DVD Release – Art of Mischa Lefkowitz, October 15, 2013

I am looking forward to this upcoming DVD release which you can buy here. It includes Romantic works from Brahms to Sibelius. Among violin concertos, you will find the lesser known Faure Violin Concerto, a work which has been lost but now the first movement is preserved in its entirety. Among shorter works, Ysaye’s Solo Sonata No. 6 is one of my favorites.

Ysaye Sonata No. 6



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Recording Release – Mexican Fiesta – September 15th, 2013

Music is a very important part of Mexican culture and is always part of a celebration, whether big or small. Ranchera music draws on traditional folklore and its songs are usually about love, patriotism or nature. “El Grito Mexicano” a yell that is done during instrumental interludes either by the musicians or by members of the audience is common in Ranchera music. The word Ranchera was derived from the word “rancho” because the originated on the ranches of rural Mexico. Ranchera music is said to have been born of a new national consciousness during the Mexican revolution in reaction to the aristocratic tastes of the era. Rancheras are varied and can reflect the tempo of a waltz, a polka or a bolero.

Mexican Fiesta

Traditional Mexican Music, La Rabia, Mala Negra, and Malaguena

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Recording Release – Solo and Chamber Works Part 2 – September 8th, 2013

This recording is devoted to two major genres of string literature: Solo and Chamber music. Joseph Haydn wrote 68 string quartets and he is considered to be the Founder of the Classical String Quartet. His “Lark” Quartet, Op. 64, No. 5 is one of my favorites. It possesses the most beautiful melodies throughout the work and sets a sunny mood from beginning to end.


The various epithets bestowed upon Nikolai Lopatnikoff (1903 – 1976): Russian Composer, Russo-Estonian composer, Russo-Finnish, German-Russian composer demonstrates the peripatetic life forced upon him by political turmoil and national upheavals. His Fantasia Concertante for Violin and Piano is his major violin work full of brooding mood and toccata like rhythm which prevails throughout the piece. This CD also includes two other major masterpieces which are “Much Ado About Nothing” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and “Rhapsody No. 1” by Bela Bartok.

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Update and New Publicity Photos

It’s been a busy summer for me – not only have I been playing as a violin soloist in Los Angeles and recording, I’ve also been playing many concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, our summer home. If you haven’t had a chance to come out and see us play some wonderful classical music under the stars, you should make a trip out to the Hollywood Bowl.

I also have some more new publicity photos to share. I hope you enjoy them.

Mischa Lefkowitz Photos

mischa lefkowitz photo

Mischa Lefkowitz photos

mischa lefkowitz photos

mischa lefkowitz photos

Mischa Lefkowitz Photo6

Mischa Lefkowitz Photo7

Mischa Lefkowitz Photo8


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Mischa Lefkowitz Violinist – Live In Concert DVD Release

Mischa Lefkowitz Violinist Live In Concert DVDI’m happy to announce another upcoming release – however, instead of a CD or song download, this time it’s a full-length DVD that I’m releasing. The title is Mischa Lefkowitz Violinist – Live In Concert and it features recent performances of some of my favorite pieces to play on the violin. Itcomes out on AUG 15, and you can buy the DVD here.

It’s an eclectic mix of pieces by a variety of composer, but I think that you’ll find some of your favorites in among the works. I’ve included performances of famous pieces that all fans of classical music should know. For example, there’s music by Mozart, namely the first movement of his Violin Concerto No. 5, also known as his “Turkish” concerto; there’s the third movement of Sibelius’s moving Violin Concerto; and the Grave section from Bach’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin.

There are also some lesser-known works on the DVD – works that I also love to play but might not be as known by a wide audience. For example, there’s the great violinist Eugène Ysaÿe‘s Caprice After the Study in the Form of a Waltz, Op. 52, a work orginally written by Camille Saint-Saëns and arranged by Ysaÿe; and another lesser-known favorite of mine, Claude Bolling’s Gavotte and Ragtime.

Mischa Lefkowitz Violinist Playing Saint-Saëns Caprice After the Study in the Form of Waltz (arr. Ysaÿe)



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New Publicity Photos

I’m happy to share my newest publicity photos with everyone. I’m very happy with how they turned out. If you want to see some of my other photos, you can look at them in my photo gallery. And, of course, if you like them and would like to see videos of me playing, you can always go to my YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Mischa Lefkowitz Photos

Mischa Lefkowitz Photos

Mischa Lefkowitz Photos

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Recording Release – Brahms Hungarian Dances

Brahms' Hungarian Dances

Composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

I guess you could say I’ve been busy I have news of one more upcoming recording release to share with everyone. Along with guitarist Greg Nestor, I’ve recorded Brahms Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 5 and 6 and will be releasing it for download on August 1, 2013.

Most people know at least one of these lively folk tunes – No. 5 is the most popular, but not many people may know that there are 21 folk dances total. Brahms Hungarian Dances were completed by the great German composer in 1869 and were definitely his most popular compositions in his lifetime. The pieces were introduced shortly after his first widely-recognized piece, A German Requiem, and solidified his fame in Europe.

As I mentioned, the Hungarian Dance No. 5 is probably the most popular of the 21 short compositions. It’s a lively piece, but here’s an interesting fact – Brahms did not write the orchestration of this most famous piece, nor for many of the other Hungarian Dances. Other composers like Antonín Dvo?ák did that, since Brahms only wrote most of them for piano.

Here’s another interesting fact about Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 – it was featured in a famous scene from the Charlie Chaplain film The Great Dictator. You can see the famous scene on YouTube.

Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy my recording when it comes out on August 1, 2013. Please keep checking my blog and website for more recording news.


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Recording Release – Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances

Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances

I have another upcoming recording release to share with everyone – along with pianist and USC Thornton Opera Music Director Brent McMunn, I recently recorded Béla Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances – a suite of six short pieces for violin and piano composed in 1915. The recording will be released on July 15, 2013.

Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances

The first bars of Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances.

Along with Liszt, Béla Bartók is Hungary’s most famous composer and of the 20th century’s most influential composers. He was inspired by his study of folk music from his native Hungary and surrounding countries like Romania, and his use of traditional music styles in his own compositions has made him well ahead of his time in the field of ethnomusicology. Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances is a perfect example of the composer’s interest in folk music of Eastern Europe.

I’d love it if you’d download the recording on July 15, but in the meantime, here’s a YouTube video from a recording of the composer’s Hungarian Folksongs I did a couple of years ago. Enjoy!

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Recording Release – Sarasate’s Introduction and Tarantella

I have recorded Sarasate‘s Introduction and Tarantella with the London Philharmonic at the All Saints Church in Tooting, United Kingdom. The church temperature was very cold and the musicians of the woodwind section were wearing overcoats. My fingers were helped by the cold conditions, so I happened to play very fast in a natural way.

Sarasate’s Introduction and Tarantella, Op. 43 for Violin and Orchestra



Paganini dominated the violin stage in the first half of the 19th century, and it was believed that no other technical wizard would ever take his place – they didn’t count on Pablo Martin Meliton Sarasate y Navascuez. The “Spanish Paganini,” with his unmatched technical brilliance and bewitchingly elegant style, reigned over that stage for the last half of the century. Composers were eager to write for him, and many of these works still hold audiences today: Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, Saint-Saens’ B Minor Concerto and Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, to mention a few of the best known.

Unlike Paganini, who wrote and played his own concerti, Sarasate wrote only short pieces, among these the Spanish Dances and the inescapable Zigeunerweisen are the most popular. The Introduction and Tarantella, a late work, has all the traits of his style in that the melody is always predominant. Like Chopin’s embellishments, the technical display never obtrudes on the melody even in the most coruscant moments – and there are many. That he was most at home in a Spanish element is evident in this work, for he even makes the tarantella sound Spanish!

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Bolling Gavotte and Ragtime: Just Released on June 1, 2013

Bolling Gavotte and Ragtime are from Suite for Violin and Jazz Trio.

Claude Bolling Gavotte and Ragtime

Claude Bolling, a native of Cannes, France, was a jazz piano prodigy and acquired most of his musical education by listening to recordings. Duke Ellington was his model as a performer. Bolling was also a prolific film composer, having written the music for over 100 films including Borsalino and California Suite. He also has performed with many great artists of a variety of genres, including the violinist Pinchas Zukerman, jazz pianist Lionel Hampton, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and more. Bolling is still alive and is one of my favorite living composers.

You can visit his website to learn more about this great composer.

You can also see a video of me performing this enjoyable work below:

Claude Bolling Gavotte and Ragtime

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