Allen Martin was an ardent musician who performed for 31 years as a violist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. After his retirement, he cheered the orchestra enthusiastically from his seat in Music Hall. Every week he gave away concert tickets so others could share his joy.
“He was evangelistic about the CSO,” said his wife, Judy Martin, also a retired violist in the orchestra.
Mr. Martin, of Mount Washington, died Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at Christ Hospital of complications from a stroke and heart disease. He was 85.
Mr. Martin was born in Cleveland in 1927. At the Cleveland Institute of Music while studying the violin, he took up the viola. He studied with Abraham Skernick, then-principal violist of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Mr. Martin performed with the orchestras of Akron, Canton and Erie, Pa., and worked in factories, including Heinz Ketchup, before winning an audition with the CSO in 1964. He was with the CSO when it took a 10-week around-the-world tour in 1966 under Music Director Max Rudolf.
Mr. Martin played with the orchestra on five international tours and accompanied his wife on later tours. He was a diligent and exuberant musician who always “gave his all” and had a wonderful sound, said his wife.
He retired from the orchestra in 1995 but continued teaching students privately. Since 1947, he taught hundreds of violinists and violists.
Mr. Martin met his wife in 1967 when the Cincinnati Opera needed two extra players for Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier.” During the next season, as both were playing in the orchestra while they courted, maestro Rudolf told the couple “to keep our minds on the music,” Judy Martin said. They married two years later.
Memorials may be made to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, 45202. ■