Violinist Pinchas Zukerman Is Born
(From left) Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta and Isaac Stern appear together in 1980. (credit: Bernard Gotfryd via U.S. Library of Congress)

July 16, 1948

Classical musician and conductor Pinchas Zukerman is born in Tel Aviv. At 4, he begins playing the recorder, then the clarinet, and by 8 he is playing the violin and studying at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music. American violinist Isaac Stern sponsors Zukerman to study at the Juilliard School in New York in 1962 and becomes his legal guardian.

Zukerman makes his New York professional debut at the Lincoln Center in 1969. He performs on the violin and the viola during the concert, just as he plays both on his solo recordings.

He tours across Europe and launches his conducting career at the English Chamber Orchestra in 1970. He serves as the director of the London South Bank Festival from 1971 to 1974. In the United States, he is the music director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1980 to 1987.

He leads the Manhattan School of Music’s Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program, through which he provides private instruction to promising students. Zukerman also fills leadership positions in community youth music programs.

Zukerman’s honors include the King Solomon Award, the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence and the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Ronald Reagan. He has been nominated for more than 20 Grammy Awards and has won two.