North Texas Daily

Dallas Symphony co-concertmaster joins UNT faculty

Dallas Symphony co-concertmaster joins UNT faculty

Dallas Symphony co-concertmaster joins UNT faculty
September 20
11:14 2013

John Jacob Hough / Contributing Writer

Nathan Olson, co-concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, has joined the College of Music as an adjunct faculty member and guest performer this fall.

Olson, 26, is in his third year as co-concertmaster of the DSO, a position he took in Sept. 2011. He began splitting his duties between DSO and UNT when he started teaching lessons at UNT on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

As co-concertmaster, Olson is the second violin in the symphony, meaning that he fills in as concertmaster and lead violinist whenever DSO Concertmaster Alexander Kerr is absent.

Olson is not the first musician the College of Music has drawn from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Former DSO Concertmaster Emanuel Borok and current Principal Cellist Christopher Adkins are both current faculty members.

“I’m kind of in a lucky position with the DSO that has offered me some opportunities that wouldn’t be there otherwise,” Olson said. “I was thrilled to get the call, and I’m looking forward to working with the students and faculty.”

That call came in March of this year when Professor Susan Dubois let Olson know that College of Music administrators were interested in offering him a position. After that, Olson said it was an “easy decision.”

Olson was already familiar with some of the music college staff after working with several faculty members, including Dubois, in an April 2012 recital, which he credits for getting his name in the mix for potential faculty candidates.

On Monday, Sept. 16, Olson returned to UNT once again to perform chamber works of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms at Voertman Hall. The performance also featured fellow UNT faculty and DSO members, including Dubois and DSO Concertmaster Alexander Kerr.

“The concertgoers of the Dallas Symphony have experienced Nathan’s musicianship for quite some time now. However, he is now sharing his talents with the North Texas community,” Dubois said. “If [the concert Monday] was any indication, I believe it is going to be a wonderful collaboration.”

At 26, Olson may seem too young to be leading an orchestra and teaching students who are less than a decade younger than him. To the students though, age doesn’t seem to be a factor.

“If he’s got the talent, knowledge and experience that’s all that matters,” said Christian Olson, a music theory freshman and violinist. “I think he will be able to relate to the students well since he was recently a student himself.”

Although Olson has taught privately in the past, his new teaching position will be his first at the university level. However, he is welcoming the new opportunity because he believes there is much he can learn by teaching and sees it as a way to grow as a musician himself.

“Music is an area in which you never feel like you’ve mastered it,” Olson said. “Certainly as time goes on you get better, but compared to other disciplines where you can feel like you’ve ‘made it,’ the point in music is just getting better for yourself, not to compete.”

Olson has one more performance this fall, which will be his official debut performance as an adjunct faculty member. He will perform Ernest Chausson’s Poème for Violin and Orchestra with the UNT Symphony Orchestra. The program will also include Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 and will be conducted by David Itkin.

The concert is at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

Admission is free with a UNT student ID presented at the MPAC box office, $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens 55+, non-UNT students, children, UNT faculty/staff/retirees and groups of 10+. Tickets can also be purchased at or by calling 940-369-7802.

Photo courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

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