a talented group of dedicated individuals who take immense pleasure and pride in bringing you the finest programs of show-stopping music season after season.

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Jess Isaiah Levin  |  Violin 1
The J. Felix Arnold Chair

Jess Isaiah Levin
From an early age, Jess Isaiah Levin evinced signs of a future career in…science. He began serious study of physics while in elementary school, and went on to major in that subject at the Bronx High School of Science. However, as the son of one of New York’s premier violinists, it was not surprising that the music bug would bite him eventually. Jess began studying violin while in junior high school, and studied composition with Juilliard resident composer Hall Overton beginning at the age of 14.

During his teen years, the photography bug also took up permanent residence and Jess has pursued at least two creative areas ever since (you can visit his explorations of visual arts at www.ClassicalPhotography.com). An undergraduate degree in violin performance (with unofficial minor in composition) and a graduate school major in composition (with unofficial minor in violin) helped prepare Jess for his place in the first violin section of the North Carolina Symphony, beginning in 1974.

Highlights of his career with the North Carolina Symphony have included four performances of his own violin concerto (premiered in 1976), performances of Mozart’s Concerto No. 5, and the orchestra’s performances of two of his compositions – TAKI 183 for string orchestra, and Tessellation for full orchestra. His chamber works have been performed in Raleigh, Albuquerque, and several Wisconsin venues.

A continued fascination with physics and the other sciences has provided one area among the many that occupy Jess’s voracious appetite for reading. With music, visual arts, science and other interests shared with his wife, Pam Halverson – not to mention the exercise discipline provided by their beloved dog “Photon” - life is never boring and Jess looks forward to many more years of association with the artistic growth of the North Carolina Symphony.




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