About Gilad Karni

Violist Gilad Karni has been praised throughout the world for his tone and interpretation. His technique and musicianship have earned him countless honors, from first prizes at competitions to leadership roles in some of the world's finest orchestras.

Equally at home in orchestral and solo or chamber music settings, Karni can be heard on concert stages around the globe in a range of repertoire, as well as on recordings.

First Prize winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 1994, Third Prize at the ARD Munich among others, he has appeared in such festivals as Aspen, Newport, and Bellingham in the USA at the invitations of conductors such as Paavo Järvi, David Zinman, Claudio Abaddo and Charles Dutoit, Kaposvar, Dubrovnik Festival, Bastad and Lapland Festivals, Davos Music Festival, and Kuhmo (Finland).

In May 2009 he made the world premiere of Prokofiev's "Romeo & Juliet" arranged for viola and orchestra with the Berlin Symphony at the famed Berlin Philharmonie, later that year the South American Premier with the Bogota Philharmonic and in February 2012, the North American premier with the Hartford Symphony.

In 2007, he gave the Hungarian premiere of Miklos Rozsa's viola concerto with the Budapest Concert Orchestra at the renowned Spring Festival to mark the composer's 100 year centennial. This performance led to a recording of the Concerto on the Naxos label, which was released in 2008 to great critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy.

His recording of Shostakovich’s sonata and Lewensohn’s “ViolAlive” with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra were recently released on the Sony Classical label receiving great reviews. Recent engagements found him on stage as soloist with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich Biel /Bienne Symphony, Transylvanian Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, Bangor Symphony, as well as recitals in the Bahamas, Florida, Denver, Baltimore, and Festivals in the USA, Canada, Estonia, Austria and Hungary.

In 2016 Mr. Karni was nominated Prof. of Viola & Chamber Music at the Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. He has been giving masterclasses at the Curtis Institute, New World Symphony in Miami, the Lynn University in Florida, Israel and the far east to name a few. Karni collaborated with the late Isaac Stern, the Guarneri String Quartet, and performed in Carnegie Hall, soloed both with cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Heinrich Schiff, soloed with Maxim Vengerov conducting, and was on tour with the famed Jerusalem Quartet and pianist Menachem Pressler, Kavakos, Rachlin, Znaider, Bronfman among many of today’s leading artists. Additionally, Mr. Karni is a member of the Edge Ensemble with his wife violinist Eugenia Karni.

An AICF scholarship recipient between 1986-92 and since 1990 Mr. Karni has held many principal positions and from 2004 serves as principal violist of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. He plays a Hiroshi Iizuka viola made for the late violist and pedagogue Emmanuel Vardi.

Gilad Karni

Viola, Classical

Zurich, Switzerland
Grant Recipient

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