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Yuri Gandelsman was born in Russia and studied in Moscow with Heinrich Talalyan and Valentin Berlinsky. After winning the National Viola Competition in 1980 and joining the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as principal violist and soloist, he became one of the USSR’s most sought-after musicians. His collaborations included concerts with renowned musicians including Sviatoslav Richter, Yevgeni Kissin, Vladimir Spivakov, the Borodin and the Shostakovitch Quartets. In 1990 he became principal violist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO). During the next ten years he frequently performed as a soloist with the orchestra under Zubin Mehta in Israel, the United States, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain. Upon his arrival in Israel, he was appointed Professor of Viola at the Rubin Academy at Tel Aviv University, a position he held for twelve years. From 2000–02 he was the chairman of the Chamber Music Department at the university. In 2001 he joined the Fine Arts Quartet, whose members are artists-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With the quartet he performed more than 300 concerts worldwide and recorded numerous albums of chamber music. He retired from the quartet in June 2008 and in the same year was appointed Professor of Viola at the Michigan State University College of Music. Gandelsman has performed solo recitals in many parts of the world and recorded for major labels. He plays a 1748 Paolo Testore viola.

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Role: Classical Artist 
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