Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein is recognized for playing that combines flawless technique and consummate musicianship with graceful phrasing and a warm soulful tone. Considered one of today’s most exceptional clarinet players, he has performed in recital and with prestigious orchestras and chamber music ensembles throughout the world. Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant Award, Mr. Fiterstein has been praised by The New York Times for possessing a “beautiful liquid clarity,” and The Washington Post wrote, “Fiterstein treats his instrument as his own personal voice, dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility and range. Every sound he makes is finely measure without inhibiting expressiveness.”
As a soloist, Mr. Fiterstein has appeared with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, Korea, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. He has performed in recital at the National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Louvre in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Tel-Aviv Museum.
A dedicated performer of chamber music, Mr. Fiterstein frequently collaborates with distinguished musicians and ensembles, and performs at esteemed chamber music festivals and societies. Among the highly regarded artists he has performed with are Daniel Barenboim, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Pinchas Zukerman, Steven Isserlis and Elena Bashkirova; and he has joined the American, Borromeo, Daedalus, Fine Arts, Jerusalem, Mendelssohn, Muir and Vogler string quartets and appeared with the Ensemble Wien-Berlin. Mr. Fiterstein was a member of the prestigious Chamber Music Society II of Lincoln Center from 2004 to 2006, and continues to perform with the CMS each season. He also participated in the Marlboro Music Festival for four summers and toured with Musicians from Marlboro. Mr. Fiterstein has performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington DC, and at the Louvre in Paris; and he has appeared at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, the Storioni Festival in Holland, and the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. This season he will rejoin the Daedalus Quartet for performances in Washington, DC; return to the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and perform with the Boston Chamber Music Society. He will also perform with the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio in St. Paul and Baltimore.
Mr. Fiterstein is the founder of The Zimro Project and the Alexander Fiterstein Trio. The Zimro Project, founded in 2008, is a unique ensemble dedicated to incorporating Jewish art music into chamber music programs that is inspired by the Zimro Ensemble, a group that nurtured the music of Jewish composers and culture nearly a century ago in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Alexander Fiterstein Trio was also formed in 2008 with cimbalom player Walter Zev Feldman and accordionist Christina Crowder. The trio regularly performs a program of Klezmer music from the traditional Eastern European Jewish wedding ceremony.
Alexander Fiterstein has worked with composers John Corigliano and Osvaldo Golijov and has had pieces written for him by Samuel Adler and Mason Bates, among others. He performed the U.S. premieres of Henrik Strindberg’s Clarinet Concerto “Minne,” Harrison Birtwistle’s “Pulse Shadows” and Paul Schoenfield’s clarinet trio. A recording of Schoenfield’s trio, performed by Mr. Fiterstein with James Tocco and Yehuda Hanani, was released in May 2010 on the Naxos label. Mr. Fiterstein’s upcoming recordings include an album of clarinet music by Ronn Yedidia to be released by Naxos in April 2012, and a recording of Weber’s Clarinet Concertos with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra conducted by Martin West.
Mr. Fiterstein was born in Belarus. At the age of two, he immigrated with his family to Israel where he later studied at the Israel Arts and Science Academy. After attending the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mr. Fiterstein graduated from the Juilliard School, and his teachers include Charles Neidich and Eli Heifetz. He is the first prize winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition, and the “Aviv” competitions in Israel; and he is the recipient of numerous awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award (Tokyo). Mr. Fiterstein is the clarinet professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.