Violist Gilad Karni has been praised throughout the world for his tone and interpretation. His technique and musicality have earned him countless honors, from first prizes at competitions to leadership roles in some of the world’s finest orchestras. Equally at home in orchestral and solo or chamber music settings, Karni can be heard on concert stages around the globe in a range of repertoire, as well as on recordings.
In 2018, Mr. Karni joins the faculty of the Heifetz Institute for the first time, having appeared as soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and at festivals worldwide, including the the Rolandsek Chamber Music Festival with members of the Berlin Philharmonic. Dubrovnik Festival, Bastad and Lapland Festivals (Sweden), Nordic Academy (Denmark), Festival PRO – Bahnhof Rolandsek and Neustadt Festival (Germany), Kfar Blum(Israel), Davos Music Festival (Switzerland),and Kuhmo (Finland) in Europe, and the Aspen, Newport, Bellingham, Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals in the U.S. Mr. Karni can be heared on radio broadcasts in Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland, South Africa and the U.S.
Gilad Karni has left his mark on many international viola competitions, winning First Prize in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 1994, and Third Prize at the ARD Munich International Music Competition in 1993. His other awards include Third Prize in the 1992 Bryan International String Competition (USA), First Prize in the Israeli Broadcasting Authority Competition for Best Performance of 1991, the Peter Schidlof Prize for the Most Beautiful Tone in the 1991 Lionel Tertis Viola Competition (England), and the Best Interpretation Prize for the commissioned concerto (by C. He. Joubert) in the 1989 Third International Maurice Vieux Viola Competition in France.
Among Karni’s career highlights were concerts with late Isaac Stern at his 70th birthday celebration in Tel Aviv, and with the Guarneri String Quartet in Carnegie Hall. The 2009 world premiere of Prokofiev’s “Romeo & Juliet” arranged for viola and orchestra with the Berlin Symphony at the famed Berlin Philharmonie, and gave the Hungarian premiere of Miklos Rozsa’s viola concerto with the Budapest Concert Orchestra at the renowned Spring Festival to mark the composer’s 100 year centennial. Both performances led to CD recordings on the Naxos label, which was released in 2008 to great critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy. Karni’s recording of the Bruch Romance with the Biel Symphony can be heard on the Gould label.
Recent & future engagements include solo appearances with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and Bringuier, Malaysian Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Malaysian Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa (Lisbon), Belgrade Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, Bangor Symphony, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. During his summer seasons, Karni has served on faculties of the Banff Center of the Arts in Canada, the Aspen Music Festival in the U.S, and the Linderman and CISMA Music festivals in Seoul, Korea and in China – at the invitations of Maestri David Zinman and Charles Dutoit. Since 20118, Mr. Karni is Professor of Viola at the Lausanne Conservatory of Music.. He Karni was a founding member of the Huberman quartet (1996-2001) and performed as a guest with the Jerusalem Quartet on tour with pianist Menachem Pressler at the Concertgebouw and clarinetist Paul Meyer in Paris.
Gilad Karni is currently Principal Violist of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, a post he was appointed to in 2004 by David Zinman. Prior to his tenure there, he was Principal Viola for two years at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Karni’s vast orchestral experience ranges from being the youngest member of the New York Philharmonic, which he joined in 1992, to Principal Viola positions of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, a post he held between 1996-2002. Karni was invited as guest Principal with such orchestras as the Berlin Staatskapelle under Daniel Barenboim, the Bavarian Radio, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and Radio Symphony Orchestra. He makes frequent appearances with other European orchestras, as well, and at the invitation of Claudio Abbado, he performed as guest Principal Violist with the Orchestra of a United Europe in 1991. He cites his most influential teachers as Chaim Taub and Paul Neubauer He is a scholarship recipient of The America Israel Cultural Foundation (1985-1991), and an alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music. Gilad Karni plays on a viola made by Hiroshi Iizuka in 1982, previously owned by American violist and pedagogue Emmanuel Vardi.