Atar Arad

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Atar Arad was born in Tel Aviv, where he began his early musical education and violin studies. In 1968 he was one of a few young artists to be selected to study in the renowned Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth under the patronage of the Queen of Belgium. In 1971, drawn by the deep, warm sound of the viola and its broad but unfamiliar repertoire, he decided to devote himself to this instrument and its music. The following year, in July, 1972 in his first appearance as a violist, he won the City of London Prize as a laureate of the Carl Flesch Competition for violin and viola. Two months later he was awarded the First Prize at the International Viola Competition in Geneva by a unanimous decision of the jury. Numerous concerts followed - as soloist with major orchestras, and in recitals at some of Europe's most prestigious festivals. Arad's recordings for Telefunken are widely acclaimed. His Sonata per la Grand' Viola e Orchestra by Paganini was considered by stringed-instrument lovers and critics alike to be an astonishing demonstration of the technical capabilities of the viola. His album in collaboration with pianist Evelyne Brancart, was praised by High Fidelity Magazine as being "...perhaps the best-played viola recital ever recorded". In 1980 Arad moved from London to the U.S. in order to become a member of the Cleveland Quartet for the next seven years. With this great Quartet he toured throughout the U.S., South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel and Japan, recording for labels such as RCA, CBS and Telarc, and appearing in music festivals including Aspen, Berlin, Edinburgh, Flanders, Israel, New York Mostly Mozart and Carnegie Hall, Paris, Salzburg, and many more. During that time he held the position of a Professor of Viola at the Eastman School of Music. Arad was an artist/faculty member at the Aspen School and Festival. He also taught at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, TX, and served as an artist/lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He currently teaches at Indiana University, Bloomington, and at the Steans Institute (Ravinia Festival) in Chicago. Arad has published two important essays; "The Thirteen Pages" (The American String Teacher, Winter 1988) dealing with the authenticity of Bartok's Viola Concerto and "Walton As Scapino" (The Strad, February 1989), which reveals a number of unusual compositional procedures used by William Walton in his Viola Concerto. In 1992 he wrote his first musical composition - a Sonata for solo viola. The Sonata was premiered by Arad in 1993 as part of his recital at the Viola Congress in Chicago, and was published by the Israel Music Institute (1995). In 1998 Arad completed his String Quartet which was premiered in Bloomington on April 1999 by the Corigliano Quartet. In August 2003, Arad premiered his new three Caprices for viola, as a part of his recital at the Tertis International Competition and Workshop, where he also gave a master class and served as a judge.