FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 8, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce that professors Grigory Kalinovsky and Joseph Swensen will be named the inaugural Starling Professors of Violin, beginning this fall.
“The two appointments build on a decades-long relationship between the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation and the Jacobs School that has supported the nurturing of gifted violin students, helping them fully realize their potential,” said Jacobs Dean Gwyn Richards. “This great honor not only celebrates the two newest members of the distinguished String Department, it will also help attract the finest undergraduate and graduate students to Indiana University.”
In addition to scholarships and a faculty endowment, the Starling Foundation’s support for the Jacobs School continues to assist projects such as the Jacobs School of Music’s String Academy, directed by Professor Mimi Zweig, and the Starling Chamber Players, guided and coached by Professor Alex Kerr with the assistance of Professor Eric Kim. The ensemble enhances musical interaction between Jacobs faculty members and students on the premise that there is no better preparation for the young artists of tomorrow than offering real-life experience with the masters of today.
Kalinovsky joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in the fall of 2013 and continues to teach at the Pinchas Zukerman Young Artists Program in Canada, Heifetz International Music Institute and Manhattan in the Mountains, where he is also one of the founding artistic directors. Previously a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music, Kalinovsky has taught at many summer music festivals, such as the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, Soesterberg International Music Festival in Holland, Summit Music Festival in New York and Pavel Vernikov’s festival “Il Violino Magico” in Italy.
He has presented master classes at many of the U.S. major festivals and music schools, including Meadowmount, University of Maryland, San Francisco Conservatory and Seattle Conservatory, and at numerous European and Asian institutions, such as the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Tel Aviv Conservatory in Israel, Beijing Central Conservatory in China and Seoul National University in South Korea, among others. His students have won top prizes at national and international competitions, including the Menuhin Young Artists Competition in England, and have gone on to study at conservatories such as Curtis, Juilliard, Yale, New England and Manhattan School of Music.
As a devoted chamber musician, Kalinovsky has performed at numerous concert series and festivals, including the Asheville Chamber Music Series, Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, Lucas Foss’s Music Festival of the Hamptons and the Olympic Chamber Music Festival in Seattle. He has collaborated with such renowned musicians as Pinchas Zukerman, Ralph Kirshbaum, Miriam Fried, James Buswell, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Dora Schwarzberg and Paul Coletti, among others.
His recording featuring Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata and Twenty-Four Preludes for Violin and Piano with pianist Tatiana Goncharova was released worldwide by Centaur Records to great critical acclaim and was hailed by the composer’s son, conductor Maxim Shostakovich, as “a must-have for any Shostakovich music connoisseur.” The world-premiere performance of the Twenty-Four Preludes arranged by Dmitri Tziganov, with several of the transcriptions commissioned by Kalinovsky from the celebrated composer Lera Auerbach, took place at the Newport Music Festival in the summer of 2005.
Kalinovsky started his music education with Tatiana Liberova in his native St. Petersburg, Russia. At the age of 16, he became the youngest winner of the Bellini International Music Competition in Italy. He continued his education in New York, graduating from the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Patinka Kopec and Zukerman, later becoming the youngest violinist to join the faculty of his alma mater.
Swensen joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in the fall of 2013. A winner of the Leventritt Foundation Sponsorship Award and the Avery Fisher Career Award, he has appeared as violin soloist with orchestras around the world, including those of Cleveland, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Baltimore, London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Tokyo.
He has performed in recital and in chamber music concerts in major cultural centers, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. As an exclusive recording artist with BMG Classics and later with Linn Records, his recordings of the major violin concerto repertoire with conductors like André Previn and Jukka-Pekka Saraste have received consistently high acclaim.
Swensen was born in Hoboken, N.J., and raised in Harlem, N.Y., by a Japanese-American mother and a Norwegian-American father, both of whom are professional musicians. He attended Juilliard from the age of seven, first as a piano student of Thomas Schumacher and Christopher Sager and then, at the age of nine, as a violin student of Dorothy Delay. He studied chamber music with Robert Mann and other members of the Juilliard Quartet, Leonard Rose and Felix Galimir. He studied composition with David Diamond and Vincent Persechetti, and coached privately with Isaac Stern over a 10-year period. A passionate chamber musician, Swensen performs in recital with pianist Jeffrey Kahane, and with his trio, Kahane Swensen Brey, alongside Kahane and cellist Carter Brey.
As an active guest conductor, Swensen has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Toronto, St. Louis, Rochester, Colorado and New World symphonies, among others in North America. He has also worked with London’s Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Oslo and Stockholm philharmonics, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse (where he recently completed his first Mahler Symphony cycle) and the Finnish and Swedish Radio symphony orchestras.
In 2014, in addition to guest conducting the London Philharmonic and other orchestras worldwide, he will be violin soloist with orchestras in the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom, in addition to performing a tour of recitals and trios. Also this year, his 25-minute work “Shizue” (written in 1995 in memory of his mother’s sister who was killed in the Hiroshima bombing) will receive its Portuguese premiere by the National Orchestra of Portugal. On Oct. 9, he will deliver a TED Talk, “Habitats for Music and the Sound of Math,” about music education and the developing brain, at the New York Institute of Technology.
Swensen, along with his partner, Victoria Eisen, are the founders and directors of the non-profit organization Habitat4Music. Habitat4Music connects highly qualified, passionate, young American-trained classical musicians with children living in challenged areas across the world. It seeks to empower these children by way of long-term, committed, participatory music education while providing an invaluable and unforgettable experience for their young mentors.
Swensen recently received an Honorary Doctorate degree from St. Andrews University in Scotland.