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Biography
Johnny Gandelsman's musical voice reflects the artistic collaborations he has been a part of since moving to the United States 14 years ago. Through his work with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Bono, Osvaldo Golijov, Suzanne Vega, James Levine, Mark Morris, Alim and Fergana Qasimov, Nigel Kennedy, Martin Hayes, Christina Courtin and Jenny Scheinman, Gandelsman has been able to integrate a wide range of creative sensibilities into his own unique point of view.


A prize-winner at the Kreisler and Menuhin competitions, Gandelsman has performed as a soloist with such orchestras as New York and Israel Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Albany Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Deutsche Opera, Orchestra di Maggio di Fiorentina, Orchestra de Padova e del Veneto, Polish Radio Orchestra and Jerusalem Symphony. He has worked with such esteemed conductors as David Zinman, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Schlomo Mintz, Daniel Oren, David Allan Miller, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Larry Rachleff, David Shillon, Paolo Olmi, Aldo Ceccata, Leopold Hager and Tadeusz Strugala.


Although Gandelsman has been performing as a soloist since he was a child, he discovered his true love for music through lifelong friendships that were formed at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was a student. From 1997 to 2001, Gandelsman was the concertmaster of Wild Ginger Philharmonic, a groundbreaking orchestra founded by his classmate and conductor David Goodman. Today Gandelsman plays in the string quartet Brooklyn Rider together with Nicholas Cords, Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen, all former members of Wild Ginger. All of them are also members of The Knights, a young orchestra started by the Jacobsen brothers, an outcome of their shared experience in Wild Ginger.

The forming of Brooklyn Rider was a result of a long-standing musical relationship between four like-minded musicians and friends. Members of the group have come together to form a string quartet that involves creative programming and exciting collaborations to illuminate music in new ways and invite audiences into a greater shared dialogue. Brooklyn Rider have released 2 albums on In a Circle Records, a label started by Gandelsman. Their latest, "Dominant Curve" has received rave reviews from dozen critics, including such magazines as Gramophone, Strad and Pitchfork. The quartet's collaboration with Persian Kemancheh master Kayhan Kalhor resulted in a 2008 album, "Silent City".

Gandelsman has performed with the Silk Road Ensemble since 2000, which has allowed him to work closely with great masters of musical traditions from along the ancient trading route. Most recently, Gandelsman produced "Off the Map" - ensemble's new album, released in the US last Fall. Gandelsman has played a vital role in the Ensemble's exploration of the music of the Roma people as well as the group's modern adaptation of an Azeri opera based on the timeless story of Layla and Majnun, which was premiered in the US in 2009 to rave reviews. As a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, Gandelsman has performed all over the United States and Europe, as well as in Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Azerbaijan, Israel and Egypt.

As part of a strong desire to break down barriers between artists and their audiences, Gandelsman, along with Max Treitler, began a performance series in New York City in 2003 called “In a Circle.” Through this project, Treitler and Gandelsman have been able to present music genres such as Persian, folk, bluegrass, mugham and rock on the same programs as Western classical music. These concerts have also presented exhibitions by such visual artists as Mary Frank, Kevork Mourad, Lennie Peterson and Guillermo Resto, as well as newly commissioned works by composers Lev Zhurbin and Luis Prado.
“In a Circle”' brings together not only artists from around the world, but also their diverse audiences, creating a unique shared experience for all.

Gandelsman's recital performances have take him to the Verbier Festival, Cuernavaca Festival, the Radio Festival in Montpellier and the Istanbul Festival, as well as London, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Hague and Sao Paolo, among other locations. He was born in Russia into a musical family. His father is a professor of Viola at Michigan State University; his mother is a pianist, and his sister is a violinist as well. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner Amber and their son Julius.


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