• Born 1958
Often appears with
Violinist William Preucil has led a multifaceted and distinguished career in the disparate realms of solo, chamber, and orchestral performance. He is probably best known as the concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, performing during the tenures of Christoph von Dohnányi and music director since 2002, Franz Welser-Möst. Preucil was already internationally known prior to his Cleveland Orchestra years as the first violinist in the Cleveland String Quartet. He has also appeared with other chamber groups and regularly performed as a recitalist and soloist. But his résumé goes deeper: he was concertmaster with three other orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony, and served as professor of violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Preucil's chamber and solo repertory is quite broad, taking in a range of works by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorák, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, and many others. His recordings are available on several labels, including Telarc, DG, Gasparo, Naxos, and New World Records.
William Preucil was born in Dearborn, MI, on January 30, 1958. Music was second nature to his family: his mother (Doris), father (William), wife (Gwen), various siblings, and daughter (Alexandra) play(ed) the violin; other family members play harp, horn, cello, and his father-in-law was renowned cellist Janos Starker.
Preucil studied violin with his mother from age five. He graduated at 16 from the Interlochen Arts Academy and had further studies at Indiana University. His most important teacher there was Josef Gingold; later teachers included violin virtuoso Zino Francescatti. After brief stints as concertmaster in the Utah and Nashville symphony orchestras, Preucil served as concertmaster with the Atlanta Symphony from 1982-1989. From 1986 Preucil played as a member of the Lanier Trio.
The busy Preucil was also first violinist with the Cleveland Quartet from 1989-1995 and, from 1989, concertmaster of the San Diego-based Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. By this time he had also appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras and eventually performed with the major orchestras of Detroit, Minnesota, Rochester, and Hong Kong.
During his Cleveland Quartet years, Preucil made numerous acclaimed recordings, including a highly praised set of the Beethoven quartets on Telarc (1991-95). 1995 was not only the year Preucil became concertmaster with the Cleveland Orchestra, but also the time he joined the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he still teaches. In the new century Preucil has also remained concertmaster of both the Cleveland Orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra.