Charlotte Symphony veterans say farewell

Four musicians with nearly 150 total years in the Charlotte Symphony will play their finales as full-time musicians early next month. Their home turf ranged from a horse ranch in Missouri to a small town in Bavaria; their training came at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and other venerable institutions. Drawing on memories they wrote down for the orchestra's program book, here's a parting glance.

Dorothy Cole, cello

Joined the orchestra: 1977.

Raised: Seattle.

Trained: Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Favorite memory: In 1986, she was the orchestra's principal cellist when Alicia de Larrocha, the diminutive but dynamic Spanish pianist, played Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2. In the slow movement, where the pianist and principal cellist play duets, "I was honored and thrilled."

Now: She'll have more time for her hobby of pottery. "If you happen to be going to the airport, you can see some of my work in the pottery exhibit on Concourse A."

Alice Kavadlo, principal viola

Joined the orchestra: 1975.

Raised: Farmington and Albuquerque, N.M.

Trained: University of New Mexico, University of Southern California.

Favorite memory: The orchestra's 1987 European tour, "culminating in a thrilling performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Warsaw's old town square."

Now: Will play with the orchestra occasionally and continue with gardening and other hobbies. Her husband, Eugene Kavadlo, continues as the orchestra's principal clarinetist.

Bette Roth, harp

Joined the orchestra: As an occasional player in the 1970s, became full-time in 1983.

Raised: On a horse ranch outside Kansas City.

Trained: Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia; studied in Holland as a Fulbright scholar.

During her last year at Curtis: The N.C. Symphony in Raleigh hired her to fill in on a tour. At her first rehearsal, she noticed Wolfgang Roth, a young violinist from Germany who also had a short-term post. "It was love at first sight," she writes. The next year, they were married. They set up housekeeping in his native Germany. To continue the story, we turn to ...

Wolfgang Roth, principal second violin

Joined the orchestra: 1971. Became principal second violin in 1983.

Raised: Immenstadt, in southern Germany.

Trained: Conservatory of music in Munich, Germany.

To Charlotte: As a member of the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Roth came to the United States in 1971 on a tour that stopped in Charlotte. He and Bette, who was along for the ride, met Charlotte Symphony conductor Jacques Brourman. He was spearheading the orchestra's transition toward hiring players full-time, and Roth ended up being the first one he signed up.

Now: The Roths will enjoy sailing and other water sports from their home on Lake Wylie. They still return each summer to Wolfgang's hometown in Bavaria. Because that's in Germany's south, he has jokingly dubbed himself "a German hillbilly."