prof. Ilya Kaler – Chairman of the Jury
Ilya Kaler is one of the most outstanding personalities of the violin today, with a career ranging from that of soloist and recording artist to chamber musician and professor. He is the only violinist in the world to win the Gold Medal at three of the world’s most prestigious international violin competitions: the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1986), the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki (1985), and the Paganini Competition in Genoa (1981).
Praised by Gramophone magazine as “the magician, bewitching our ears,” Kaler has earned rave reviews for his solo appearances with distinguished orchestras such as the Leningrad, Moscow, and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras, the Montreal Symphony, the Danish and Berlin Radio Orchestras, the Moscow and Zurich Chamber Orchestras, and most major American orchestras. He has collaborated with a number of outstanding conductors, including Valery Gergiev, Dmitri Kitayenko, Mariss Jansons, and Jerzy Semkow. Kaler’s solo recitals have also taken him to five continents, where he received enthusiastic reviews.
Kaler performs across the globe as a member of The Tempest Trio with cellist Amit Peled and pianist Alon Goldstein, a constellation of internationally acclaimed soloists. The trio recently released their debut album for Naxos Records, featuring the complete set of piano trios by Antonin Dvorák. His musical versatility extends to the symphony orchestra, as well, and he has appeared as guest Concertmaster with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore Symphonies, and on tour with the World Orchestra for Peace under Valery Gergiev. Kaler also held the Concertmaster position with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in New York.
As one of the most sought-after teachers in the world, Kaler was recently invited to join the violin faculty at the distinguished Cleveland Institute of Music, where he will begin teaching full-time in the Fall of 2018. He has also held professorships at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, IN, and at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, IL. Kaler regularly serves as a jury member at international violin competitions, including the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, Russia, the Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition, the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition in Germany, the International Music Competition Harbin (IMCH), the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition, and the Karol Lipinski International Violin Competition in Torun, Poland.
He received his education at the Moscow Central Music School under Zinaida Gilels and at the Moscow State Conservatory under Leonid Kogan and Victor Tretyakov. Further influence and inspiration came from his long-time mentor, superb violinist and pedagogue Abram Shtern.
Kaler records for Naxos Records and Ongaku Records. His highly acclaimed albums include Sonatas by Schumann and Brahms, Concertos by Paganini, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Schumann, Dvorák, Glazunov, Szymanowski, and Karlowicz, as well as the Taneyev Concert Suite, J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, and an album of works for solo violin.