For fifty years, Lewis Kaplan has dedicated his career to performance
as a violinist – both soloist and chamber musician. He is an
internationally renowned teacher, director and founder of one of the
world’s most important festivals, the
Bowdoin International Music Festival, and conductor of the Festival
With a zest for living and a dedication to music, Lewis Kaplan
is known not only for teaching the extraordinary technique developed
by his mentor and one of the greatest violin pedagogues of the 20th
Century, Ivan Galamian (1901-1981), but for his great musicianship
in the traditional repertoire and his leadership role in contemporary
A graduate of The
Juilliard School – where he earned both bachelors and
masters degrees in violin studies and conducting studying under
Jean Morel – Mr. Kaplan began teaching at the prestigious
conservatory in 1964 and is presently a senior professor in violin
and chamber music.
In 1961, he founded the Aeolian Chamber
Players – the first permanent ensemble of mixed timbre and
a model for hundreds of ensembles internationally that followed
his pioneering work.
Known as an extraordinarily gifted teacher with a special talent
for working with young performers, Mr. Kaplan teaches at The Juilliard
School, the Mannes College for Music,
the Summer Academy
Mozarteum, and the Bowdoin Festival as well as presenting master
classes at most of the well known conservatories and schools worldwide.
Lewis Kaplan has served on the juries of numerous international
competitions, including Fritz Kreisler (Vienna), Mozart International
(Salzburg), Concert Artists Guild (New York), Japan International
(Tokyo) and the Queen Elisabeth (Brussels) in May
He has made numerous television appearances and has premiered more
than 100 works, both as a soloist and with the Aeolian Chamber Players,
by most of the well-known composers worldwide. He has recorded for
Columbia/CBS Masterworks (Sony), CRI, Folkways and Odyssey Records.
In addition to performances with the Aeolian Chamber Players internationally,
he has appeared as violin soloist and as a conductor in Europe,
Asia, and North America. He has performed as well with Michael Rabin,
Jaime Laredo, Szymon Goldberg, Ruggiero Ricci, pianists Richard
Goode, Rudolf Firkusny, Murray Perahia, Horacio Gutierrez and many
Lewis Kaplan was born in Passaic, NJ. He resides on the Upper
West Side in New York City with his wife, Adria.