William Steck | Ex-concertmaster, 79

Posted: April 26, 2013

William Steck, 79, a violinist who performed under some of the most eminent conductors of the latter half of the 20th century and served as concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra for nearly two decades, died April 13 in Alexandria, Va.

His death, from respiratory failure, was confirmed by his wife, Ann.

From his appointment as concertmaster in 1982 until he stepped down in 2001, Mr. Steck was a familiar and essential presence at performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington and on tours around the world.

Vern William Steck was born Feb. 18, 1934, in Powell, Wyo. He was encouraged almost from birth to pursue music: His father was a violinist who had returned to his family's farm during the Depression, and his mother held a variety of jobs to finance their only child's musical education.

The family settled in Philadelphia, where Mr. Steck studied at the Curtis Institute of Music. He graduated from the Philadelphia Musical Academy in 1952 and received a master's degree in music from the University of Texas at Austin in 1957. - AP

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