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Chicago Symphony Gives Theodore Thomas Medallion for Distinguished Service

Paul Phillips, who has been a member of the Orchestra since 1980, was honored with the award upon his retirement


In 1980, Paul Phillips joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) at the invitation of Sir Georg Solti. At a recent concert at the Symphony Center, Music Director Riccardo Muti and CSOA President Jeff Alexander presented the longtime CSO violinist with The Theodore Thomas Medallion.

The honor, named after the founder and first music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is historically presented to all retiring members of the CSO.

Before joining the CSO, Phillips played in the Indianapolis Symphony for four years under Izler Solomon, and was a member of the Indianapolis String Quartet. Additionally, he performed in the Detroit Symphony’s first violin section, where he remained for eight years through music directors Ehrling, Aldo Ceccato, and Antal Dorati.

Born in Canton, Ohio, Phillips started violin lessons at the age of four. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied violin and chamber music with William Kroll of the Kroll Quartet and Endre Granat, assistant concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, he later received advanced coaching from Donald Weilerstein, former first violin of the Cleveland Quartet.

In addition, Phillips is a former member of Music of the Baroque. He was active in other chamber groups as well, including playing second violin with Samuel Magad in the Chicago Symphony String Quartet.


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