Kim Kashkashian has established herself as one of the most accomplished
artists of her generation. She has been hailed by the San Francisco
Chronicle as “an artist who combines a probing, restless musical
intellect with enormous beauty of tone.” The New York Times has joined
in these accolades, praising her “rich, mellow timbre and impressive
artistry.” In recent seasons, she has appeared as soloist with the
major orchestras in New York, Berlin, Vienna, London, Milan, Munich and
Tokyo, and has performed recitals in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C.
and many more cities throughout the United States. Fueling her passion
for contemporary music, Ms. Kashkashian has developed close
relationships with such composers as Gubaidulina, Penderecki, Kancheli,
Kurtág, Mansuriän, Pärt, Berio and Eotvos, performing
their existing works and commissioning new ones to expand the viola
repertoire. Kashkashian also teaches at New England Conservatory,
working with young violists and coaching chamber music ensembles.
|Kim Kashkashian was born in
Detroit, Michigan to Armenian parents. Her studies were at the Peabody
Conservatory in Baltimore with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle, and at
the Marlboro Music Festival where she worked intensively with Felix
After experiencing unanticipated successes at the Tertis and Munich competitions, Kim Kashkashian appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Berlin, Milan, London, Tokyo and Vienna, working with conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach, Dennis Russell Davies and Franz Welser-Möst. She has performed in recital in New York, San Francisco, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London and Amsterdam, as well as in the chamber music centers of Salzburg, Verbier and Ravinia.
Kim Kashkashian's quest for new directions and forms of music making is an active element of her musical life. Her work with György Kurtág, Tigran Mansurian, Betty Olivero, Giya Kancheli, Krzysztof Penderecki, Ken Ueno and Peter Eötvös has extensively enriched the repertoire for viola.
Ms. Kashkashian has collaborated with the Tokyo, Guarneri and Orion quartets and toured with a unique quartet which included Daniel Phillips, Gidon Kremer and Yo Yo Ma. Current partnerships include duos with Robert Levin and with percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky.
After early recordings of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Divertimento with DGG and Sony, a long term relationship with ECM Records has created an extensive discography which includes the award winning Brahms sonatas, the complete Hindemith sonatas, the concertos of Bartók, Eötvös, Kurtág, Berio, Kancheli, Olivero and Mansurian, the Bach Sonatas for viola da gamba (with Keith Jarrett), Hayren (music of Tigran Mansurian and Komitas) and Asturiana, songs from Spain and Argentina.
Kim Kashkashian has always included teaching into her musical activities, and has been associated with the Bloomington School of Music, the Hochschule of both Berlin and Freiburg, Germany and is presently teaching chamber music and viola at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where she has made her home. She plays a viola by Peter Greiner.
This interview was recorded in Chicago on July 16,
Portions (along with recordings)
were used on WNIB in 1996 and in 1997, and it was
also used on WNUR in 2003 and 2010. This
made and posted on this
website in 2010.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.