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Like Father Like Son: Violinist Michael Ludwig Leads His Father's Orchestra on Jan. 26th

The relationship of children to parents is not an easy thing to explain. Suffice it to say, we are products of our home environment and we can often give credit to parents for steering their children into the paths that may lead them to the proper education which in turn can result in satisfying intellectual achievement. and perhaps even professional success.

In terms of the arts, however, there are certain indisputable realities. Dedication and hard work go just so far. Ability and natural talent help, but ambition and daring also account for success. Violinist Irving Ludwig, was a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra for 39 years. A respected soloist, he also served as conductor of an amateur orchestra, the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra for 25 years until his recent death.

His son, violinist Michael Ludwig,absorbed all the elements of this artistic environment and went on to achieve his own success. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, associate concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra, soloist and recitalist, Michael recently made what was in fact a daring decision ... to leave the comfortable and assured position as associate concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra. He took a position as concertmaster of the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra and began to develop and expand the solo career that his father envisioned for him. He went out on a limb, concertized, and recorded various concertos and is now making his debut as conductor of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, from the podium where his father so recently stood. He will also perform with the orchestra as soloist in the "Winter" concerto from Antonio Vivaldi's  The Four Seasons.

Jill speaks with Michael about his father, the orchestra and following in his father's footsteps.  We'll also hear music performed by Michael in his role as concertmaster with the Buffalo Philharmonic, led by JoAnn Falletta, plus a short, but classic and poignant recording of Michael's father, Irving, in performance.

The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, with Michael Ludwig conducting, performs on Sunday, January 26th, at 3 pm, in the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center at Upper Darby High School in Drexel Hill, Pa. Details here

It's his parents' fault. For Joe's sixth birthday, they gave him a transistor radio. All of a sudden, their dreams of having a doctor or lawyer (or even a fry cook) in the family went down the tubes.