Violinist Lewis Kaplan was born in Passaic, N.J. He is co-founder and artistic director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He is also founder of and violinist with the Aeolian Chamber Players. He has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has made chamber music and conducting appearances with Michael Rabin, Jaime Laredo, Szymon Goldberg, Richard Goode, Rudolf Firkusny, Murray Perahia, Yefim Bronfman, and others. He has premiered more than 50 works including two by George Crumb. He has recorded for the Columbia, CRI, Folkways, and Odyssey Records labels. He has served on juries of international competitions including the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels, Fritz Kreisler in Vienna, Mozart in Salzburg, Naumburg in New York, and Tokyo and Sendai in Japan. He has given master classes at most major music institutions worldwide. In 2009, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany. He held the William Schuman Scholar’s Chair at Juilliard from 2010-11. He was on the violin faculties at the International Summer Academy Mozarteum Salzburg from 1987-2007, at Mannes College the New School for Music since 1986, and has been visiting professor at the Royal College of Music in London since 1998.
Kaplan received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard. He studied violin with Ivan Galamian and conducting with Jean Morel. He has been a Juilliard faculty member since 1976 and a Pre-College faculty member since 1964.