Jonathan Crow, Early Successby Wah Keung Chan
/ November 1, 1999
Few instrumentalists have won their first professional orchestra job with Canada's top group in their first
post-university audition. "I did it just for the experience," said 24-year-old violinist Jonathan Crow. The star pupil
of the McGill Music Faculty accomplished this rare feat two years ago, when he competed for the position of
associate principal violin with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. "I think it was a lot of luck. It was a very
nerve-racking experience. I had done a lot of concerts, and I made sure I approached it like a concert." A year and
a half later, in his second professional audition, Crow won the associate concert-master position. The repertoire
was different - solos from Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade and Richard Strauss's Ein heldenlieben were
requested. "I find it harder to play behind a screen environment. You can't see the audience and react to them.
Performing in public for me is the easiest, because the audience is not there to judge you." How has this
unexpected turn affected his life? "I had imagined myself studying for a master's in the US. It means that I get to
stay in this great city, with the great orchestra and opportunities to perform chamber music," said Crow. As for
his solo career, he adds, "I would like to play in about 10 solo concerts a year."