Ilya Kaler (born June 2, 1963) is a Russian-born violinist. Born and educated in Moscow, Kaler is the only person to have won Gold Medals at all three of the International Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow, 1986); the Sibelius (Helsinki, 1985); and the Paganini (Genoa, 1981).[1]

Ilya Kaler
Born (1963-06-02) June 2, 1963 (age 58)
TitleProfessor of Violin at Cleveland Institute of Music
Musical career
Years active1981 – present


Born into a family of an orchestral musician, Ilya Kaler showed musical talent from an early age. At the Central Music School for Especially Gifted Children of the Moscow Conservatory he studied under Zinaida Gilels. He continued his studies with Leonid Kogan and Viktor Tretiakov at the Conservatory, where he earned both master's and doctorate degrees, and graduated with the Gold Medal Award. He also studied privately with Abram Shtern[2] in Kyiv and Los Angeles.


From 1996 to 2001 he was concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.[3] He has performed as soloist with the Leningrad, Moscow, and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Danish and Berlin Radio Orchestras, and the Moscow and Zurich Chamber Orchestras, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra,[4] Detroit, Baltimore, Lansing and Seattle Symphony Orchestras, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in the United States, and has toured Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, England, Venezuela and Japan. In Japan, he played with the New Japan Philharmonic, the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra and the Hiroshima Symphony. Also an active chamber musician, Kaler has performed for several summers at the Newport Music Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. His solo recitals have taken him throughout Europe, Scandinavia, East Asia, and the former Soviet Union.

Kaler was formerly Professor of Violin at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, Illinois. As of 2018 he currently Professor of Violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music.[5] He has adjudicated several violin competitions around the world including the International Tchaikovsky Competition.[3]

Since 2007, Kaler has performed with cellist Amit Peled and pianist Alon Goldstein as the Tempest Trio both in the concert hall and in the recording studio.[6][7]


Kaler has made many recordings (see Discography).[8] The recordings released in the last ten years include works by Eugène Ysaÿe, Bach, Brahms, Schumann, Shostakovich, Glazunov, Szymanowski, Dvorak, Paganini, Tchaikovsky and Messiaen. His solo CD Ilya Kaler, violin was nominated for the NAIRD Indie Award in 1995 in the solo classical category.[9]



  1. ^ Falodun, Yemi (3 August 2012). "Kaler lets violin speak for itself". The Chautauquan Daily. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  2. ^ Meyer, Constance (1 November 2008). "Not even Professor Auer knew it all". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b XV International Tchaikovsky Competition: Jury members: Ilya Kaler.
  4. ^ Guerrieri, Mattew (28 February 2011). "Fleeting glory at Jordan Hall". Living Arts. Boston Globe. p. G.12.
  5. ^ Cleveland Institute of Music.Faculty biography: Ilya Kaler. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  6. ^ Budmen, Lawrence (14 December 2009). "Tempest Trio creates electrifying storm at Four Arts in Palm Beach". South Florida Classical Review. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  7. ^ Reinhart, Brian (14 July 2014). "Review: Dvorák Piano Trios Naxos 8.573279" MusicWeb International, Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  8. ^ Hulme, Derek C. (2010). Dmitri Shostakovich Catalogue: The First Hundred Years and Beyond (4th ed.). Lanham, Toronto, Plymouth, UK: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 123. USSR: Melodiya C10 24625 006. Tsyganov's Suite No. 3. Ilya KALER (violin) and Anna Balakerskaya (piano).
  9. ^ "NAIRD's '95 Indie Award Nominees". Billboard. 11 May 1996. p. 50. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  10. ^ OCLC 68186730

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