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The WSO is indeed fortunate to have had Michael Kleinerman as its Concertmaster since the fall of 2004. In that position, he has provided outstanding leadership of our string sections in all subscription and youth concerts as well as participating in Chamber Music events and fund-raisers for the orchestra.
Michael also brings to our orchestra his 40 years of experience as a soloist, orchestra musician, quartet member and a teacher all over the world. He initially studied violin and music education at Kosenko Music College in his native Ukraine. Graduate level music training occurred at the Kazakhstan State Conservatory in Alma-Ata (now Almaty), where he played as featured soloist with the conservatory orchestra and also taught young musicians through all the secondary school grades. After graduation, he joined the National Symphony Orchestra in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan as a first violinist and then Vice Concertmaster. He established the Alma-Ata string quartet and, as first violinist, let that group in many performances throughout Kazakhstan both in concert and on television. With the Kazakh National Symphony he performed frequently in Moscow and St. Petersburg and other locations in the USSR.
In 1992 he joined the Tel Aviv Symphony Orchestra in Israel and also founded the Tel Aviv String Quartet, with which he toured the country on several occasions. While in Israel, he served as Principal Second Violin and Concertmaster with the municipal chamber orchestras in Herzliya and Ramat-Gan. He also served as Concertmaster and soloist of the Israeli Violin Ensemble and appeared with that group on radio and television, and in numerous concerts across Israel and several European countries (Spain, Germany, etc.) through the 1990s.
When Michael arrived in the Chicago area in 2000, he immediately was in demand as a professional violinist with the Northbrook, New Philharmonic and Skokie Valley Symphonies. WSO music director Blackwelder was impressed with his playing as a guest musician with the orchestra and invited Kleinerman to become the Concertmaster of the Waukegan Symphony in 2004. Since that time we’ve learned that he’s also an accomplished arranger and producer of concerts, including jazz and folk music and, when called upon, a fine singing actor as well. It’s entirely appropriate that Michael Kleinerman is our “Vivaldi Four Seasons” featured soloist in our final concert of the 2011-2012 “Season of Seasons.”