Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Shmuel Ashkenasi attended the Musical Academy of Tel Aviv and gave his first public performance at the age of eight. After studying with Ilona Feher, he came to the United States to study with Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music. After winning the Merriweather-Post competition and receiving Second Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Mr. Ashkenasi concertized extensively worldwide. In 1969, he formed the famed Vermeer Quartet and remained its first violinist throughout the quartet’s 39-year career, gaining a reputation as one of the world’s outstanding chamber musicians. Mr. Ashkenasi joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2007, and also teaches at Bard College.