Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Announces Changes to Orchestra

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Jonathan Tichler / Met Opera)

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra has announced a new Associate Principal Viola and Assistant Principal Viola.

The orchestra announced that Shmuel Katz, a veteran of the Met orchestra’s viola section, will serve as the Associate Principal Viola while Tal First will become the  Assistant Principal Viola.

Katz is a Manhattan School of Music teacher who has performed with the Concertante, Richardson and American Chamber Players, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble and the Israeli Chamber Project. He has also collaborated in chamber music performances with Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, Michael Tree, Ralph Kirchbaum, Vadim Gluzman, Leif Ove Andsnes, American String Quartet and Tabea Zimmerman.

Meanwhile, First studied in Tel Aviv and at Juilliard and later joined Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. He has performed in festivals and venues such as the BBC Proms, Berlin Philharmonie, Lucerne Festival, Paris Philharmonie, and Salzburg Festival.