Described by the Gramophone as a “magician, bewitching our ears” for his hauntingly
beautiful sound, flawless command of the instrument and mesmerizing phrasing, Ilya Kaler is
the only violinist to win the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1986),
the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki (1985), and the Paganini Competition in Genoa (1981).
Kaler is considered to be one of the most outstanding personalities of the violin today whose
career ranges from that of a soloist and recording artist to chamber musician and professor.
Mr. Kaler has earned rave reviews for his solo appearances with many distinguished
orchestras throughout the world, including the Leningrad, Moscow and Dresden Philharmon-
ic Orchestras, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Danish and Berlin Radio Orchestras, the
Moscow and Zurich Chamber Orchestras, as well as many of the major American orchestras
such as Seattle and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, to name a few. Kaler collaborated with a
number of outstanding conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Dmitry Kitaenko, Mariss Jansons,
and Jerzy Semkow, performing extensively on five continents.
Mr. Kaler released multiple highly acclaimed recordings for the Naxos Records label,
which include sonatas by Schumann and Brahms, concertos by Paganini, Shostakovich,
Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Schumann, Dvořák, Glazunov, Szymanowski, and Karłowicz, as well as
the Taneyev Suite, Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, and Ysaÿe‘s Six Sonatas for Solo
Violin. He has also released a Solo Violin CD under the Ongaku label and recorded extensive
recital repertoire for Melodiya Records in Russia.
As a member of the Tempest Trio with cellist Amit Peled and pianist Alon Goldstein,
Kaler enjoys a very busy touring career and performs in the most prestigious venues to the
highest critical acclaim. The trio has recently released their debut CD on the Naxos label,
featuring a complete set of piano trios by Antonin Dvořák.
One of the most sought-after teachers in the world, Kaler currently serves as the violin
professor of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He previously held Professor of Violin positions
at DePaul University School of Music, the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) and at the
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (Bloomington, IN). Summer teaching and performing
engagements include the Chautauqua Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, In-
ternational Violin Mastercourse at the Keshet Eilon Music Center in Israel, Bowdoin Interna-
tional Music Festival, and the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, amongst others. Kaler is also
frequently invited as a judge to the world’s most prestigious violin competitions, including the
International Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow, Russia), Sibelius International Violin Compe-
tition (Helsinki, Finland), Henri Marteau International Competition (Germany), as well as the
International Music Competition (Harbin, China).
Ilya Kaler received his education at the Moscow Central Music School under Zinaida
Gilels and at the Moscow State Conservatory under Leonid Kogan and Victor Tretyakov.
Following his formal education, influence and inspiration came from his long-time mentor,
violinist and teacher Abram Shtern.