Charles Martin Castleman

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Charles Martin Castleman American violinist and teacher born in Quincy, Massachusetts, May 22, 1941. He began violin lessons at the age of four with Ondricek. When he was only six he appeared as a soloist with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orch. At nine, he made his solo recital debuts at Jordan Hall in Boston and Town Hall in N.Y.[1] In 1950-1 Aaron Richmond's Celebrity Series he was co-featured with Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz and Isaac Stern. He was a student of Galamian at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia (1959–63), and also received coaching from Gingold, Szering and Oistrakh. He likewise pursued his education, receiving AB and MA degrees from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1963 he was a Silver Medalist at the Queen Elisabeth Concours in Brussels, and in 1966 was a Bronze Medalist at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. His debut in 1963 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy playing Wieniawski's difficult f sharp minor Concerto was significant enough that David and Igor Oistrakh and Henryk Szeryng traveled from New York City to attend, all from that point on becoming important mentors for Castleman. In 1964 he made his formal adult debut at N.Y.’s Town Hall.

In 1970 he organized the Castleman Quartet Program, an innovative workshop in solo and chamber music performances. It celebrated its 41at anniversary under his direction in 2010 in sessions at Fredonia, New York and Boulder, Colorado From 1972 to 1975 he was a member of the New String Trio of N.Y., recording Reger and Frank Martin for BASF. In 1975 he became prof. of violin at the Eastman School of Music[2] in Rochester, N.Y. where he was chair of the Strings department for eight years. He also played in the Raphael Trio from 1975–2000, which made tours of the U.S. in a series of Haydn, Beethoven and Dvorak cycles. The trio played much contemporary music, including Bischof's Trio 89 at the Vienna Festival in 1989. On May 2, 1981, Castleman was soloist in the premiere of Amram's Violin Concerto with the St. Louis Sym.Orch. under Slatkin's direction, later recording the work with Manhattan Chamber Orchestra for Newport Classic On October 25 of that same year he performed all of Ysaye's 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin at N.Y.’s Alice Tully Hall, and recorded them for Nonesuch/Music and Arts . In 2001 Cypres Records and the Queen Elisabeth Concours issued a retrospective CD set of the most outstanding performances in the history of the Concours—Mr Castleman's rendition of the obligatory work in the 1963 competition—Leon Jongen's Concerto—was chosen one of the 17 most distinguished violin performances.[3] His engagements as a soloist have led to appearances with orchestras in Boston, Chicago, N.Y., Philadelphia, Mexico City, Moscow and elsewhere. He has also appeared at many festivals in the U.S. and abroad. As a teacher, he has presided over numerous master classes around the globe. A published musicologist, Charles Castleman has been the author of articles on Renaissance madrigals and Violinist-composers. He performs on Stradivarius and Goffriller violins from 1709 and chooses from a collection of more than eighty bows.


  1. ^ Schonberg, Harold (October 15, 1951). "Town Hall Oct. 14, 1951 debut". New York Times.
  2. ^ Eastman, School of Music. "faculty". Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  3. ^ CYPRES. "1951-2001, 50 years of emotion Queen Elizabeth Competition". Jongen's Concerto. CYPRES Records. Retrieved 5 October 2011.