“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, and since 2013 has been artistic director of the LGT Young Soloists.
Alexander Gilman worked with conductors such as Neeme Järvi, David Zinman, Bernard Haiting, Dan Ettinger, Mario Venzago, Michael Sanderling and Perry So. His chamber-music partners include Maximilian Hornung, Nils Mönkemeyer, Juliane Banse, Matan Porat, Franzisco Araiza and Erik Schumann. 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.
Alexander’s debut CD on OehmsClassics (2007) with works by J. Brahms, S. Prokofiev, Wieniawski, and S. Foster, recorded with pianist Marina Seltenreich, was awarded enthusiastic reviews by the press. “The Strad” described the CD as superb, other German major magazines like “FonoForum” or “Ensemble” called Alexanders CD a successful or a fantastic debut.
His concert activities have been documented by a large number of radio, television and concert recordings, including Bavarian Radio, WQXR New York, Rai Italia and NHK Japan
Alexander Gilman’s repertoire encompasses both Baroque and Classical works, as well as romantic and contemporary compositions. The violinist is particularly active in New Music, and has thus participated in numerous premieres of commissions by contemporary composers such as Benedikt Schiefer, Uwe Lohrmann, Matthjis van Dijk and Konstantia Gourzi.
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. In addition to his teaching activities at Swiss music colleges such as the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and currently the Kalaidos, 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.
He held master classes at the Summit Music Festival New York, Baptist University Hong Kong, Academy of Fine Arts Singapore, Dubrovnik Festival, University of Cape Town and many more. Before joining the Kalaidos Music College, Alexander Gilman taught as a lecturer at the Amadeus Music Academy in Vienna, where he was also responsible for the entire String Department.
With the founding of the LGT Young Soloist, he has succeeded in creating a unique initiative to promote young talents and to offer them a musical homeland. A unique strings ensemble of highly talented young soloists between the ages of 12 and 23 was created. Within a very short time concerts followed at Gasteig Munich, Mozarteum Salzburg, Victoria Hall Singapore, Rheingau Music Festival, Schloss Elmau, on MS Europa 2, as well as annual tours through Asia and Europe.
The year 2018 will take the LGT Young Soloists to Hong Kong, Singapore, Zurich, Munich, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and London, among other cities, as well as to the Dresden Music Festival and the südtirol festival merano for the first time.
As far as recordings are concerned, the LGT Young Soloists‘ third CD, Nordic Dream, has now been released. It is dedicated to works by Scandinavian composers, including several rarely played pieces that enhance the repertoire. The Swedish composer and double-bass player Jan Alm (* 1955) has also written a piece for double-bass solo and string orchestra for the LGT Young Soloists and this recording.
The previous album, Russian Soul, was praised by the renowned strings magazine The Strad: “The LGT Young Soloists are essentially a very high-class youth string orchestra … the soloists all share a richness of sound … .Clearly they take the ‘soul’ of ‘Russian Soul’ to heart (as it were)”. The German journal das Orchester devoted a major article to the ensemble: “If you didn’t know that young teenagers are playing here, you would think you were in the midst of a top ensemble.“
Only two years after they were founded, the LGT Young Soloists were the world’s first youth orchestra to record for RCA Red Seal, with the album Italian Journey, consisting of works by various, mostly Italian composers. The CD received outstanding reviews and was nominated for the International Classical Music Award (ICMA) . In February 2017 this was followed by a DVD on C Major, produced by Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images. In the spring of the same year, the LGT Young Soloists were the main protagonists in an hour-long broadcast U21-VERNETZT (on the channel BR-Klassik), which could be watched as a stream or as a delayed broadcast on the TV channels ARD-alpha and One.
Alexander Gilman was born in Bamberg and grew up in a 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, Ingolf Turban, Igor Ozim, Akiko Tatsumi and Mikhail Kopelman. Alexander Gilman completed his course of study at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne in Zakhar Bron’s master class with distinction, and then for his master’s degree moved to the Hochschule der Künste 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 and multiple prize-winner in the competition of the Deutscher Musikinstrumentenfonds, Alexander Gilman received on loan a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini.
Thomastik-Infeld, the maker of violin strings, chose Alexander Gilman to be a Thomastik-Infeld Artist. He plays on a violin made by J.B. Guadaganini, Parma 1769.