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"Gilman is a name to watch", wrote Classic FM Magazin in 2007, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described him as "an artist who identifies profoundly with the work". Today Alexander Gilman is among the most renowned violinists and teachers of his generation, and since 2013 has been artistic director of the LGT Young Soloists.
Promoting young talent is especially close to Alexander Gilman’s heart. In recent years, alongside his activities as a soloist, he has been able to establish a position as an internationally recognized teacher. The fact that his students regularly win competitions demonstrates the high quality of his teaching work. "The interpretation of music comes from within, and is closely connected with how you live, feel and see life, as well as with the education that you have received", says Gilman. By founding the LGT Young Soloists he has succeeded in founding a unique initiative for promoting talented young musicians and giving them a musical home. Alexander Gilman also holds master classes at universities and festivals worldwide, and is in demand as a juror at a variety of international music competitions.
Alexander Gilman was born in Bamberg and grew up in a Jewish Russian family of musicians. At the age of seven he made his debut at the Gasteig in Munich. From his sixteenth year he worked with the famous violin teacher Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York and attended master classes given by Itzhak Perlman, Aaron Rosand, Igor Ozim, Akiko Tatsumi and Mikhail Kopelman. Alexander Gilman completed his course of study at the Hochschule für Musik (High School for Music) in Cologne in Zakhar Bron’s master class with distinction, and then for his master’s degree moved to the Hochschule der Künste (High School of the Arts) in Zurich, where he also graduated with distinction.
Gilman's career has been marked by the award of numerous prizes at international competitions in Europe and the USA. In 2006 he won the WestLB Music Competition. As part of this award, the Stradivari "Ex-Croall" dating from 1684 was made available to him and presented by Frank-Peter Zimmermann, who had previously played this instrument. In 2008, as holder of a bursary from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (German Foundation for Music Life) and multiple prize-winner in the competition of the Deutscher Musikinstrumentenfonds (German Musical Instrument Fund), Alexander Gilman received on loan a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini.
Alexander Gilman worked with conductors such as Neeme Järvi, David Zinman, Bernard Haitink, Dan Ettinger, Michael Sanderling, Perry So and Conrad van Alphen. His chamber-music partners include Maximilian Hornung, Nils Mönkemeyer, Erik Schumann, Matan Porat and many others. As a soloist and teacher he is a popular guest at international music festivals.
For his CD recording with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Perry So with violin concerti by Barber and Korngold, Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy and the theme from the film Schindler's List by Williams, Alexander Gilman was acclaimed in outstanding reviews. For this recording he received the prestigious Diapason d’Or prize and many other awards.
Thomastik-Infeld, the maker of violin strings, chose Alexander Gilman to be a Thomastik-Infeld Artist. He plays a violin made by Ferdinando Gagliano in 1795, an instrument that was kindly placed at his disposal by the Fahrenkamp-Schäffler Foundation.