MISCHA LEFKOWITZ was born in Riga, Latvia, and began his violin studies at the age of seven. He made his symphony debut at the age of twelve, and at age seventeen, was admitted to Leonid Kogan’s violin class at the Moscow Conservatory. He has also studied with such renowned master performers as Nathan Milstein, Mischa Mischakoff, Roman Totenberg, Henri Temianka, and Jean Fournier of the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria.
He was a top prizewinner at the 1983 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition (cosponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation). He was also the winner of the City of Paris “Music Francaise” prize from the 1985 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. Other awards include First Prize at the Rotary International Competition in California and prizes at the Paganini International Competition, the Bach Festival Young Artists Awards, the All-State contest for violin soloists, and the Concertino-Prague Radio Competition.
The recipient of a solo recitalist grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, and touring grants from the California Arts Council, Mr. Lefkowitz performed around the world with the London Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, the California Chamber Symphony, the American Chamber Symphony, the Academica Camerata of Salzburg, and the Victoria Symphony of Canada. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), the Philips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Salle Pleyel (Paris), the Wilshire Ebell Theatre (Los Angeles), the California Palace of the Legion of Honor (San Francisco), and is a frequent guest artist at many summer festivals, including the Meadow Brook, Aspen, and Kneisel Hall Festivals. Since 1977, he has been a member of Los Angeles Philharmonic first violin section, and performs at the Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Society at Disney Hall. He is the Founder and Music Director of Masterpiece Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra and string ensemble.
For 18 years (1988-2006), Lefkowitz was an Artist in Residence at Chapman University and also served as guest violin professor on the faculty of UC Irvine in 2001. He has also taught numerous master classes at many California Universities. He continues to teach today, and can count many professional musicians among his former students.
His discography includes many world-premiere recordings of Giardini, Michelet Violin Concertos, Rozsa Solo Violin Sonata as well as concertos by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Vaughn Williams, Shostakovich and Bloch, on the Ontaris, Laurel, Cambria, Sequence, and Pantheon labels. He released an album of Romantic concertos that include Faure, Sibelius, and Diciedue violin concertos with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Cambria label), and a Bartok Concerto CD. His 2011 recordings include five CDs of German, French, Italian, Russian and American music.
His 2012 releases, Romantic Showpieces, Shostakovich works, and Modern Metamorphosis, along with recent recordings of Bach Solo sonatas, Beethoven and Brahms sonatas, are available on iTunes.