— I fell in love with the violin in Israel while my parents and I were strolling down a cobble-stoned street corner. We stopped in front of a street violinist and listened to his music. I was enthralled. My world shrank to include only the violinist and his music. Even after he stopped playing, I didn’t want to leave. Though I was only two and a half years old, I knew then and there that I wanted to play the violin. I began playing the violin at the age of 6 and by the time I was 13, I knew I wanted a career as a violinist.
Niv, based in Los Angeles, has made several Carnegie Hall appearances, and has performed in Europe, the Middle East, and across the United States. Mr. Ashkenazi has also been asked to perform at the Kennedy Center as part of the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s Inauguration, and for the 2011 International Day of Persons with Disability. He is the winner of numerous competitions, including the 2010 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition and the 2007 VSA International Young Soloist Award. He is an active member of the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop and Fall Residency in Stowe, and has been featured in chamber recitals at the Music Academy of the West. Recent chamber music collaborations include concerts with Los Angeles Philharmonic concertmaster Martin Chalifour, Nathan Cole, Roger Tapping, and Merry Peckham.
Niv has organized concerts for recent head trauma patients at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and was a founding member of the trio, Ensemble Eclectico, which performed contemporary repertoire for audiences with limited or no access to live music. He has an ongoing collaboration with the dance company TranscenDance as part of a multimedia performance telling the true story of a family’s struggle to stay hidden during the Holocaust and their life after the war. Mr. Ashkenazi holds both a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Itzhak Perlman and Glenn Dicterow. He serves on the board of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (LAYO) and works as a coach with several other local youth ensembles. In addition to his career as a performer, he keeps a small teaching studio in the Los Angeles area.