Pinchas Zukerman

Last updated
Pinchas Zukerman
Born (1948-07-16) 16 July 1948 (age 70)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Conductor, pedagogue, violinist, violist
Instruments Violin, viola
Years active1961–present

Pinchas Zukerman (Hebrew : פנחס צוקרמן, born 16 July 1948) is an Israeli-American violinist, violist and conductor.

Hebrew language Semitic language native to Israel

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel; the modern version of which is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.

Israeli Americans Israelis living in the United States.

Israeli Americans are Americans who have Israeli citizenship either by descent or naturalization. Reflecting Israel's population, while the vast majority are Jewish, they also include the faiths of the Arab-Israeli minorities: Muslims, Christians, and Druze.

Violin bowed string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths

The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings, usually tuned in perfect fifths with notes G3, D4, A4, E5, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.


Life and career

Zukerman was born in Tel Aviv, to Jewish parents Yehuda and Miriam Lieberman Zukerman. He began his musical studies at age four, on the recorder. His father then taught him to play the clarinet and then the violin at age eight. Isaac Stern and Pablo Casals learned of Zukerman's violin talent during a 1962 visit to Israel. Zukerman subsequently moved to the United States that year for study at the Juilliard School, [1] under the tutelage of Stern and Ivan Galamian. He made his New York debut in 1963. In 1967, he shared the Leventritt Prize with the Korean violinist Kyung-wha Chung. His 1969 debut recordings of the concerti by Tchaikovsky (under the direction of Antal Dorati, with the London Symphony Orchestra) and Mendelssohn (with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic) launched a successful recording career that continues to the present day and boasts over 110 releases.

Tel Aviv City in Israel

Tel Aviv, officially known as Tel Aviv-Yafo, is the second most populous city in Israel—after Jerusalem—and the most populous city in the conurbation of Gush Dan, Israel's largest metropolitan area. Located on the country's Mediterranean coastline and with a population of 443,939, it is the economic and technological center of the country.

Isaac Stern American musician

Isaac Stern was an American violinist.

Pablo Casals Catalan cellist and conductor

Pau Casals i Defilló, usually known in English as Pablo Casals, was a cellist, composer, and conductor from Catalonia. He is generally regarded as the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest cellists of all time. He made many recordings throughout his career, of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, also as conductor, but he is perhaps best remembered for the recordings of the Bach Cello Suites he made from 1936 to 1939. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.

Zukerman launched his conducting career in 1970 with the English Chamber Orchestra, and served as director of London's South Bank Festival from 1971 to 1974. In the USA, Zukerman was music director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1980 to 1987. He later directed the summer festivals of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (1991–1995) and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (1996–1999). In 1999, [2] [ not in citation given ] he became Music Director of Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) in Ottawa, stepping down from the post in 2015. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 2009.

The English Chamber Orchestra (ECO) is a British chamber orchestra based in London. The full orchestra regularly plays concerts at Cadogan Hall, and their ensemble performs at Wigmore Hall. The orchestra regularly tours in the UK and internationally, and holds the distinction of not only having the most extensive discography of any chamber orchestra, but also of being the most well-travelled orchestra in the world; no other orchestra has played concerts in as many countries as the English Chamber Orchestra.

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra non-profit organisation in the USA

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), is a full-time professional chamber orchestra based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In collaboration with five Artistic Partners, the orchestra's musicians present more than 130 concerts and educational programs each year in over 14 venues throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area. They are regularly heard on American Public Media's nationally syndicated radio programs "Performance Today" and SymphonyCast.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra orchestra

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is an American orchestra based in Dallas, Texas. Its principal performing venue is the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Arts District of downtown Dallas.

Zukerman is on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and is the head and founder of the Zukerman Performance Program at the school. His former students have included Koh Gabriel Kameda, Julian Rachlin, and Guy Braunstein. In 1999 he founded the National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme, which counts young musicians such as Viviane Hagner, Jessica Linnebach, and Antal Szalai as alumni. In 2006 Zukerman began his involvement in the Rolex Artistic Mentorship programme.

Manhattan School of Music music school in New York City

Manhattan School of Music (MSM) is a private music conservatory in New York City. The school offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the areas of classical and jazz performance and composition, as well as a bachelors in musical theatre.

Koh Gabriel Kameda German musician

Koh Gabriel Kameda is a German and Japanese concert violinist and violin teacher.

Julian Rachlin Austrian musician

Julian Rachlin is a Lithuanian-born violinist, violist and conductor.

Zukerman plays the "Dushkin" Guarnerius del Gesù violin of 1742. His honours include the King Solomon Award, the National Medal of Arts (presented by President Reagan in 1983), the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence, and an honorary doctorate from Brown University.

Giuseppe Guarneri Italian luthier

Bartolomeo Giuseppe Antonio Guarneri, del Gesù was an Italian luthier from the Guarneri family of Cremona. He rivals Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) with regard to the respect and reverence accorded his instruments, and for many prominent players and collectors his instruments are the most coveted of all. Instruments made by Guarneri are often referred to as Del Gesùs.

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Personal life

Zukerman was married to Eugenia Rich in 1968. [3] The couple had two daughters together, opera singer Arianna Zukerman and blues/folk musician Natalia Zukerman. [4] [5] [6] They frequently appeared together in concert until their divorce in 1985. Zukerman was then married to actress Tuesday Weld, from 1985 to 1998. Zukerman and his third wife, Amanda Forsyth, primarily reside in New York City. The pair frequently appear as soloists together.

Eugenia Rich Zukerman is an American flutist, writer, and journalist. An internationally renowned flute virtuoso, Mrs Zukerman has been performing with major orchestras and at major music festivals internationally for more than three decades. Since 1980 she has been the Classical Music Correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning where she has profiled hundreds of artists. She was the Artistic Director of the lauded Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival from 2003 to 2010.

Arianna Zukerman is an American lyric soprano who has performed with some of the world's finest orchestras and opera companies. Her voice was described in The Washington Post as "remarkable" combining the "range, warmth and facility of a Rossini mezzo with shimmering, round high notes and exquisite pianissimos."

Natalia Zukerman American musician

Natalia Zukerman is an American artist and musician raised in Manhattan, New York. She is the daughter of violist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman and flutist/writer Eugenia Zukerman, and the sister of opera singer Arianna Zukerman.


His recordings have received 21 Grammy nominations, and two Grammy wins.[ citation needed ] He has collaborated with filmmaker Christopher Nupen on several projects, and was the subject of Nupen's "Pinchas Zukerman: Here to Make Music" documentary of 1974. In 2003 he founded a string quintet, the Zukerman Chamber Players, which has released three CD recordings in addition to its roster of live performances.


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  1. Slonimsky, Nicolas (1978). "Zukerman, Pinchas". Baker's Biographical dictionary of musicians (6th ed.). New York: Schirmer Books. p. 1952. ISBN   0-02-870240-9.
  2. "World renowned violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman announces he will step down as Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2015" (Press release). National Arts Centre. 5 March 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  3. Raymond Erickson (October 10, 1980). "The Busy Life of Eugenia Zukerman, Flutist-Author". The New York Times . p. T4.
  4. "What They're Doing Together". The New York Times. March 11, 1979. p. SM16.
  5. Cole Haddon (March 2, 2006). "Natalia Zukerman". West Word.
  6. "Arianna Zukerman, Peter Sekulow". The New York Times. November 11, 2007. p. 921.


Preceded by
Dennis Russell Davies
Music Director, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Succeeded by
Christopher Hogwood
Preceded by
Trevor Pinnock
Music Director, National Arts Centre Orchestra
Succeeded by
Shelley Alexander