The violist Yuri Gandelsman has been enchanting audiences around the world for the last thirty years as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. He was born in Tashkent, and studied in Moscow with Heinrich Talalyan of the Komitas Quartet, and Valentin Berlinsky, cellist of the Borodin Quartet. After winning the National Viola Competition in 1980 and joining the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra as a principal violist and soloist, he quickly became one of the leading musicians in the USSR. His collaborations included concerts with such renowned musicians as Sviatoslav Richter, Evgeny Kissin, Oleg Kagan, Natalia Gutman, Yuri Bashmet, the Borodin Quartet, and the Shostakovich Quartet. At the same time he made recordings for Melodiya and for RCA.
In 1990, after leaving Russia, he became principal viola with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. During the following ten years with the orchestra he frequently performed as a soloist within Israel, as well as in the United States, Spain, Portugal and Luxemburg, working with leading conductors. He has appeared with many orchestras in Italy, France, Finland, Holland, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Germany and Russial. Yuri Gandelsman has performed in numerous festivals, including the Pablo Casals, Kuhmo, Portogruaro, Savonlinna, and Istanbul Festival, and collaborated with the most distinguished colleagues.
In 2000, he decided to leave the Israel Philharmonic, dedicating himself to his growing career as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. He held the position of professor at the Rubin Music Academy in Tel Aviv for more then twelve years, and was head of a chamber music department. He played with the Fine Arts Quartet, one of the most distinguished ensembles of today, for the recording of all Mozart’s Quintets with two violas, then accepting an invitation to join the Quartet as violist. Since then he has appeared with the Quartet in over 500 concerts around the world, and has made numerous recordings, including the complete Quartets and Piano Quintets of Dohnányi, the complete chamber music of Bruckner, all Schumann’s Quartets and a Glazunov disc for Naxos. He plays a 1748 Testore Viola.