This is Dad's obituary
MEYER STOLOV (Stolow) 1929 - 2023
The classical music and artist community is deeply saddened by the loss of Meyer Stolov, 93, violinist and painter, who passed away on January 30, 2023, at Cayuga Medical Hospital after a brief illness. Meyer was a friendly, energetic and charismatic man, tirelessly devoted to creating music and, later in life, painting portraits.
Meyer was born Meyer Stolow (later changing his name to Stolov to avoid repeated mispronunciation) in Montreal on October 31, 1929. His parents, immigrants from Lithuania, wanted to settle in the United States, but emigrated to Montreal after being granted a visa by Canada and Meyer grew up among extended family in Montreal’s close-knit, Jewish immigrant community. He was 16 when he had his first violin lessons at a local music school, unusually late yet making remarkable progress. From then onwards, he wrote, “my life took on new meaning”.
Meyer’s goal was to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. To save himself enough money to get there, he worked as a porter in Montreal airport. The wages were low, but tips from passengers were high and he had soon saved enough to get to England. A successful scholarship enabled him to relocate to London in 1953 and from there he pursued additional studies in Brussels and Siena, Italy.
After finishing his studies in 1958, Meyer returned to London to pursue his musical career. His first freelance job was with a Canadian contact and this led to more bookings, including work with Sir Thomas Beechahm’s orchestra, The London Philharmonic. His innate talent landed him on the more lucrative ‘sessions list’ and his reputation grew, making his journey rapid and prestigious.
In 1959 Meyer married pianist Gwyneth Jones, a fellow music student from the Royal Academy. They had two children: Naomi in 1963 and Aaron in 1966. In 1960 they relocated to Birmingham where aged just 31 Meyer began a three year contract as concertmaster for the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, also taking part in the premiere of the War Requiem by Sir Benjamin Britten.
Meyer also performed with many of London’s best ensembles, including working for and becoming friends with Sir Yehudi Menuhin. In 1966 he was appointed concertmaster of the Ulster Chamber Music Orchestra in Belfast. He lived there with the family until 1969 when they emigrated to British Columbia for a contract with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
In 1970, Meyer was offered a position as concertmaster at London's Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. During his 11-year tenure, he played with outstanding artists such as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Loren Maazel, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Colin Davis, Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. Other memorable performances while a London freelancer during this time included playing for the 1981 Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, recording classic hits at Abbey Road Studios (including Hey Jude with the Beatles, whom Meyer called “nice boys”), performing live music for the first moon landing in 1969, and recording many soundtracks for major motion pictures.
Meyer left London in 1981 for New York City to accompany his son Aaron, who was beginning violin studies at The Juilliard School of Music. The move to New York allowed Meyer to reconnect with his US and Canadian relatives. And, while working as a freelancer, Meyer met Susan Stewart, a professional classical flutist and they married in 1985.
While they enjoyed successful careers as New York freelancers, Meyer and Susan relocated to Ithaca, NY in 1986 to enjoy a more tranquil lifestyle. They continued playing music in Ithaca's active musical community. Meyer became concertmaster of the Corning Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, played with the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glimmerglass Opera, and taught at Cornell University.
In 2002, at 70 years old, Meyer took a painting class at the Ithaca Senior's Center and found a new passion which captivated him for the remainder of his life. Keen to develop his painting skills, he found his way to the studio of Thomas Beuchner in Corning, NY, with whom he painted, studied and collaborated for many years. He focused on portrait painting and many of his subjects were fellow musicians, artists, performers as well as family members. He exhibited locally.
With all of his interests, Meyer lived for music the most. And of all composers, Meyer had the deepest love for the creations of Franz Schubert.
Meyer is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Susan Trainer Stolov of Ithaca, NY. He is survived by two children; a son, Jonathan Aaron of Ithaca, NY and a daughter, Naomi Stolow, of Devon, England. He is also survived by his twin brother, a violist, Ben Stolow and his wife Bluma, of Montreal, Canada, as well as his niece Eleanor Kazden King, of Philadelphia, PA. Meyer is dearly missed by his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Stewart Zieman, her husband Tom Zieman, and their three children William, Grace and Charlotte, of Ridgefield, CT.