Bartók World Competition

Mikhail Kopelman

Violinist Mikhail Kopelman, renowned for his style of immense grace and beauty combined with a flawless technique, has performed in a dizzying array of venues throughout the world as first violin of the Borodin Quartet for two decades, and of the Tokyo String Quartet for six years. He now leads the Kopelman Quartet, a string quartet in the very best style and tradition of the old Russian School. During all these years, Kopelman has maintained a busy teaching schedule with professorships at Yale and the Moscow Conservatory, and he has given master classes at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Britten–Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies, the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, and at numerous festivals and universities in Europe and the US.

Before joining the string quartet world, Kopelman was a member of the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra and was concertmaster of the Moscow Philharmonic. For over 15 years Kopelman was closely associated with Sviatoslav Richter in numerous performances and recordings. He has also collaborated with Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov, Gidon Kremer, Natalia Gutman, Eliso Virsaladze, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Alicia de Larrocha, Yuri Bashmet, Christoph Eschenbach and Emanuel Ax, among others. His recordings, which number about 40, are issued by Melodia, EMI, Virgin Classics, Teldec, Philips, Nimbus, and Wigmore Life.

Kopelman has performed in many international festivals including: Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Schleswig-Holstein, Florence, Salzburg, Tours, Moscow, Zurich, Prague Spring, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Caramoor, Norfolk, Bowdoin, and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City.

Mikhail Kopelman has also served as a jury member of several international competitions.  These have included: Evian, Beijing and ARD Munich String Quartet Competitions, as well as the Indianapolis, Queen Elisabeth, Tchaikovsky, Enescu, Yankelevich, and Spivakov International Violin Competitions.

Born in the city of Uzhgorod in the former Soviet Union, Kopelman began his violin studies at age six, and later studied with Maya Glezarova and Yuri Yankelevich at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1973 he won Second Prize at the Jacques Thibaud International Competition in Paris. As a member of the Borodin Quartet, he was awarded the State Prize of the Soviet Union, and was named a People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. In 1995 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award and the Concertgebouw Silver Medal of Honor.

In 1993 he has lived in the United States with his family, and in 2002, with the purpose of continuing the rich traditions of the Russian school of quartet playing, he founded the Kopelman Quartet together with some of his contemporaries from the Moscow Conservatoire. He was in the same year appointed Professor of Violin at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, USA, a position he continues to hold.