Title: Concertmaster and Personnel Manager
Company: Lyric Opera of Chicago
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky, Concertmaster of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of music.
Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky is a classical violinist who earned wide notoriety as Concertmaster and Personnel Manager of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago, where he presided for 29 years and helped bring about a significant improvement in orchestral quality. A prolific performer, he presided over a lucrative studio-recording business with his partner, Elliott Golub. At the same time, the two served as twin pillars for classical ensembles as diverse as Music of the Baroque and the Contemporary Chamber Players. He retired in 2003 and has since resided in Santa Fe, NM.
A lifelong Chicagoan until his retirement, Mr. Zlatoff-Mirsky was born in 1937 to Alexander Igor Zlatoff-Mirsky, a Russian emigré sculptor, painter and opera singer; and Evelyn Ola (Hill). As a child, he sang in the choir of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chicago, and played the piano and violin. Alexander cultivated his son’s well-rounded musical talent and enforced a strict practice discipline.
When Raymond Niwa, his teacher from age 7, left Chicago, he continued his violin studies with Morris Gomberg at Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music in 1960 and 1961. As a student, he received the Oliver Ditson Award and was inducted into the Franklin Honor Society.
Roosevelt University was located in downtown Chicago, and from the start of his college experience, Mr. Zlatoff-Mirsky found ever more employment at nearby recording studios. Eventually, he became a contractor, assembling string sections and even full orchestras for advertising clients, for jazz and pop recording artists, even for the fledgling Chicago City Ballet. This work was extremely lucrative, and he found himself in continual competition with his best friend, fellow violinist Elliott Golub. To eliminate this conflict, the two decided to form a partnership, which was called Chicago Performing Arts, Inc. The contracting firm would employ hundreds of musicians over decades, for a wide variety of recording endeavors.
Mr. Zlatoff-Mirsky taught violin at Roosevelt from 1961 until 1966, and was first violin in the faculty string quartet. In 1964, he and Mr. Golub began a collaboration with composer Ralph Shapey at the University of Chicago, leading an orchestra called the Contemporary Chamber Players which was devoted to newly penned classical works. Mr. Zlatoff-Mirsky played violin and viola both with the CCP and with the affiliated Lexington String Quartet, which mingled new works with traditional repertoire. He became the solo violinist for Chicago’s Bach Society in 1966.
In 1971, he and Mr. Golub assembled a string section for Thomas Wikman, who was founding a new Chicago concert organization called Music of the Baroque. The pair continued with MOB throughout Wikman’s 30-year tenure and beyond, with Mr. Zlatoff-Mirsky playing violin and viola on hundreds of concerts.
In 1974, Carol Fox, artistic director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, succeeded in a years-long effort to recruit Mr. Zlatoff-Mirsky as her concertmaster. He also became Personnel Manager for the opera orchestra, holding both posts for 29 years while continuing to pursue lucrative studio work and to perform classical music.
He played with Shapey’s avant-garde ensembles until 1982, was soloist with the Bach Society until 1983, and continued with MOB until 2003.
Since retiring in 2003 to Santa Fe, New Mexico, he has supported the Santa Fe Symphony. His late wife served on the board; he succeeded her, and continues to endow the Nicolle Maniaci violin chair.
In March 2020 he marked the passage of his wife, Janet Dalbey Zlatoff-Mirsky, whom he married in January 1976. His earlier marriage — to Priscilla Newcomer, who had been a ballet dancer — produced two daughters: Tania Furrer of Washington, DC, and Laura Bergeron-Mirsky of Cupertino, CA. His three grandchildren are Anika Furrer, and Linden and Marin Bergeron-Mirsky.
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