Jean-Jacques Kantorow

Violinist and conductor (1945, Cannes)

Violinist Jean-Jacques Kantorow pursues as a career as a soloist and chamber musician simultaneously, thriving in a diverse musical activity.

Jean-Jacques Kantorow began studying violin in Nice before joining the National Conservatory of Music in Paris at age 13, in René Benedetti’s class. There he won first place for violin and chamber music. Up until 1968, he would win a dozen international awards including the first place for Carl Flesh in London, First place for Paganini in Genoa and the first place for the International Competition of Geneva. 

With the pianist Jacques Rouvier and cellist Philippe Muller, Jean-Jacques Kantorow formed a trio with which he won the first Grand Prix of the Chamber Music Competition at Colmar in 1970. 

Being recognized as an international artist, Jean-Jacques Kantorow turned to conducting and went on working with several ensembles, including Tapiola Sinfonietta, in Finland. He became the musical director of the Auvergne Orchestra and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. 

Jean-Jacques Kantorow was also a violin professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris and continues to teach numerous masterclasses all over the world. 

Six landmark dates in the life of Jean-Jacques Kantorow: 

1959: Joined the CNSM of Paris in the class of René Benedetti.
1960 and 1963: First place for violin then the first place for chamber music with the CNSM of Paris.
1976: Created the work Edifice, for violin and orchestra by Graciane Finzi.
1993-2003: Musical Director of the Tapiola Sinfonietta.
1994: Appointed head of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
2005: Appointed violin professor at the CNSM in Paris.

Biography from Radio France’s Musical Documentation, May 2014