Strings Grad on the Move

Violin alumnus earns concertmaster position in West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Anton Shelepov is the new concertmaster of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Photo courtesy Charleston Daily Mail, Craig Cunningham.

Anton Shelepov hasn't always loved music. That's hard to imagine for a violinist who recently earned posts as concertmaster for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and as first violinist for its Montclaire String Quartet.

The alumnus of the MSU College of Music (DMA 2008) began his musical journey at age 4 when his mother gave him a violin. Love it or not, Shelepov's life was cast as a violinist as he grew up in Russia, guided by a single parent.

When he reached 16, Shelepov attended music school in his hometown in Siberia. It was there, he says, that he fell in love with music and graduated with honors. His mother arranged for his next bold move: to audition for one of just two musical conservatories in Russia. He auditioned and was accepted to the St. Petersburg Conservatory—an almost unheard of feat for applicants without strong musical connections.

Although most conservatory students take five, Shelepov took just four years to earn his degree while also holding a full-time job with Moscow's Chamber Orchestra Kremlin. After graduating, he stayed with the Kremlin Orchestra and toured for nearly five years.

Growing weary of the road, Shelepov changed course in 2005 and came to study with Walter Verdehr, professor of violin and distinguished faculty member, at the MSU College of Music. 

“Anton was one of the most talented musicians and violinists I have seen in my 40-some years at MSU,” says Verdehr of his student who also served as the concertmaster for the MSU Symphony Orchestra while in school. “He is a brilliant violinist who is equally gifted as soloist, chamber musician, or orchestral concertmaster. He is also a very good composer.”

After earning his doctorate in music performance, Shelepov went on to play with several orchestras in the U.S. and Canada. In 2009, he auditioned and was accepted under contract with his current orchestra and quartet in Charleston, WV. Later, he auditioned and was granted a permanent job.

Shelepov began his new leadership positions with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Montclaire String Quartet in mid-2014. He was selected as concertmaster through an anonymous audition process. 

Source: Charleston Daily Mail, "West Virginia  Symphony Orchestra's new concertmaster doesn't mind sharing the spotlight," August 29, 2014. 

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