Shlomo Mintz (Hebrew: שלמה מינץ) (born October 30, 1957) is an Israeli violin virtuoso, violist and conductor. He regularly appears with orchestras and conductors on the international scene and is heard in recitals and chamber music concerts around the world.
Shlomo Mintz was born in Moscow. In 1959, at the age of two, his family immigrated to Israel, where he studied with Ilona Feher, one of the last representatives of the Central European Violin School. Feher introduced Shlomo Mintz to Isaac Stern, who became his mentor. He was also a student of Dorothy DeLay in New York.
Mintz began his career at age 11 as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Soon afterwards he was called on a week's notice by Zubin Mehta to play Paganini's first Violin Concerto with the orchestra when Itzhak Perlman fell ill. He made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of sixteen with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the auspices of Isaac Stern and the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, and subsequently began his studies with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. At the age of 20 he made a big tour through Europe with famous conductors such as Carlo Maria Giulini, Antal Dorati, and Eugene Ormandy. He also signs at his early twenties a contract with Deutsche Grammophon.
In 1997 he played Paganini's famous "Il Cannone", a violin made by Italian luthier Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù in 1742, during a special concert in Maastricht in the Netherlands with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and conductor Yoel Levi. This concert was an initiative of a Dutch television network (TROS) and aired on TV in December 1997. In 2012 Shlomo Mintz celebrates his 50th year on stage.
Conducting and artistic director career
At the age of eighteen, Shlomo Mintz added the role of conductor to his artistic endeavours and has since conducted acclaimed orchestras worldwide, such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (United Kingdom), the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Japan) and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He was Music Advisor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra from 1989 to 1993 and in March 1994 he was named Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor of the Maastricht Symphony Orchestra (The Netherlands). He led the orchestra in weeks of concerts during four seasons, including some as both conductor and violin soloist. In 2008 Shlomo Mintz was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 2002 to 2012 Shlomo Mintz was the Artistic Director of the Sion-Valais International Music Festival.
Shlomo Mintz gives master classes worldwide. Since summer 2012, he gives Master Classes in Crans Montana (CH) Crans Montana Classics. Mintz is Mentor and President of the Jury of the International Violin Competition Buenos Aires Violin Buenos Aires. He is the President of the Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition Japan. He has been a member of the jury of international competitions such as the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1993) and the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels (1993 and 2001). In October 2001 Mr. Mintz was President of the Jury of the International Henryk Wieniawski Competition for the Violin in Poznań, Poland. From 2002 - 2011 he has been the President of the Jury of the Sion Valais-International Violin Competition in Switzerland. Mintz is one of the founders of the Keshet Eilon International Violin Mastercourse in Israel, an advanced-level summer program for young talented violinists from all around the world in kibbutz Eilon, Israel. He has been their Patron for eighteen years (1992-2010).
Violins of Hope
Shlomo Mintz is one of the main actors in the "Violins of Hope" project together with violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Twenty-four violins of owners who lost their lives in ghettos and concentration camps during World War II were restored by Amnon Weinstein and are used again at several occasions. Eighteen of them were exhibited in 2010 for the 1st time at a world premiere in Sion (Valais), with pictures of Lucille Reyboz and videos by Blue Press Agency. The Violins of Hope participated in several events throughout the world (Paris, Maastricht, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Cleveland, and Charlotte (USA)) and were first heard during a concert in Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60 years of the State of Israel (2008).
- Premio Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena
- Diapason D’Or
- Grand Prix du Disque (thrice)
- Gramophone Award
- Edison Award (twice)
In May 2006 Shlomo Mintz was granted an Honorary Doctoral Degree by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva, Israel.
Mintz maintains an active recording schedule as both soloist and conductor, and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Erato, RCA Victor, Avie Records and Challenge Records. Most of Mintz’s recordings with Deutsche Grammophon were re-released, such as his first recording (Bruch/Mendelssohn), which was re-released in DG’s ‘Grand Prix’ Series, (“The world’s finest recordings”), in April 2007.
- Bach Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin BWV 1001 – 1006, Deutsche Grammophon
- Bartók 2 Portraits, Deutsche Grammophon
- Bartók Violin Concerto No. 1, RN
- Beethoven Violin Concerto, Beethoven Romance No. 1, Beethoven Romance No. 2, Deutsche Grammophon
- Brahms Complete Violin & Viola Sonatas, Avie Records and Magnatune
- Brahms Violin Concerto, Deutsche Grammophon
- Bruch Violin Concerto, Deutsche Grammophon (first recording together with Mendelssohn Violin Concerto)
- Debussy Violin Sonata in G, Ravel Violin Sonata in G, Franck Violin Sonata in A, Deutsche Grammophon
- Dvořák Violin Concerto, Deutsche Grammophon
- Fauré Violin Sonata No. 1 op. 13, Fauré Violin Sonata No. 2 op. 108, Deutsche Grammophon
- Israel Philharmonic 60th Anniversary Gala Concert, RCA Victor
- Kreisler Various Compositions, Deutsche Grammophon
- Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 5, Saint-Saëns ‘Introduction et Rondo capricioso’, Deutsche Grammophon
- Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Deutsche Grammophon (first recording, together with Bruch Violin Concerto)
- Mendelssohn Violin Sonata in F Minor, Mendelssohn Violin Sonata in F Major, Deutsche Grammophon
- Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola KV 364, RCA Victor
- Mozart The Five Violin Concertos, Sinfonia Concertante, Concertone, Avie Records (also on Magnatune)
- Paganini 24 Caprices for Solo Violin op. 1, Deutsche Grammophon
- Prokofiev Violin Concertos No. 1 & 2, Deutsche Grammophon
- Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 1 op. 80, Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 2 op. 94, Deutsche Grammophon
- Shostakovitch Violin Sonata op.134, Shostakovitch Viola Sonata op.147, Erato
- Sibelius Violin Concerto, Deutsche Grammophon
- Stravinsky ‘Histoire du Soldat’, Valois
- Vivaldi ‘The Four Seasons’, Deutsche Grammophon
- Vivaldi Complete collection of Violin Concertos (10 Volumes), MusicMasters Classics.*
- Jaques Cattell Press (Ed.): Who's who in American Music. Classical. First edition. R. R. Bowker, New York 1983.
- Boris Schwarz: Great Masters of the Violin. From Corelli and Vivaldi to Stern, Zukerman and Perlman. Simon and Schuster, New York 1983.
- Darryl Lyman: Great Jews in Music. J. D. Publishers, Middle Village, NY 1986.
- Kurtz Myers: Index to record reviews 1984-1987. G.K. Hall, Boston, Ma. 1989.
- Official website
- Shlomo Mintz Music YouTube
- Sibelius Violin Concerto 3rd movement on YouTube
- Kreisler's Recitativo & Scherzo on YouTube
- Mendelssohn violin concerto in E Minor, 1st movement on YouTube
- Noah Klieger (August 14, 2011). "Auschwitz violin entertains IDF troops". Archived from the original on October 24, 2013.
- David Dubal interview with Shlomo Mintz, WNCN-FM, 10-Mar-1985