Johnny Gandelsman’s musical voice reflects the artistic collaborations he has been a part of since moving to the United States in 1995. Through his work with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Bono, Osvaldo Golijov, David Byrne, Bela Fleck, Kayhan Kalhor, Suzanne Vega, James Levine, Mark Morris, Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, Nigel Kennedy, and Martin Hayes, Gandelsman has been able to integrate a wide range of creative sensibilities into his own point of view. Combining his Classical training with a desire to reach beyond the boundaries of the concert hall, and a voracious interest in the music of our times, Johnny developed a unique style amongst today’s violinists, one that according to the Boston Globe, possesses “a balletic lightness of touch and a sense of whimsy and imagination”.
A passionate advocate for new music, Johnny has premiered dozens of works written for Brooklyn Rider and Silk Road Ensemble. In 2012-2013, he premiered works by Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Vijay Iyer, Bela Fleck, Daniel Cords, Rubin Kodheli, Dana Lyn, Gabriel Kahane, Colin Jacobsen, Shara Worden, John Zorn, Christina Courtin, Ethan Iverson, Padma Newsome, Gregory Saunier, Evan Ziporyn, Bill Frisell, and Nik Bartsch, as well as a violin concerto by Gonzalo Grau, commissioned for Johnny by Community Music Works.
Johnny was born in Moscow into a family of musicians. His father Yuri is a professor of Viola at Michigan State University, his mother Janna is a pianist, and his sister Natasha is a violinist as well. Johnny lives in Brooklyn with his partner Amber and their kids: Julius Ivry and Raiya Leone.