Raymond Gniewek

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Raymond Gniewek (November 13, 1931 – October 1, 2021) was an American violinist.

He served as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra for 43 years; upon his appointment in 1957 at age 26, he was the youngest person to ever hold the post. He also enjoyed a career as a soloist.[1] His final performance as concertmaster with the orchestra was a concert performance in Carnegie Hall of Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle in 2000.[2]

Gniewek was a native of New York City, where he began his musical education; he continued at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Andre de Ribaupierre and Joseph Knitzer, becoming concertmaster of the Eastman Rochester Orchestra and associate concertmaster of Rochester Philharmonic under Erich Leinsdorf. Other teachers were the Canadian violinist Albert Pratz and Raphael Bronstein of New York City.[3]

Gniewek was married to soprano Judith Blegen.[4] He was formerly married to ballet dancer and Pilates instructor Lolita San Miguel.[5] His sister is Cecilia Brauer who plays celesta and glass harmonica in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.[6]

Gniewek was born in East Meadow, New York,[5] and died on October 1, 2021.[7][8]



  1. ^ Biography at the Boston Symphony Orchestra
  2. ^ Bernard Holland (May 23, 2000). "MUSIC REVIEW; Thunder From the Pit For Bluebeard". The New York Times. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ Maud McLean. "Albert Pratz". The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  4. ^ "The Met's Judith Blegen and Ray Gniewek Are a Duet: She Sings, He Strings" from People magazine, October 26, 1981
  5. ^ a b "Stage Wedding Real Thing: another Metropolitan First". Deseret News. May 27, 1960.
  6. ^ ""Cecilia Brauer, celeste," Met Orchestra Musicians (website, accessed April 27, 2016)". Retrieved Oct 4, 2021.
  7. ^ "Death of long-serving Met concertmaster". Oct 3, 2021. Retrieved Oct 4, 2021.
  8. ^ "Raymond Gniewek Obituary (1931 - 2021) | Bonita Springs, Florida". echovita.com. Retrieved Oct 4, 2021.

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