Biography

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 Orchestra.

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 music.

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 2005.

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 others.

Lewis Kaplan was born in Passaic, NJ. He resides on the Upper West Side in New York City with his wife, Adria.