BY DEBBIE DIAMOND / AJT//

World famous Violinist Vadim Gluzman will make his debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this month. PHOTO / Marco Borggreve

World famous Violinist Vadim Gluzman will make his debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this month. PHOTO / Marco Borggreve

Vadim Gluzman, acknowledged as one of the leading violinists in the world, will make his debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on January 24 and 26, 2012. He will perform Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1.

An Israeli citizen, Gluzman appears regularly with major international orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, London Symphony and San Francisco Symphony.

In addition, he has worked with the world’s most respected conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Itzhak Perlman and Andrew Litton, to name just a few. Yet, he is disarmingly humble when asked about his unmistakable talent, particularly for someone who has received the 2011 Diapason d’Or de l’Année, one of the French recording industry’s most prestigious awards, as well as the Henryk Szeryng Foundation Career Award.

[emember_protected] Gluzman began his music studies at age 7 in the former U.S.S.R. (now Ukraine), where he was born. The son of two musicians, he explained that as a young child, he would watch other children arrive for music lessons each day, only to decide after a short while that it was his turn to perform – a move that has led to his two of his lifelong passions, music and performing.

“Once I expressed an interest in performing, my mother took me to a school for special and gifted children. They put me through a rigorous series of entrance exams, including an inspection of my hands. It was there that they decided my hands were made for a violin. Why a violin and not a piano or cello, I’ll never know,” Gluzman quips.

He credits his “incredible” education, including years of lessons with teachers Zakhar Bron in Riga, Latvia and Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School in New York, with helping to shape his love of music and the violin. His relationship with Isaac Stern, shortly after making Aliyah to Israel, was particularly meaningful to him.

Perhaps it was a little chutzpah or maybe bashert that landed a 16-year-old Gluzman at the Jerusalem Music Centre two weeks after his arrival in Israel. He heard that Stern would be listening to young musicians, so he arrived — violin in hand — to request an appointment. As Gluzman explained, “I had no idea about the protocol involved in setting up a specific time. As the receptionist began explaining that I would not be able to meet with him, who should walk in the office, but Mr. Stern.”

Stern agreed to give him five minutes – which turned into two hours – and Gluzman found in Stern a lifelong mentor. He not only helped Gluzman obtain scholarships and violins through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, but he also provided him with direction. He credits Stern with pushing him to continually move outside of his comfort zone, emphasizing that one should never be satisfied with oneself. Gluzman’s respect and adoration for Stern continues to influence him even today.

An Israeli citizen who lives in a town near Netanya, as well as in Chicago, Gluzman describes Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the piece he will be playing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, as a “romantic masterpiece.” According to Gluzman, he first played the Concerto at the age of 13 and plays it now on his 1690 “ex-Leopold Auer” Stradivarius, on loan to him for the past 15 years from the Stradivari Society of Chicago. “This piece launched my career and was the piece I played when I won the Szeryng Award in Monte Carlo in 1994. I also won the Diapason d’Or for this piece, so I guess you could say the concerto is part of my DNA by now,” said Gluzman.

The Washington Post has praised his rendition of Bruch’s concerto as “a thoughtful reading that is almost insouciant about its outrageous beauty”, highlighting Gluzman’s “…integrity and lack of flashiness for its own sake.” Christopher Fifield, Bruch’s biographer, described Gluzman’s interpretation as “quite the finest performance I have ever heard.”

Vadim Gluzman will perform at 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 24 and Saturday, January 26, at Atlanta Symphony Hall at Woodruff Arts Center. Japanese guest conductor Kazushi Ono will lead the Orchestra in the Overture to Weber’s Euryanthe and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “Scottish.” Ticket prices range from $23 to $67. Tickets may be purchased online at atlantasymphony.org or by calling 404.733.5000. Tickets may also be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office.

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