Shmuel Ashkenasi

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Israeli violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi began his musical training in Tel Aviv with legendary pedagogue Ilona Feher, the teacher of such violinists as Pinchas Zuckerman and Shlomo Mintz. He arrived in the United States while still young and studied with Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Mr. Ashkenasi captured top prizes at the 1962 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia; the Merriweather Post Competition in Washington; and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. As a soloist, he has toured the Soviet Union twice and concertizes every year throughout Europe, Israel and the Far East. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, and the orchestras of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich, Rotterdam, Geneva and Stockholm. Among his solo recordings are the Paganini Violin Concertos No. 1 and No. 2 with the Vienna Symphony, the two Beethoven Romances, and the Mozart A Major Concerto. In 1969, Ashkenasi formed the Vermeer Quartet at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont; he remained as its first violinist until the ensemble retired in 2007. The Vermeer Quartet held residencies at Northern Illinois University and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. Its discography includes a Grammy® nominated recording of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ. Ashkenasi is a noted pedagogue, currently holding the posts of Professor of Violin at the Musikhochschule in Lubeck, Germany, as well as Professor of Violin at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. In 2007 he was appointed to the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music.