Robert Zimansky, violinist of American origin, is one of the most versatile violinists playing the instrument today. After early studies with John Ferrell and Sally Thomas he became a pupil of Ivan Galamian.
He worked with him for nine years and was able to study the entire standard repertoire with the great Russian pedagogue at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1972 Zimansky moved to Europe where he has lived ever since. After having occupied the concertmaster chair in several European orchestras, he was appointed 1st Concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 1975. In 1980 he accepted the position of Professor of the Advanced Violin class at the Conservatoire de Genève. Then in 2000 became 1st Concertmaster of the Zürich Symphony Orchestra. Zimansky has played as soloist with many of today’s leading conductors such as Sawallisch, Blomstedt, Dutoit, Zinman, Stein, Herbig, Jordan and Inbal.
In addition to the traditional repertoire, he specializes in the concertos of the first part of the 20th century, all of which he plays from memory. He served on the board of directors of the Swiss Tonkünstlerverein from 1988 to 1994, and many composers have dedicated their works to him. Robert Zimansky has made numerous recording for CBS, Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, Centaur, Doron and Accord, and his CD of the complete Schumann sonatas with Christoph Keller was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros in 1986. Their recording of the sonata by Albéric Magnard was widely acclaimed in the French press, as well as in Gramophone, Fonoforum, Fanfare, Die Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, etc.
Robert Zimansky has played in many of Europe’s chamber music series with his trio partners, Michael Ponti and Jan Polasek. The trio has played in virtually every important center in Germany including the complete Beethoven trios in the Berlin Philharmonie. Their recording of the two Saint-Saëns trios and a series of live CD’s from Munich’s Herkulesaal have been praised by the international press.
Robert Zimansky is currently director of the Camerata Lucerne and teaches at the Conservatoire de Genève and the Musikhochschule Winterthur Zürich.