We lost our beloved and esteemed artistic director, Judson Griffin, in May, 2020. Judson was a colleague and longtime friend of Roslyn, performing with her in many ensembles, orchestras and festivals over the years, lending her his baroque viola for early music performances. Judson initiated the first Roslyn Young Memorial Concert in 2004, planting the seed that led to the establishment of our annual series. He was an invaluable partner in planning and organizing our concert programs over the last 15 years. A moving tribute to Judson’s life can be found on the webpage of the New York Classical Quartet.
JUDSON GRIFFIN graduated from the Eastman School of Music and earned Master’s and Doctorate degrees at The Juilliard School. After a period as viola soloist and champion of new music, Mr. Griffin began playing period instruments in 1979 through the influence of harpsichordist Albert Fuller. In the 1980s he played with Aston Magna, the Mozartean Players, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and the Smithsonian Chamber Players and Chamber Orchestra. He was a founding member of the Smithson Quartet, in residence at and using instruments from the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, making ground-breaking recordings of quartets of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Mr. Griffin was Music Director of the Connecticut Early Music Festival from 2000 to 2007, conducting music from Gabrieli through operas of Vivaldi and Mozart, researching and creating new editions, writing program notes, and providing translations from Latin, Italian, French, and German. He was a frequent performer in Europe and in the US as concertmaster, soloist, and conductor, appearing with groups like Amor Artis, the American Classical Orchestra, Concert Royal, Florida Pro Musica, and Baltimore Pro Musica Rara. Mr. Griffin led period-instrument orchestras for dance performances at the Maggio musicale in Florence, in opera at Musica nel chiostro near Grosseto, Italy, and led the Lobkowitz Quartet in performances of Haydn’s Seven Last Words in Germany. He toured with the English Concert and Trevor Pinnock; played with the Akademie der alten Musik in Berlin; with Il complesso barocco in Innsbruck, Milan, and Venice; and performed as a soloist at the Festival de Clisson, France. Solo recitals have been given in Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., in New York at Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Hall, and in Alaska.