Michael Tseitlin | Violin, Viola

Mr. Tseitlin was born in 1950 in Moscow, into a family of musicians. His great-uncle Lev Tseitlin was a student of Leopold Auer and considered to be one of the Atroika@ of founders of the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory in the post revolution era (the other two of the Atroika@ being Konstantin Mostras and Abram Yampolsky). Michael Tseitlin’s father Alexander Tseitlin graduated from St. Petersburg Conservatory as a pianist and a composer, where he studied piano with Igumnov and composition with Georgy Konus and Alexander Glazunov. He also graduated from Moscow Conservatory as a conductor, having studied with Lev Ginzburg. Alexander Tseitlin conducted at the Bolshoi Theater and was a professor at the GITIS (State Institute for Theater Arts). Michael Tseitlin’s mother Valentina Abokumova was a prominent ballerina with the Bolshoi Theater and a ballet pedagogue in Russia and later in the United States. Michael studied violin with David Oistrakh and Piotr Bondarenko at the Gnesin’s College and then with Felix Andrievsky at the Gnesin’s Institute. The other teachers and musicians who were a major influence in his education were Rostislav Dubinsky, the first violinist of the Borodin Quartet, with whom Mr. Tseitlin studied chamber music; and composer Aram Khachaturian whose violin concerto Mr.Tseitlin  performed as a 17 year old, with the composer conducting.

After graduation Mr. Tseitlin worked for one year at the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra and also was the first violinist with the Composer’s Union String Quartet. In 1975 he emigrated to the United States with his wife Irina. They settled in Los Angeles where he taught at the California State University at Los Angeles. In 1978 Mr. Tseitlin was invited to become the Artistic Director of the New Mexico Music Festival in Taos. He remained in that position till 1986. In 1987 he was the Artistic Director of the Batiquitos Festival in San Diego, with 70 artists/faculty members and 300 students under his supervision. Six weeks of concerts and master classes involved such artists and teachers as Garry Graffman, Dorothy DeLay, Renato Scotto and Vladimir Krainev.Since 1975 Mr. Tseitlin was closely associated with Lord Yehudi Menuhin. Lord Menuhin was the chairman of the advisory board for the International Institute of Music and the California Institute of Music from 1990 till his death in 1998. Isaac Stern assumed the chairmanship from 1998-2001. In 1986 Mr. Tseitlin became the Executive Director at the International Institute of Music. He successfully directed the Institute in Italy and Germany at first, and in Portugal for the past four years. In 1990 Michael Tseitlin founded the California Institute of Music (formerly named the Fairbanks School of Performing Arts) in San Diego, California, where he has been teaching violin and viola, as well as coaching chamber music groups and conducting chamber orchestras, in addition to supervising many excellent professional musicians in their teaching careers. Under his directorship are 22 faculty members and around 200 students. CIM is considered to be one of the leading music schools in the United States.

Perhaps the best measure of Prof. Tseitlin’s ability to achieve excellence is the successes of his students: 

David Chan: Laureate of the IX Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in England, the Bronze Medal in the 1994 Indianapolis International Competition, Concertmaster at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York.
Frank Almond: Laureate of the Paganini International Competition in Italy and the VIII Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, former concertmaster of the Dallas/Fort Worth Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and current concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and London Philharmonic.
Igor Gruppman: Former concertmaster of the London Symphony, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. Professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and current Concertmaster of the Miami Symphony.
Soo Young Yoon: concertmaster of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, and Professor of Music at the Kyungpook University, Korea.
Nakuthula Ngwenyama: Internationally acclaimed soloist, Laureate of 1993 Primrose Memorial Competition and 1994 Young Concert Artists Audition. Recipient of the 1997 Avery Fisher Career Award.
Susan Dubois: Professor at the University of North Texas; Principal Viola, Dallas Opera.
Tiffany Modell: Former Concert Mistress of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Professor at the California Institute of Music.
Yurika Mok: First violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City.
Debbie Buck: Violinist with the Lark Quartet.
Erik Ulman: published composer, faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana.


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