David and Judy Preves Anderson Viola Scholarship


Mr. Milton Preves (pronounced PREEves) who served as Principal Violist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 52 years under seven CSO music directors and countless guest conductors, died Sunday, June 11, 2000. The longtime Glenview, Illinois resident was a fixture in local music circles and an educator who held professorships at DePaul and Northwestern Universities. He had a home studio where he taught as many as 30 private students a week, and he conducted a number of amateur orchestras during his career. He genially accepted his colleagues’ cracks about his longevity, and he happily recounted for them what it was like to be directed by Arturo Toscanini, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Igor Stravinsky. Mr. Preves’ sound and precision impressed even the gruff and demanding Reiner, while Solti, writing in his 1997 “Memoirs,” said he was struck not just by Mr. Preves’ playing, but by his leadership skills.

“Many of the players were not only outstanding musicians, but also outstanding leaders,” Solti wrote of his first impressions. He singled out Mr. Preves: “Milton Preves led the viola section as a benevolent dictator.” The comment spoke volumes about Mr. Preves’ reputation as a section leader. Though he ably performed more than two dozen times as a soloist with the CSO—an impressive number, even considering his long tenure—it was his leadership abilities that most distinguished him. He smoothly communicated phrasings, bowings and dynamics, and he seamlessly interpreted the musical desires of a multitude of conductors. He was renowned for his communication with other section leaders, said his son, David. In performances, Mr. Preves’ eyes moved as much as his bow, darting from conductor to music to other section leaders; in CSO recordings, especially under Reiner, one can hear his 1723 Montagnana singing out above the entire viola section.

  • Awarding Department: School of Music
  • Scholarship Intent: To help support financial needs for music students majoring in viola performance.
  • Criteria:
    1) Candidate must be a full-time student enrolled at San Francisco State University and accepted by audition for applied study in viola.
    2) If no candidates are eligible or acceptable in viola, candidates may be considered in cello.
    3) Candidate must maintain good academic standing with consistent progress toward graduation.
    4) Candidate is eligible in the first year of graduate study or in the junior or senior year of undergraduate study.
  • Major: Multiple: Music
  • Class Level: HS Seniors, Undergrad: Junior, Senior; Grad: Masters
  • Enrollment Status: Any
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 12 UNITS; Grad: 8 UNITS
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: HS GPA: N/A; Undergrad cum or SF State GPA: 3.0; Grad cum or SF State GPA: 3.0
  • Contact Person: School of Music
  • Campus Address: CA 139
  • Street Address: 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, California 94132
  • Phone Number: (415) 338-6986
  • Email: arsham@sfsu.edu
  • Web page: http://music.sfsu.edu/scholarships
  • Number of Awards: varies