Xavier Magazine

The Sound of Music

 Philip Enzweiler grew up listening to his mother’s advice: Give yourself career options, learn to do more than one thing well. The 1976 graduate took the message to heart. A German major during his Xavier days, Enzweiler has been a professional violinist for 30 years—most of those years a member of the Dayton Symphony Orchestra.

“I always wanted to be a musician,” he says. “I started studying when I was about 7 years old.”

With that goal in mind, Enzweiler spent a year at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music before switching to Xavier. “I knew some German, and I wanted to study it some more,” he says. “It turned out the German program was very good.”


After receiving his degree, Enzweiler attended UC for two years of graduate study. But a life in academia didn’t really appeal to him, and the lure of music remained strong. When the Dayton Symphony had an opening, he auditioned and got the job. With the exception of one year with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and a short period in Europe, he’s been there ever since.

In his spare time, he has played “hundreds” of weddings, served as a member of the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, subbed with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and worked in the pit orchestra for Broadway productions in Cincinnati theaters.

In the competitive world of classical music, Enzweiler’s longevity with one orchestra is somewhat remarkable. He still finds “playing the music” to be the most rewarding part of his job. And though he has played much of the standard classical repertoire multiple times, Enzweiler finds ways to keep things fresh.

“To a great extent, it’s routine,” he says. “You know what’s going to happen. But it’s never easy. Especially if it’s a new piece or a difficult piece, you have to come prepared. There’s always something new—so that keeps you on your toes.”

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