Mischa Lefkowitz – Violinist, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Mischa Lefkowitz is a Los Angeles violinist who plays both as a soloist and for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He was born in Riga, Latvia, and began his violin studies at the age of seven. He made his symphony debut at the age of twelve, and at age seventeen he was admitted to Leonid Kogan’s violin class at the Moscow Conservatory. He has also studied with such renowned master performers as Nathan Milstein, Mischa Mischakoff, Roman Totenberg, Henri Temianka, and Jean Fournier of the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria.
Lefkowitz was a top prizewinner at the 1983 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition (co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation). He was also the winner of the City of Paris “Music Française” prize from the 1985 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. Other awards include First Prize at the Rotary International Competition in California and prizes at the Paganini International Competition, the Bach Festival Young Artists Awards, the All-State contest for violin soloists, and the Concertino-Prague Radio Competition.
The recipient of a solo recitalist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and touring grants from the California Arts Council, Lefkowitz performed around the world with the London Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, the California Chamber Symphony, the American Chamber Symphony, the Academica Camerata of Salzburg, and the Victoria Symphony of Canada. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), the Philips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Salle Pleyel (Paris), the Wilshire Ebell Theatre (Los Angeles), the California Palace of the Legion of Honor (San Francisco), and is a frequent guest artist at many summer festivals, including Meadow Brook, Aspen, and Kneisel Hall. He joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1977 and plays in the First Violin section as well as performing at the Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Society at Walt Disney Concert Hall. He is the Founder and Music Director of Masterpiece Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra and string ensemble. For 18 years (1988-2006) Lefkowitz was an Artist in Residence at Chapman University. He served as a guest violin professor on the faculty of UC Irvine in 2001, and has also given numerous master classes at many California universities. He continues to teach today, and can count many professional musicians among his former students, including Josh Vietti, who was named one of one of the Breakout Musical Acts in Los Angeles in 2012.
His discography includes world-premiere recordings of Giardini, Michelet Violin Concertos, and the Rózsa Solo Violin Sonata as well as concertos by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich, and Bloch on the Ontaris, Laurel, Cambria, Sequence, and Pantheon labels. He released an album of Romantic concertos that include Fauré, Sibelius, and Diciedue violin concertos with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Cambria label), and a Bartók Concerto CD. His 2011 recordings include five CDs of German, French, Italian, Russian, and American music.
His 2012 releases, Romantic Showpieces, Shostakovich works, and Modern Metamorphosis are available in iTunes, along with recent recordings of Bach solo sonatas and Beethoven and Brahms sonatas.
His 2013 CD Recordings include Schumann’s Violin Concerto in A-minor, a 3-disc album entitled “10 Violin Concertos” (Part II and Part III), and two other CDs: “Vivacious” and “Solo and Chamber Works: Part 2″.
“He is a musician of purpose and drive, heart and intellect…An exciting mixture of fire and finesse…Lefkowitz played with ringing, vibrant sound.” – Los Angeles Times
“His Slavic background is apparent in the full-bodied tone he draws from the instrument and in the impressive security with which he negotiates high-lying sustained passages…” – The New York Times
“Lefkowitz dazzles…his performance was a bull’s eye, a true realization…a strong fine ribbon of tone…” – The Boston Globe
“Lefkowitz plays stylishly everywhere, the beauty of the style wins the day.” – Gramaphone
“Brilliant new performance of Bloch concerto, notable tonal beauty, most incisive and tightly focused interpretation of all as well as the most tonally refined.” – Fanfare
“Mischa Lefkowitz plays in sterling fashion, an impeccable soloist; Lefkowitz is an unbelievable virtuoso with incredibly gorgeous tone and astounding technique…” – New Records
“He captured the drama and daring of the music with impressive technical assurance, prodigious technique, with silken tone, rich tonal sheen.” – Musical America