Skip to content
BSO, Pops, Tanglewood, and Symphony Hall Logos

Johnny Gandelsman

Johnny Gandelsman headshot


Grammy-winning violinist and producer Johnny Gandelsman integrates a wide range of creative sensibilities into a style unique amongst today’s violinists. As a founding member of Brooklyn Rider and a former member of the Silkroad Ensemble, Gandelsman has worked closely with such luminaries as Béla Fleck, Martin Hayes, Kayhan Kalhor, Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Morris, Anne Sofie von Otter, Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, Joshua Redman, Suzanne Vega, Abigail Washburn, and Damian Woetzel.

Gandelsman's recording of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart, and made it onto both New York Magazine's and New York Times' best of the year lists.

In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires in California raged and America reckoned with entrenched systemic racism, police brutality, and a deeply polarized presidential election, Gandelsman created the project This is America as a form of creative documentation and response to a time of disruption and disconnection. Working with 20 presenters across the country, he invited 22 U.S.-based composers to reflect on the time they were living in. Now expanded to include 28 works, Gandelsman has performed This is America throughout North America, including year-long residencies with Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth during the 2023-24 season, and with Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina during the 2024-25 season.

Gandelsman has been producing records since founding his label, In a Circle Records, in 2008. Recent credits include the Silkroad Ensemble's critically-acclaimed recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s tone poem Falling out of Time; Brooklyn Rider's albums "Healing Modes" and "The Wanderer"; Gandelsman's own recordings of J.S. Bach's complete Cello Suites and complete Sonatas and Partitas for the Violin, and "This is America"; Magos Herrera and Brooklyn Rider's "Dreamers" on Sony; and two albums with the Silkroad Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma: "The Vietnam War," an album of music recorded for the documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, and "Sing Me Home," a Grammy Award winner for best world music album on Sony. Gandelsman also produced music for Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Bottstein’s film "The U.S. and the Holocaust."

Gandelsman was born in Moscow into a family of musicians. His father Yuri is a violist, his mother Janna is a pianist, and his sister Natasha is a violinist as well. He lives in New York.

See More