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Ida Kavafian, Artistic Director


ida kavafianIda Kavafian continues to enjoy an international reputation as one of the most versatile musicians performing today. With a repertoire as diverse as her talents, Ms. Kavafian has electrified recital and orchestral stages nationally and internationally and her commitment to contemporary music has led to many world premieres by composers as varied as Toru Takemitsu and Michael Daugherty, who wrote concertos for her, jazz greats Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, and the noted Bluegrass Composer/Fiddler, Mark O’Connor, all of whom with which she has toured and recorded. Her television credits include a solo feature on CBS Sunday Morning.

Appearances and Artistic Collaborations

Since her founding membership in the innovative group TASHI in the 1970’s, Ms. Kavafian’s chamber music appearances have included many renowned festivals and series throughout the world. She has toured and recorded with the Guarneri, Orion and American Quartets as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, of which she is an Artist Member. She and her sister Ani continue to perform together regularly in recital and with major orchestras. Their television credits together include features on CBS Sunday Morning and NBC’s Today Show, and they have recorded for Nonesuch. Ms. Kavafian was the violinist of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio for 6 years. Some of their honors during her tenure included a Grammy nomination. More recently, she co-founded the exciting ensemble, OPUS ONE, along with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Peter Wiley.

Music from Angel Fire

Since 1985 Ida has been the Artistic Director of Music from Angel Fire. She also founded and guided Bravo! Colorado in Vail as music director for 10 years, building it into one of the leading festivals in the country. As an educator, she is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute and the Conservatory of Music at Bard College, has just newly been appointed to the faculty at The Juilliard School, and has given master classes at various Universities and Conservatories around the world. Her students are being honored and recognized internationally, including a recipient of the 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and no less than one quarter of the finalists in the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. She has also served on numerous competition juries and boards. Ms Kavafian performed the World Premiere of Michael Daugherty’s concerto, Fire and Blood with the Detroit Symphony under the direction of Neeme Jarvi (2003); she has since performed the work with numerous orchestras. The recording was released in September 2009, as was a recording of two string quartets by Mark O’Connor, performed with the composer.

Early Career

Born in Istanbul, Turkey of Armenian descent, Ms. Kavafian’s family immigrated to the U.S. when she was three, settling in Detroit. She began her studies at age 6 with Ara Zerounian, continuing with Mischa Mischakoff, and ultimately earned her Master of Music degree with honors from The Juilliard School, where she was a student of Oscar Shumsky. Ms. Kavafian made her New York debut at the 92nd Street “Y” with pianist Peter Serkin as a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Among her many honors was an Avery Fisher Award. Her violin is a J.B. Guadagnini, made in Milan in 1751, and her viola was made in 1987 by Peter and Wendela Moes.

Opus One Vizslas

Ms. Kavafian resides in Connecticut and Philadelphia, where she and her husband, violist Steven Tenenbom, can be found passionately pursuing their hobby of breeding, training and showing prize winning champion Hungarian Vizsla dogs under the kennel name, “Opus One Vizslas”. Even in this field, Ms. Kavafian has enjoyed great success, having bred, trained and owned the Number One Vizsla All Systems in the U.S. for the year 2003 as well as the 2007 National Champion. Welcome home Ida!

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ida kavafian and peter wileyVideo and audio clips to give you a flavor of the festival.


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