Peter Otto will depart the Cleveland Orchestra for his new role beginning in January 2024

Peter Otto 1

Photo: The Cleveland Orchestra

Violinist Peter Otto

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The Nashville Symphony has announced the appointment of Peter Otto as the orchestra’s new Walter Buchanan Sharp concertmaster beginning in January 2024. Otto comes to the Nashville Symphony from the Cleveland Orchestra where he was appointed first associate concertmaster in September 2007 and served as acting concertmaster from 2018 until 2022. 

’I am thrilled that Peter Otto will be joining the Nashville Symphony as concertmaster. He is someone with vast and wonderful experience who I had the pleasure to work with during my time with the Cleveland Orchestra,’ said the orchestra’s musical director Giancarlo Guerrero.

’When Peter joined us in Nashville for some concerts this spring, there was an immense and immediate chemistry with the orchestra. Attracting someone like Peter speaks to the level of the orchestra and our beautiful hall and shows that the Nashville Symphony can attract the highest calibre of artist.’

Otto first performed as concertmaster with the Nashville Symphony in 2010 under the baton of Guerrero. ’The orchestra was so warm and welcoming, and there was an immediate connection and spark,’ said Otto.

Peter Otto 2

Photo: Kurt Heinecke

Peter Otto as guest concertmaster during 6-8 January 2023 concerts with the Nashville Symphony, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero

’13 years later, I remain flabbergasted at their level of eagerness, responsiveness, and the ease and flexibility they demonstrate across a wide range of music. I’m honoured to have been offered this post by Giancarlo, and I look forward to making my home in Music City.’

Otto was born in Germany and enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and teacher. He was appointed first associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra by Franz Welser-Möst in 2007, regularly performing as concerto soloist with the orchestra. Previous to his engagement in Cleveland, he served as assistant concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He appeared as guest concertmaster with Nashville and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Otto is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany. His honours include top prizes in the Max Rostal Competition in Berlin and the Kingsville Young Performers Competition in Texas. His teachers have included Christiane Hutcap, Vera Kramarova, and Lewis Kaplan. Other significant musical influences were Roman Nodel, Igor Ozim, and Felix Galimir.

Otto has served as a faculty member of the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival and the Kent/Blossom Festival. He is a frequent guest teacher at the New World Symphony, leading masterclasses and coaching sessions for aspiring orchestral musicians. Otto currently teaches violin at Cleveland State University.

An established leader in the Nashville and regional arts and cultural communities, the Nashville Symphony spearheads groundbreaking community partnerships and initiatives, notably, Violins of Hope Nashville, which engaged tens of thousands of Middle Tennesseans through concerts, exhibits, lectures by spotlighting a historic collection of instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust.

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