Getzov gets going 

click to enlarge ISRAEL GETZOV

Israel “Izzy” Getzov’s business card this spring could read “Have baton, will travel.”

The violinist and assistant to Arkansas Symphony Orchestra conductor David Itkin will take the symphony to cities in Arkansas this spring, as well as direct the Conway Symphony Orchestra in its April 18 offering, “A Celebration of Spring,” at Reynolds Performance Hall.

Getzov took over last fall as the Conway orchestra’s music director and conductor, and as director of orchestras at the University of Central Arkansas.

Getzov, who finished up the ASO’s Family Series concerts last week, will lead the symphony in appearances in Jonesboro and Russellville in April. If you happen to be traveling through the Great Smokey Mountains in late April, you can catch Getzov conducting the Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, Tenn., on April 29-30.

In May, Getzov will travel to Washington, D.C., to the National Conductors Institute, where he and five other selected conductors will study with the National Symphony Orchestra’s Leonard Slatkin. Getzov will direct the NSO in rehearsal as part of the program. Naturally, he’s excited and calls it “quite an honor.”

On May 29, Getzov will conduct the ASO in its Riverfest appearance at the amphitheater.

Getzov’s busy period continues into July, when he’ll make a second appearance with the Fujian Province Symphony Orchestra in China. He serves that group as its principal guest conductor.

With that schedule, Getzov can be excused for having to give up his position with the ASO’s Rockefeller Chamber group, which he joined on arrival here five years ago from Cleveland.

Getzov, 29, says he’s living a life he’s dreamed about since childhood in Chicago.

“I’ve played the violin since I was 4, but I got interested in orchestra when I was about 10 or 11 and I knew then I wanted to be a conductor,” he said. “I was in the Civic Orchestra, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony. All the conductors who lead the Chicago Symphony also work with the Civic Orchestra members, and they were my first inspiration to become a conductor.”

Getzov graduated from the Chicago Musical College for Violin and got his master’s degree in conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music, skipping graduation to interview with Itkin and the ASO hiring committee. He was hired two days later for the positions of violinist and assistant conductor.

“I was attracted instantly when I read the job description. It seemed like they had me in mind, performing the violin and being in the beginning stages of a conducting career. It’s a state orchestra and there aren’t a lot of good orchestras like this. It was a very good match.”

As Itkin recalls, “Izzy was really the right combination at the right time. We had somebody who could thoroughly fill both jobs.”

Itkin’s way of speaking about Getzov sounds almost like a father’s admiration for his son.

And Getzov says of Itkin, “He’s a great mentor. He puts a lot of trust in me and has given me a lot of opportunities. It takes a lot of trust to hand over the baton to the assistant. … We have a lot of discussions about managing the orchestra.”

Getzov calls Itkin a role model, but Itkin adds that the two could not be any more dissimilar in style, whether in rehearsal, in conducting or in relating to the audience.

When a conflict in his schedule last month forced Itkin to send Getzov to Texas to conduct the Abilene Philharmonic in his place, Itkin said, “I told them, ‘You’re going to love Izzy and, trust me, you’re going to get a complete breath of fresh air because we’re just totally different.’ ”

Getzov’s warmth from the conductor’s stand shows in the ASO’s Family Series, quarterly one-hour concerts on Sundays designed to interest young people in symphonic music. Getzov relishes making music understandable to young children. While he was with the Rockefeller Quartet, Getzov visited area schools to talk music with older students.

“Yes, it’s been crazy this year,” he said. “I’m studying all the time. I’ve had 12 symphonies to prepare for this semester and I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights this spring. You’d better be prepared so that people aren’t thinking you’re up there screwing around, you have to know your stuff, and there’s a lot of pressure being in charge.

“I’m conducting more music this spring than in the past eight years since I started conducting. I’ve been extraordinarily busy, but there have been a lot of successes.”


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Judge dismisses lawsuits over Albert Pike campground flood deaths

    Federal Judge Susan Hickey Tuesday dismissed 11 lawsuits filed against the federal government over the 2011 deaths of 20 people in flooding of the Little Missouri River at the Albert Pike campground in the Ouachita National Forest.
    • Mar 29, 2017
  • Intruders kill man in 19th St. home

    The Little Rock police say Eric Gavin, 45, was killed shortly before midnight last night in a home at 1314 W. 19th St.
    • Mar 29, 2017
  • Indictment returned in dog business scam

    Darrell Rosen, a former Procter and Gamble executive in Bentonville, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for defrauding investors in a  business to train and sell dogs to private companies and the federal government.
    • Mar 29, 2017
  • More »

More by Jim Harris

Most Shared

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation