Yuri Gandelsman is professor of viola at the Michigan State University College of Music.

He has been hailed by the Jerusalem Post as "...undoubtedly one of the greatest violists of our time." He has been entertaining audiences around the world for the last 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician and a conductor.

Gandelsman was born in Russia and studied in Moscow with professors Heinrich Talalyan and Valentin Berlinsky. In 1974 he won position in Moscow Philharmonic orchestra, under Kirill Kondrashin.

After winning the National Viola Competition in 1980 and joining the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as principal violist and soloist, he became one of the USSR’s most sought-after musicians. His collaborations in Russia included concerts with renowned musicians including Sviatoslav Richter, Yevgeni Kissin, Vladimir Spivakov, the Borodin and the Shostakovitch quartets.

In 1990, Gandelsman became the principal violist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO). During the next 10 years he frequently performed as a soloist with the IPO under Maestro Zubin Mehta in Israel, the U.S., Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain. Gandelsman has performed solo recitals in many parts of the world, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Warsaw, Istanbul, Budapest, and Florence. He has made numerous solo recordings for "Melodya," "Sony Classical," "Lyrinx," "ASV,"”Blue Griffin”, and "Naxos" labels.

Upon his arrival in Israel, Gandelsman was appointed as a professor of viola at the Rubin Academy at Tel Aviv University, a position he held for 12 years. From 2000-02 he was the chairman of the Chamber Music Department at the university.

Many of Gandelsman's students hold positions in orchestras and chamber groups in Israel and Europe. His students have also been prizewinners at numerous international competitions. He has appeared as a guest professor at Yale University and the Paris Conservatoire. Gandelsman has given many master classes in Finland and during 1995 he was the director of the "Viola School" at the Kuhmo Festival. He has also taught and performed at several chamber music festivals in Europe, including the Pablo Casals, Verbier, Kuhmo, Portogruaro, and Savonlinna festivals.

Gandelsman's chamber music collaborations include performances with well-known musicians such as Yefim Bronfman, Vadim Repin, Lynn Harell, Yuri Bashmet, Natalia Gutman, Gary Hoffman, Leonidas Kavakos, Midori, Gil Shaham and many others. He has been a jury member of International Competitions in Italy, France,Finland, and Israel. Gandelsman has also studied conducting with Professor Yuri Simonov and has conducted several orchestras in Russia, Finland, Italy, France, Israel, and Hungary.

In 2001 Gandelsman joined the Fine Arts Quartet, whose members are artists in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With the quartet he performed more than 300 concerts worldwide and recorded numerous albums of chamber music by Mozart (All quintets with two violas) Dohnanyi, Glazunov, Beethoven (op.18,6 quartets) Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Frank, Faure, and Schumann(all quartets op.41)

For more than 12 years Gandelsman was professor of Viola in the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv University and has appeared as a guest professor at Yale University and the Paris Conservatoire. In 2001 Gandelsman joined the Fine Arts Quartet, one of the most distinguished ensembles of today,whose members are artists in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He retired from the quartet in June 2008.

In 2008, Yuri Gandelsman has been appointed a Professor of Viola at the Michigan State University College of Music. In a moment he joint faculty at MSU, it was three viola students in school. Today viola studio has 14 major violist . Students of Yuri became principal violists in orchestras of Lansing, Battle Creek, Flint, Windsor (Canada).Also his students join Ann Arbor ,Kalamazoo, Traverse City orchestra. One of the students of Mr. Gandelsman was selected among many candidates from all over the world to participate in The 3rd Tokyo International Viola Competition in 2015.


He plays a 1748 Paolo Testore viola.

In 2013 together with pianist Ralph Votapek,Gandelsman release new CD “Hindemith Retrospective”, label Blue Griffin Recording. In its April 2013' issue, International Record Review rated the album as "Outstanding", praising it as "A wonderful recording. Superbly played and a magnificent performance, so finely musical and involving throughout."

This year he recorded 3 new CD’s- with Blue Griffin label: one with his wife-Janna Gandelsman-“Russian Giants”, pieces of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Weinberg and Stravinsky. Another one disk of Martinu, with his friends and partners Miroslav Hristov, and Vladimir Viljarevich. And one more CD,as a conductor of his chamber orchestra “Ad libitum”- concertos of J.P.C. Bach, Telemann,Albinoni for oboe and strings with Jared Hauser


Yuri Gandelsman

04.07.19 – 08.07.19

5 days


4 individual lessons (open to the public)
An accompanist
Public perfomance
Career counseling

We offer comfortable accommodation at Musitektur Academy at an affordable price for students participating in the masterclass and their attendants. During their stay at Majorenhaus, students will be involved in the educational process throughout the course, having the opportunity to passively attend all the lessons and practice in all their free time both in lecture rooms and in their rooms. More info

Concert engagements in Sankt Blasien, Zurich, Liechtenstein, Leipzig or Hamburg for the best participants

Course location: Musitektur Academy
Brünigstrasse 1, 6053 Alpnachstad, Switzerland

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