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Violinist Tyrone Greive to retire from School of Music

April 30, 2013

After 36 years as professor of violin at UW–Madison, Tyrone Greive is retiring this spring. But the indefatigable musician, well-known to Madison audiences as the former concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, will still teach, perform and indulge his lifelong passion for Polish string literature.

Photo: Professor Tyrone Greive with violin


Photo courtesy of Madison Symphony Orchestra

Greive, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, came to the UW in 1979 after earning a bachelor’s degree from Morningside College and M.S. and DMA degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Michigan. He began his tenure at MSO in 1990 with his wife, Janet Greive, serving as principal cellist for the same time period, and they retired together in 2010.

On the teaching side, Greive will still be found in the music building, as he has offered to voluntarily help six current students finish their degree requirements. His former students can be found teaching, conducting and performing all over the world. Greive was also a tireless supporter of the UW’s Summer Music Clinic, an annual month-long event that supports and teaches aspiring musicians in middle and high school.

“It is hard not to describe Tyrone Greive without a cascade of positive phrases as he has done so much to inspire the students who have attended the UW–Madison Summer Music Clinic,” says Anne Aley, SMC director.

“Amiable, talented, vitally interested in each and every student, Tyrone invariably took the time to get to know the students as individuals, was unfailingly encouraging as a musical mentor, and enthusiastically admiring of all of their endeavors,” Aley says.

“Tyrone invariably took the time to get to know the students as individuals, was unfailingly encouraging as a musical mentor, and enthusiastically admiring of all of their endeavors.”

Anne Aley

“[He] consistently brought the house down on faculty recitals with his technically and musically show-stopping (and sometimes tongue-in cheek) performances,” Aley recalls. “He maintained the sense of community that forms at a music camp and corresponded with students throughout the school year and continued to encourage and be delighted with their achievements over years of musical growth … We will miss him!”

Retirement will also give Greive more time to indulge in his latest project: a book manuscript tentatively titled “Polish Violin Repertoire, in its historical and cultural context.”  It’s a lifelong passion that has resulted in numerous discoveries of previously unknown music scores, multiple journal articles, several research grants and awards.

His performance editions of both Polish and non-Polish violin music, often created from manuscripts found in Polish libraries, have been published by PWM Editions of Kraków, Poland and Masters Music, Hildegard Publications and International Music in the U.S. In February 1998, Greive was named winner of a 1997 Stefan and Wanda Wilk Prize for Research in Polish Music sponsored by the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California. He also has two CD recordings of Polish violin-piano music made with Ellen Burmeister, UW–Madison professor emerita of piano.

Greive will perform the Concerto No. 2, op. 61 by Karol Szymanowski in a free concert with the UW Symphony Orchestra May 3 at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall. The concert will be repeated May 4 at 7 p.m. in a ticketed performance at the River Arts Center in Prairie du Sac.

—Kathy Esposito