South Park Magazine

Wolfgang and Bette Roth

Principal harpist Bette Roth and principal second violinist Wolfgang Roth play a string piece from their Lake Wylie home.
Principal harpist Bette Roth and principal second violinist Wolfgang Roth play a string piece from their Lake Wylie home. Observer file photo

German-born Wolfgang Roth met his Missouri-born wife Bette in 1968 on the North Carolina Symphony tour. The couple formed a violin and harp duo and performed throughout Europe following their marriage in 1969. After moving to Charlotte in 1971, Wolfgang became one of the Charlotte Symphony’s first full-time musicians, and his wife followed suit in 1983. After 40 years with the Charlotte Symphony, Bette, principal harpist, and Wolfgang, principal second violinist, officially retire at the end of the summer season following the July 3 Summer Pops concert. Also retiring at the end of the season are Dorothy Cole, cellist, and Ali Kavadlo, principal violinist. More information: www.charlottesymphony.org.

Bette RothMy most unexpected musical interest is teaching very young children how to play the harp.Something we enjoy doing together is sailing on Lake Wylie with our 24’ Hunter sailboat and sleeping overnight on the water when time and weather permit.What I will miss most about the Charlotte Symphony is being in the middle of a symphonic orchestra and being engulfed by amazing sounds.To our relationship, music was one of the biggest things we had in common, especially coming from two different continents and two different languages.

Wolfgang RothMy most memorable performances of the last 40 years were the ones with great soloists like Itzhak Perlman or Yo-Yo Ma.The top five songs on my iPod are Do you believe I don’t own one?I love living in Charlotte because I always have felt very welcome. The city has grown as did the orchestra. The climate is wonderful and there are direct flights to Germany. Close enough to the beach for swimming, sailing and to the mountains for skiing, hiking.To our relationship, music has meant spending basically all the time together. It still feels like a miracle!

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