In Memory

Michael Levin

Michael Levin

Mike died suddenly on May 7, 2009, of complications with heart surgery. He lived in Teaneck, New Jersey. He is survived by his wife Christine Ims, his mother Jeanne and sister Cynthia (Cindy). He was predeceased by his father. An extraodinary violinist, Mike graduated from the New England Conservatory and later was assistant concert master of the North Carolina Symphony. He served as Concert Master for the Glimmerglass Opera and, beginning in 1987, often worked with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.  He was an active recitalist and chamber musician in the New York area. Memorial contributions may be made to the Glimmerglass Opera, P.O. Box 191, Cooperstown, NY 13326. If you would like to send a note to Mike's wife, please email Ben Bialek for her address.

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

05/10/09 08:00 PM #1    

Mary Saloschin (Hubbard)

I first met Mike as a 7th grader at North Bethesda Jr. High. We were in orchestra together -- even then, he was a truly amazing young violinist, far more gifted than the rest of us. We were always friendly, and became even closer as members of Montgomery County Youth Orchestra (9th-12th grade). In our senior year, Mike branched out into acting. We were in the Senior Class Play together (he played the doctor & I the nurse in The Man Who Came to Dinner). Immediately after that, I cast Mike as Ernest Worthing in Act 1 of "The Importance of Being Earnest." We won the WJ one-act festival, and went on to the regionals and finally the MD state one-acts, where we won top honors (with Peg Melville, Joe Esquibel & Rich Slawsky rounding out the cast). Mike was also onstage in "Of Thee I Sing" (rather than in the orchestra pit, where he usually was).

The swan song of our senior year was a Youth Orchestra trip to Austria & Switzerland in August, 1969. Mike was adventurous and high-spirited, sometimes crossing the line (as far as the strict chaperones were concerned) but he was always a committed violinist and great pal.

He went on to New England Conservatory in Boston, then found employment in orchestras in North Carolina & Alabama before coming to NYC. His wife, Christine Ims, was a violist. They treasured their summers together near Cooperstown NY, where they played in the well-respected Glimmerglass Opera Company. Mike was concertmaster, Christine was principal violist.

I last saw Mike in the mid-1990s in upstate NY. He and Christine hosted me and my (then very young) daughter Laura, showed us around the beautiful countryside & Glimmerglass, and hosted an evening meal with fellow NB/WJ orchestra friend, Laura Rosenthal & family. We had a great time, lots of laughs... and never suspected that this would be the last time we'd see each other.

Mike, you were an inspiration -- a great big spirit and talent in a small package. You will be sorely missed.

Mary (Saloschin) Hubbard

05/11/09 12:34 AM #2    

Carl Rubis

Mike Levin was the kind of student every teacher prays for. I was a first year teacher at North Bethesda Jr. High when Mike was in the 7th grade. Mike was a great leader, an exceptional violinist even then, and served as concertmaster of the orchestra all three years at NB. I credit Mike with getting my teaching career off to a good start. His enthuiasm and passion for music spread through the orchestra, and he was solely responsible for encouraging other fine students to join and stay with the orchestra. I was truly blessed to have Mike in the classroom, was so proud of all his professional accomlishments, and am profoundly saddened to hear of his untimely passing.
Carl S. Rubis
Instrumental teacher at NB Jr. High 1963-1980

05/11/09 03:26 PM #3    

Brian Swartz


09/04/09 12:34 AM #4    

Cristina Finney (Cassidy)

M favorite memory of Mike was during the Wildwood Theatre summer production of Guys and Dolls. The rest of the world was at Woodstock, but we artsy kids were holed up in Rockville putting on a show. I was playing the part of Adelaide. I remember that Mike, the pit orchestra concert master, used to tease me during rehearsals and would sing along whenever I was performing "A Person Could Develop a Cold."

Those eyes! How could anyone ever forget them. I loved Mike. How could you not?

12/26/09 01:05 PM #5    

Brian Mandell

i just discovered this site, and discovered at the same time michael's passing. i met him in 3rd grade (as we were both sent into the hallway after drawing chalk snowmen on the mural we were supposed to be working on). we were best pals into junior high, and then more peripheral pals as he got more immersed into his music. i hadnt seen him in many years, since while in college we took a road trip to cape cod - listening on most of the drive to an eight track of perlman playing the beethoven violin concerto. i still remember michael's intensity and sense of "right" - from football games on his lawn through discussions of musicians compromising their talents (in his mind).

despite the very long gap in contact, i feel a real loss.

brian mandell 12/26/2009

11/03/10 06:10 PM #6    

Michael Loughran

      I was in homeroom with Michael from 7th grade at NB until graduation from WJ ... this is the first I have heard of his passing after reading about it in our "CLASSMATE PROFILES" area.  Even though I never hung out with Michael socially, or even knew that much about him except during school hours, I do recall hearing him play violin several times at school functions, and thinking "this guy is HOT!" (or "groovy", or whatever our slang was back then? ).  My most sincere sympathy and my best wishes go out to Michael's family.  Whenever a gifted musician leaves us - not to mention one of our own classmates - we all lose something.     

07/12/17 01:47 PM #7    

Chris May (Hicks)

Michael had timing like you can't teach.  He brought the house down in the Man Who Came To Dinner.  Sadly, I didn't have much interaction with him other than that.


10/14/18 11:18 AM #8    

Mark Williams

Mike introduced me to the violin in 3rd grade, thus helping me develop a love for the music world. But most of all he was a close friend. We helped each other develop a penchant for misbehaving. Fondly remember tenting at Assateague Island and Mike trying to chase down wild horses in the middle of the night so he could ride one. Didn't happen. The horses won. 








go to top 
  Post Comment