Hailed by The New York Times for his “infectious charisma” and by the Toronto Star as a “very stylish and subtle musician”, percussionist Michael Israelievitch is widely recognized for his innate musicality and “electrifying” artistry (The Pioneer Press).
Mr. Israelievitch was named Principal Timpanist of the SWR Symphony Orchestra (Stuttgart, Germany) in September 2016, following one season acting as Principal Timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony and six seasons as Principal Timpanist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO). In high demand as a guest timpanist, he has appeared on several occasions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with orchestras around the world including the Saint Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSB), and on tour in Europe and the United States with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed as guest timpanist with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and as percussionist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and Kansas City Symphony.
As a percussion soloist, Mr. Israelievitch has appeared with several orchestras, most notably giving the world premieres of new concertos by Kelly-Marie Murphy and Alexander Levkovich with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. During the 2011-12 Season, he was featured with the SPCO and conductor Roberto Abbado, performing James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel to critical acclaim. The Pioneer Press called it “the most theatrical concerto performance St. Paul’s Ordway Center may have ever hosted…[Israelievitch] successfully commandeering a 40-foot-long arsenal of percussion instruments with authority and admirable musicality.”
Mr. Israelievitch has collaborated with artists including Martha Argerich, Measha Brueggergosman, Nelson Freire, and Peter Oundjian, and has performed chamber concerts at the Verbier Festival, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Chautauqua Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, and in New York City at Alice Tully Hall, Bargemusic, and Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. He has premiered works by leading composers including Samuel Adler, Bruce Adolphe, Michael Colgrass, and Libby Larsen.
From 1999-2015, Mr. Israelievitch performed with his father, the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch, as the Israelievitch Duo, during which time they commissioned dozens of works and performed extensively in recital and with orchestra. In 2006, they released a commercial recording, entitled Hammer and Bow.
Mr. Israelievitch’s performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and in Europe on BBC Radio 3, Radio Suisse Romande, and the ARTE television network. He can also be heard on recordings with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony, as well as on the Fleur de Son and Vanguard labels.
A former student of Daniel Druckman and Roland Kohloff at the Juilliard School, Mr. Israelievitch completed his Master's Degree in 2007 at Boston University under the tutelage of Timothy Genis. Following these studies, he spent two and a half seasons as Timpani Fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach—an organization for which he has since returned as teacher and coach.
Mr. Israelievitch has served on the percussion faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and has also taught classes at the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar. In addition to being a Zildjian Orchestral Artist, he endorses Remo Drumheads.