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Our Master Class Leaders

Every year, the Stulberg International String Competition welcomes renowned professional musicians to lead our Master Classes. These Master Class Clinicians all have years of experience performing in well-known groups, collaborating with other professionals, and teaching others through their love of music. When you take our Master Class, you will experience a music class of a lifetime, learning all the skills you can from the best. Learn more about this year’s Master Class clinicians by reading their bios below.

Simin Ganatra

Simin Ganatra is first violinist of the Pacifica Quartet. She is also professor of violin and chair of the String Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She has won wide recognition for her performances throughout the United States and abroad, performing numerous times in such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebeouw in Amsterdam, and Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Collaborations include performances with YoYo Ma, Anthony McGill, Lynn Harrell, and Menahem Pressler among others. She is the recipient of several awards and prizes, including two Grammy awards, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, the Cleveland Quartet Award, and top prizes at the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the Pasadena Instrumental Competition, and the Schubert Club Competition.

Originally from Los Angeles, Ganatra studied with Idell Low, Robert Lipsett, and Roland and Almita Vamos. She was previously professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign/ Urbana, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. She has many recordings on the Cedille Records label, including the complete String Quartets of Felix Mendelssohn, Elliot Carter, and Dmitri Shostakovich. During the summer she serves on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Praised by The Strad magazine and The New York Times, internationally renowned cellist Amit Peled is acclaimed as one of the most exciting and virtuosic instrumentalists on the concert stage today. Having performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Konzerthaus Berlin, Peled has released over a dozen recordings on the Naxos, Centaur, Delos, and CTM Classics labels. A professor since 2003 at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, he has performed and presented master classes around the world including at the Marlboro and Newport Music Festivals and the Heifetz International Music Summer Institute in the US, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove in England, and Keshet Eilon in Israel. Peled performs on a cello made by the Italian master Giovanni Grancino, ca. 1695, on generous loan from the Roux Family Foundation. He is represented worldwide by CTM Classics. For more information, visit www.amitpeled.com.

Israeli-born violist and composer Atar Arad is a faculty member at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington. His summer activities include teaching at Keshet Eilon, Israel, Domaine Forget, Canada, Heifetz Institute and the Steans Music Institute (where he is serving as faculty since 1991).A Cum Laude First Prize winner at the Geneva International Music Competition (1972), he has performed worldwide in recitals and as a soloist with major orchestras and, for seven years, as a member of the celebrated Cleveland Quartet. His recordings with the quartet and as a soloist for labels such as Teldec, Telarc, RCA and RIAX are widely acclaimed. His performance of Paganini’s Sonata Per La Grand’ Viola e Orchestra in particular is considered by many as a landmark in the history of the viola.

A “late bloomer” composer, Arad’s compositions include a Solo Sonata for Viola, two String Quartets, a Viola Concerto (which he premiered in Bloomington, Brussels and in Stockholm) and more. His Tikvah for Viola Solo was commissioned for the 2008 Munich International Viola Competition by the ARD. His Listen (three poems by W.S. Merwin) for tenor, clarinet, viola, cello and bass was written for the International Musicians Seminar’s concert tour in England with singer Mark Padmore. Epitaph for cello and string orchestra was written for cellist Gary Hoffman who premiered it in Kronberg, Germany, with the Kremerata Baltica Orchestra (Arad performed the viola version of this piece at the International Viola Congress in Rochester, NY). Arad performed and presented his Twelve Caprices for Viola on several USA, Canada, Israel and European concert tours. The Caprices are published by Hofmeister Musikverlag, Leipzig.Recent performances include the Primrose Memorial Concert at BYU and, as a part of his services as the Lorand Fenyves Distinguished Visitor, in Toronto.

In November 2018, Arad was a featured artist at the International Viola Congress in Rotterdam, premiering his new concerto for viola and strings, titled “Ceci n’est pas un Bach”.

Atar Arad is a recipient of the American Viola Society’s Career Achievement Award (June 2018) and the International Viola Society’s Silver Alto Clef 2018 “in recognition for his outstanding contributions to the to the viola” (November 2018). Arad plays on a viola by Niccolo Amati. He uses a set of PI strings by Thomastik.