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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Linda Cajigas
IU School of Music

Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2005

Leading violinist and pianist to join School of Music faculty

JUNE 17, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Violinist Mark Kaplan, who has played with nearly every major American and European orchestra and performs regularly around the world as both a soloist and a chamber musician, will join the faculty at the Indiana University School of Music. He will be joined on the faculty by renowned concert pianist Yael Weiss, it was also announced today (June 17).

Mark Kaplan will join the string faculty at the IU School of Music.

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Kaplan's appointment comes less than two months after the school announced the addition of violinist Jaime Laredo, cellist Sharon Robinson and violist Yuval Gotlibovich to the String Department faculty. The celebrated newcomers are expected to add to the legacy of a department that has featured such legendary string musicians as Josef Gingold, William Primrose and Janos Starker. Alumni include Joshua Bell, Gary Hoffman and Edgar Meyer.

"I am both excited and honored to work in this stimulating environment among such talented students and distinguished colleagues, continuing a tradition in strings that includes such luminaries as Gingold and Starker," said Kaplan, who will arrive in Bloomington and begin teaching at the school this weekend. "IU provides a model for the study of music in today's world. It's an institution where students can perfect their instrumental abilities with the same seriousness and dedication as in a conservatory, yet within the broader context of a great university."

Kaplan, 51, comes to IU from the UCLA Department of Music where he served as vice chair and professor of violin. He said his most memorable musical experiences include performances of the Beethoven violin concerto with Klaus Tennstedt and the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra; several appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; and his many projects involving the solo works of Bach. A recent highlight was performing Elgar's Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Leonard Slatkin.

Kaplan has maintained a flourishing career in Europe since his debut there in 1975 when he was asked to replace Pinchas Zukerman, playing the Bartók Concerto in Cologne under the baton of Lawrence Foster. In subsequent seasons, he has made highly acclaimed concerto and recital appearances in Europe's major musical centers including London, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Zurich, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Milan.

After a recent performance of Bach's sonatas and partitas in New York, a reviewer for The Strad magazine wrote: "The musicians I admire most tend to be selfless types for whom razzle-dazzle is clearly anathema; for them, the composer always comes first. Mark Kaplan is exactly that kind of violinist."

Kaplan's repertoire stretches from the baroque to the present day. His recitals regularly include works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert, but he also is strongly committed to contemporary music, regularly commissioning new works and performing the music of recent decades. He plays a violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1685, known as The Marquis.

A dedicated chamber musician, Kaplan formed the piano trio Sequenza in 2001 with cellist Colin Carr and pianist Yael Weiss. Built on the successful Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, which performed and recorded extensively from 1982-2000, Sequenza has presented a wide range of chamber music literature worldwide, including a highly acclaimed Beethoven Triple performance at the Prague Festival. A selection from Sequenza's recent St. Paul Sunday radio show was chosen for a Best-of-the-Year CD compilation.

Yael Weiss, concert pianist and co-founder of the trio Sequenza, will join the faculty in the School of Music's Department of Piano.

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Weiss was previously a member of the keyboard faculty in the Department of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has performed in major venues across the United States, Europe, Japan and South America. Last spring, she made her New York recital debut performance at the Metropolitan Museum to rave reviews. Among this season's concerts are appearances with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra; upcoming highlights include performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Wigmore Hall in London, as well as two solo recordings for Koch International Classics.

"As a 10-year-old pianist in Israel, I had the exciting and inspiring opportunity to perform at masterclasses of both Menahem Pressler and Gyorgy Sebok, and from that time on I have had the greatest admiration for the wonderful mission of IU and its world-class faculty," Weiss said. "In particular, the range, depth and diversity of tradition represented within the Piano Department faculty is unparalleled, and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to add my own contribution."

Weiss joins a department with a proud legacy that continues to grow in stature. Renowned pianists Arnaldo Cohen and André Watts joined the Department of Piano last spring.

To speak to Kaplan or Weiss, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or or Linda Cajigas, IU School of Music, at 812-855-9846 or