Jacques Israelievitch is celebrating his twentieth and final year as Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra – the longest such tenure in the ensemble’s history.
He was born in France and made his debut on French National Radio at the age of eleven. He graduated from the Paris Conservatory with three first prizes at just sixteen, upon which he was a prizewinner at the Paganini International Competition. At age 23, Sir Georg Solti appointed Jacques Israelievitch to Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, making him the youngest musician in the orchestra. In 1978, after six seasons in Chicago, he became Concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for ten years prior to moving to Canada. He joined the Toronto Musicians’ Association in 1988.
As a conductor, Mr. Israelievitch has led the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles in France, North America, and Japan. In 2005, he was named Music Director and Conductor of the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, the ensemble-in-residence at the Koffler Centre for the Arts.
He has recorded works by Ludwig van Beethoven and R. Murray Schafer with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, violin works by Edvard Grieg, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. His CD “Suite Hebraique” was nominated for a Juno award. Other CDs include “Suite Enfantine”, “Suite Fantaisie”, “Suite Fran栩se”, and “Solo Suite”. Recently, he made a complete recording of the 42 Kreutzer Etudes, the first of its kind. The CD and the accompanying score have been praised internationally.
In 1999, Jacques Israelievitch and his son, Michael (a percussionist) formed the Israelievitch Duo. They have commissioned and premiered works by distinguished contemporary composers including Michael Colgrass, Srul Irving Glick, and Murray Adaskin. The CD “Hammer and Bow” is the Israelievitch Duo’s first full length CD. Upcoming releases include an all-French album with the Mirage Quintet for NAXOS Records and a brand new recording by the New Arts Trio, to be released in 2008.
Mr. Israelievitch is an accomplished chamber musician, performing with such distinguished artists as Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman and Yo-Yo Ma. He is a founding member of the Toronto Symphony Quartet and is a Faculty Member of the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music. During the summer, he teaches Violin Performance and Chamber Music at the Chautauqua Institution. He is also a member of the New Arts Trio, which has been in residence at Chautauqua since 1978.
In 1995, Israelievitch was honored by France with the title of Chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Literature). In 2004, he was made Officier (Officer) of the Order.
The Toronto Musicians’ Association is proud to honour our distinguished member Jacques Israelievitch with the TMA Lifetime Achievement Award.