Concertmaster & Acting Artistic Director
CSO Concertmaster and Acting Artistic Director Yuriy Bekker is a native of Minsk, Belarus, and now a U.S. citizen. He has led the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster since 2007 and was recently named Acting Artistic Director. Mr. Bekker held positions as the Concertmaster of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria. Mr. Bekker has also played with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and the Louisville Orchestra. He has collaborated with Herbert Greenberg, Claudio Bohorquez, Alexander Kerr, Andrew Armstrong, Sara Chang, and Gil Shaham. As an avid chamber musician Mr. Bekker has performed at the Kennedy Center and Chicago Chamber Music Society. As a critically acclaimed soloist Mr. Bekker has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Recent solo appearances occurred in New York City, Chicago, Miami, Asheville, NC, Flagstaff and Scottsdale, AZ, Orlando, and Graz, Austria as well as numerous engagements as a soloist with the Charleston Symphony.
He has played in music festivals worldwide including the European Music Festival Stuttgart (Germany), the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), the Spoleto Festival USA, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and many others. Mr. Bekker is on the faculties of the College of Charleston School of the Arts and the Charleston Academy of Music. In addition, he has been Artistic Advisor to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Recently, he has been given an award from Mayor Joseph P. Riley and the City of Charleston for his cultural contributions to the city.
He earned a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Herbert Greenberg. His Bachelor's and Master's degrees were acquired from Indiana University’s School of Music. There he studied violin with Nelli Shkolnikova and Ilya Kaler. Upcoming engagements include performances of a violin concerto written for him by composer Edward Hart, Under an Indigo Sky.