Faculty

The Violin Academy is the perfect place for master students to benefit from the experience and skills of professors from all over the world.
Prof. Christoph Schickedanz Director International Violin Academy Hammelburg

Christoph Schickedanz, born 1969 in Darmstadt, Germany, began his multifaceted concert career after receiving awards as soloist and chamber music interpreter at various competitions in Europe (Berlin, Caltanissetta, Freiburg, Heerlen, Munich, Sion) and the USA (Indiana, California). Performances in German centres such as Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich and Hamburg were complemented by concert ...

Christoph Schickedanz, born 1969 in Darmstadt, Germany, began his multifaceted concert career after receiving awards as soloist and chamber music interpreter at various competitions in Europe (Berlin, Caltanissetta, Freiburg, Heerlen, Munich, Sion) and the USA (Indiana, California). Performances in German centres such as Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich and Hamburg were complemented by concert invitations in Europe, Asia and North America.

In addition to recordings and productions for the BR, DLF, HR, SWR, WDR, Deutschlandfunk Cologne and Deutschlandradio Berlin, his work as a performer is now documented with more than 60 works on CD for the labels Audite, Centaur, cpo and telos. In addition to the cultivation of the tandard repertoire, he is particularly committed to unjustly neglected composers – predominantly of the late romantic period in the German-speaking cultural area, as evidenced by his collaboration on first editions and numerous first recordings of various works – e.g. by Wilhelm Grosz, Louis Gruenberg, Richard Franck, Ernst Kanitz, Egon Kornauth, Ernst Krenek, Felix Petyrek, Julius Röntgen or Felix Weingartner.

Since the release of his debut CD with works of the Munich School, which was described by the magazine Fono Forum as "A recording that sets standards. his lively recording activity received great attention from the press and critics. His recording of the 6 solo sonatas and partitas by Johann Sebastian Bach, which was released by Audite in 2018 and nominated for the 2019 International Classical Music Awards, has recently received special recognition. Also the reviewers of the German (Audio 10/2018: "a timeless, recommendable recording", Fono Forum 1/2019: "...a recording of convincing individuality..." and international (Gramophone, Great Britain 11/2018 – Opus Klassiek, Netherlands and Pizzicato, Luxembourg 8/2018 each – American Record Guide, USA1/2019) press paid special tribute to this interpretation.

At the end of 2019, Volume 2 of the duo works for violin and piano by the German-Dutch composer Julius Röntgen, recorded with pianist Ernst Breidenbach, appeared on the cpo label in co-production with Deutschlandfunk Köln. In addition, the US label Centaur has released a recording of the complete duo works by Johannes Brahms with the Japanese Canadian pianist Chiharu Iinuma.

Christoph Schickedanz received his training first at the MHS Freiburg with Jörg Hofmann and as a DAAD scholarship holder at Indiana University Bloomington with Franco Gulli, where he taught as Associate Instructor for Violin from 1995. After completing his concert exams, he began teaching in Germany as assistant to his former teacher Uwe-Martin Haiberg at the UdK Berlin. Further stations followed as a lecturer at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and as a visiting professor at the UdK Berlin. In 2004 he finally accepted a position as professor at the Hamburg University of Music and Drama. In addition to regular teaching activities in Germany, he was repeatedly invited to give master classes in China, Cuba, Italy, Finland, Switzerland, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine and the USA. Since 2018 he also teaches at the Music Academy in Brescia/Italy.

Graduates of his violin class are members of more than 30 orchestras in Germany and abroad, e.g. in Berlin, Dortmund, Essen, Hamburg, Hanover, Leipzig and Munich, or already teach themselves at important pedagogical institutes in their home countries, e.g. in China at the conservatories in Shanghai and Wuhan as well as at the Tongji University Shanghai.

As a passionate chamber music interpreter, Schickedanz has been a violinist with the Gililov Quartet Berlin (formerly the Philharmonic Piano Quartet Berlin) until its dissolution in recent years. He is currently a member of the Johannes Kreisler Trio.

Christoph Schickedanz plays an instrument made in Trieste around 1855 by the Italian master Giovanni Dollenz with a bow from the Peccatte School around 1860.

More recently, Christoph Schickedanz has also attracted attention as a composer. Since 2018, chamber music premieres of his works have taken place in Germany and Austria, and further premieres of solo or duo works, including a string sextet and an octet, are planned for 2020 in Italy, Russia and the USA, among other countries.


A false note played with conviction - is Interpretation.
Prof. Lihay Bendayan Lecturer

Israeli-Swiss violinist Lihay Bendayan is combining with passion his international concertist’s career with a rich academic activity. After holding for close to a decade the position of Professor of Violin at the HEMU – Vaud, Valais, Fribourg, University of Music in Switzerland, Lihay Bendayan is actually holding the position of Professor, Head of the Violin Class and Dean of the Faculty ...

Israeli-Swiss violinist Lihay Bendayan is combining with passion his international concertist’s career with a rich academic activity. After holding for close to a decade the position of Professor of Violin at the HEMU – Vaud, Valais, Fribourg, University of Music in Switzerland, Lihay Bendayan is actually holding the position of Professor, Head of the Violin Class and Dean of the Faculty of Performing Arts, at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. In his violin classes were formed prominent violinists from around the world, and he regularly gives masterclasses in prestigious academic institutions around Europe.

Starting his violin studies in Israel at the age of five with Michael Gaisler, and following studies with Miriam Solovieff in Paris, Lihay has become at the age of nine and by recommendation of Isaac Stern, the pupil of the legendary pedagogue Ilona Feher. Lihay has been the youngest and the last student to be accepted in Feher’s distinguished violin class which included Shmuel Ashkenazi, Pinchas Zukermann and Shlomo Mintz.

In his childhood Lihay was supported by foundations such as the American-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Jerusalem Music Center. He accomplished his academic studies at the Geneva HEM University of Music, where he was awarded at the age of 17 a Postgraduate degree under the guidance of french violinist Jean-Pierre Wallez, and later in Sion at the Conservatoire Supérieur, in the class of the famous hungarian virtuoso and conductor Tibor Varga.

In his earlier years Lihay has appeared as a young soloist in Israel and in numerous european cities in Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and England, where he played his Debut Concert in the year 2000 in London at St. Martin in the Fields. He has played numerous concerts around Europe as a soloist under the direction of Tibor Varga and his chamber orchestra.

In 2002, the Bendayan Trio was founded with pianist Yoav Bendayan and cellist Iftah Bendayan. The Bendayan Trio, formed by the three brothers, performed during the following decade in prestigious concert halls and festivals, and was regularly broadcasted on the television and radio around Europe and in Israel. The trio, launched by Agneta Lansing Artist Management in 2003, recorded major works by Mendelssohn, Faure, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff at “Fattoria Musica” in Germany. The recordings and concerts of the trio have been subject to passionate criticism:

“Played with heart and soul into a trance” (Osnabrücker Neue Zeitung).

“Their Shostakovich was so beautiful that tears almost dropped...” (Sueddeutsche Zeitung).

Lihay Bendayan plays an exceptional Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin, made in 1860.


In Hammelburg students get excellent conditions for concentrated work
Prof. David Gillham Lecturer

David Gillham has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and South Africa. He has performed in major venues such as Tokyo’s Opera City and Bunka Kaiken Recital Halls, Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town SA and the Chicago Cultural Centre, as part of the prestigious Dame Myra Hess memorial concerts.

An internationally respected ...

David Gillham has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and South Africa. He has performed in major venues such as Tokyo’s Opera City and Bunka Kaiken Recital Halls, Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town SA and the Chicago Cultural Centre, as part of the prestigious Dame Myra Hess memorial concerts.

An internationally respected pedagogue, David is regularly invited to teach, give masterclasses and serve on competition juries in North America, Europe and Asia.

In 2011, he joined the Faculty at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver Canada.

As an enthusiastic interpreter of chamber music, Mr. Gillham is currently a member of the Archytas Ensemble and the Ridge Piano Trio. He enjoyed extensive concertizing with the Arianna String Quartet as its second violinist from 2005-2012. In addition, he enjoys collaborating with musical personalities such as Johannes Moser, Noah Bendix-Balgley, James Dunham, Atar Arad, Anton Nel, Jose Franch Ballester, Jane Coop and Robert Silverman to name just a few. He is regularly invited to festivals such as the Zodiac ( France ), FEMUSC (Brazil), Kuandu (Taiwan), Sonoran (USA), Pender Harbour and the Domaine Forget International Music Festival.

Inspired by Franco Gulli and Enrico Cavallo to continue performing the standard violin and piano duo repertoire with the same stylistic precision and unity as a string quartet, Mr. Gillham has performed the violin and piano duo repertoire with pianist Chiharu Iinuma for 20 years. Concerts have taken the duo to China, Taiwan, Japan, and across both the United States and Canada.

For Centaur Records, the duo has recorded sonatas by Grieg, Mendelssohn, Respighi and Beethoven.

As a soloist with orchestra, David has given performances with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Gateway Festival Orchestra of St. Louis, the West Coast Symphony, the Grand Forks Symphony and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. With the UBC symphony Orchestra, Mr. Gillham has toured Western Canada, performing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto and performed John Corigliano’s Chaconne from the Red Violin, with the composer in attendance as part of UBC’s Corigliano Festival.

Beyond the standard repertoire of solo and chamber music, Mr. Gillham has dedicated himself to the performance and recording of todays composers. His recordings of Marcus Goddard’s two string quartets and string trio with the Archytas ensemble ( Dale Baltrop, Ariel Barnes, David Harding ) and Stephen Chatman’s Pender Harbour Suite for piano trio with Corey Hamm and Eric Wilson will be released next year. In 2018, Mr. Gillham had the honour of performing Juno nominated composer Alice Ping Yee Ho’s, Coeur à Coeur for violin and piano with Corey Hamm, live on CBC at the Juno Awards Classical Showcase Concert.

Mr. Gillham’s students have appeared as soloist with the Vancouver Symphony orchestra, The Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra and the Philharmonia Northwest of Seattle. Many of his former students hold positions in major symphony orchestras, and have continued their studies at institutions such as the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Mr. Gillham is regularly invited to teach at universities such as Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, the Wuhan Conservatory, the Kaohsiung Normal University, the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, McGill University and the University of Toronto.

Mr. Gillham is director of the violin-sessions at the Domaine Forget International Music Festival and Academy in Charlevoix, Quebec. The intensive four week program for gifted and advanced students from around the world, regularly features masterclasses by renowned violinists such as Vadim Gluzman, Rachel Barton Pine, Vadim Repin, Christian Tetzlaff and Midori.

A graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Manitoba, in 2002, David was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal for his contribution to the arts in Canada.

He plays on a violin made by Carlo Tononi, Venice Italy, 1725.


Intensive workshops, optimal conditions and great concerts distinguish the International Violin Academy.
Prof. Kevork Mardirossian Lecturer

Kevork Mardirossian is James H. Rudy Professor of Violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he was appointed in 2008.

His first solo recital was at age 12, and his intensive concert career started when he won the gold medal and first prize at the Obretenov Violin Competition in Bulgaria in 1978, the Gold medal at Katya Popova International Music Festival in 1979, and ...

Kevork Mardirossian is James H. Rudy Professor of Violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he was appointed in 2008.

His first solo recital was at age 12, and his intensive concert career started when he won the gold medal and first prize at the Obretenov Violin Competition in Bulgaria in 1978, the Gold medal at Katya Popova International Music Festival in 1979, and several international chamber music competitions in 1985-86 with his duo partner, pianist Lee Phillips.

Mardirossian performed as concert soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout Bulgaria, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe before moving to Europe, where he developed an impressive solo career, with tours of England, Wales, Italy, France, and the United States, including debuts in London and Carnegie Hall in 1992. He has appeared as guest artist at international music festivals such as Manuel De Falla in Spain; Shanghai festival in China; in Cheltenham, England; European Cultural Months; International Chamber Music Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Czech Festival in Trento, Italy; and Sofia Musical Weeks, among others in France, Germany, Spain, Japan, China, and Korea.

His education and training are from the Dobrin Petkov Music School in Bulgaria, Bulgarian State Conservatory, Maison de la Culture in Brussels, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he was awarded the Concert Artist (Premier Prix) award.

Mardirossian's teachers and mentors were Elena Doikova, Anton H. Atanasov, Vladimir Avramov, Artur Grumiaux, Janos Starker, and Yfrah Neaman.

In 1980, he became the concertmaster of the Plovdiv Philharmonic until 1988, when he moved to the United States, where he was appointed artist-in-residence at the University of Central Arkansas. There he co-founded the Kapelle Trio with pianist Lee Phillips and cellist Felice Farrell as well as the Heber Springs Chamber Music Festival and master courses in 1998. From 1995 to 2008, he was violin professor and chair of the String Department at the College of Music and Drama at Louisiana State University (LSU).

Mardirossian has established himself as a highly respected violin pedagogue and devoted mentor to more than 100 outstanding students, many of them winners in numerous national and international competitions. Others can be found in the world’s leading orchestras as concertmasters and principals, and as teachers in universities in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Mardirossian is a British Council scholar and recipient of the Indiana University James H. Rudy faculty award, LSU Distinguished Faculty Award, and LSU School of Music Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as the Galante Professorship and the San Diego II Alumni Professorship of Honor.

He is on the jury of several international violin competitions, such as the Henrik Szheryng International Violin competition in Mexico, Vladigerov International Competition in Bulgaria, Beethoven Violin Competition in the Czech Republic, and Shanghai International Violin Competition, among others.

He has served on the faculties of the International Institute at Round Top, Texas (2001-08); Aria String Academy in Massachusetts; Aurora Chamber Music festival in Sweden; Manuel De Falla International Courses in Granada, Spain; String Academy in Pontedeume, Spain; and international master courses at the Shanghai Conservatory. He presents regular master classes in Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States in many major schools and universities.


Prof. Daniel Rubenstein Lecturer

Born in Brussels in 1971, Daniel Rubenstein graduated in 3 instruments – violin, viola and piano – from the Brussels Royal Conservatory (BE) and the Indiana University (USA) and is an active concert violinist and violist, performing also occasionally as a pianist.

Daniel Rubenstein performed as a soloist and as a chamber musician across Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, ...

Born in Brussels in 1971, Daniel Rubenstein graduated in 3 instruments – violin, viola and piano – from the Brussels Royal Conservatory (BE) and the Indiana University (USA) and is an active concert violinist and violist, performing also occasionally as a pianist.

Daniel Rubenstein performed as a soloist and as a chamber musician across Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Luxemburg, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, Brazil, Turkey, Tunisia, Israel, South Korea and Japan.

​That includes concerts in Important Venues such as Brussels Henri Leboeuf Hall and Brussels Flagey Studio 4, Antwerp Koningin Elisabethzaal, Granada Manuel De Falla Hall, Murcia Auditorium National, Dublin National Concert Hall, Jerusalem Henry Crown Symphony Hall, Tel-Aviv Museum, Istanbul CCR Concert Hall, Kadıköy Süreyya Istanbul, Antalya Philharmonic, Brasov Sala Reduta, Carthage Acropolium, Uhara Hall Kobe, Minato Mirai Yokohama, etc.

1st Prize winner of top National music competitions (Pro Civitate, Edouard Deru, Lioness Club Young Virtuoso etc.), Daniel Rubenstein gave his first solo concert at the age of 15 with the National Orchestra of Belgium under Mendi Rodan, following which he has performed as soloist under conductors such as André Vandernoot, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Proinssias O'Duin, Georges Octors, Ronald Zollman etc.

As an active chamber musician, he performed a repertoire of no less than 200 works, together with nearly 100 musicians such as Abdel-Rahman El Bacha, Brigitte Engerer, David Lively, Daniel Blumenthal, Peter Frankl, Hagaï Shaham, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, Olivier Charlier, Yuzuko Horigome, Augustin Dumay, Peter Zazofsky, Liviu Prunaru, Gil Sharon, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Lluis Claret, Alexander Dmitriev, Luc Dewez, Miha Haran, Marc Grauwels, Francis Orval, Michel Lethiec, Pascal Moragues etc.

Daniel Rubenstein furthers his activities as the 1st violinist of the Ensemble Mendelssohn (string quintet and sextet with or without piano), and as the violist of Estampes (trio flute, viola & harp).

His interest in New Music led to the Premiere of about 30 new works written for him or dedicated to him by established composers such as Don Freund, Jan Van Landeghem, Frédéric Van Rossum, Michel Lysight, Oded Zehavi, David Loeb, Robert Janssens, Jean-Pierre Deleuze, Stéphane Orlando etc. He also gave the Israeli Premiere of the Concerto for violin and ud by Aviya Kopelman.

Daniel Rubenstein's discography includes 12 CD's, with recital programs on the violin and on the viola, chamber music works and World Premiere recordings. Many of them received excellent critics from the International Press (Gramophone, Crescendo, Klassik Heute, Fanfare).

As a dedicated pedagogue, Daniel Rubenstein holds several fixed positions : violin and viola professor at the Mons Royal Conservatory teaching Bachelor and Master students, chamber music associate-professor at the Brussels Royal Conservatory where he also served as guest violin professor. He gives regularly Masterclasses in Europe and abroad.

In addition, Daniel Rubenstein took in 2009 the Artistic Direction of the Festival Mozart in Waterloo (BE), an International chamber music festival which celebrated in 2015 its 20th anniversary.


Alfredo García Serrano Lecturer

Recognized by the musical critique as one of the most distinguished violinists of his generation, Alfredo García Serrano (León, 1971) enjoys nowadays an intense career both as a pedagogue and as a performer.

He began his musical studies in Spain at Salamanca`s Professional Conservatory. He subsequently moved on to Madrid to continue his academic training under the guardianship of Antonio ...

Recognized by the musical critique as one of the most distinguished violinists of his generation, Alfredo García Serrano (León, 1971) enjoys nowadays an intense career both as a pedagogue and as a performer.

He began his musical studies in Spain at Salamanca`s Professional Conservatory. He subsequently moved on to Madrid to continue his academic training under the guardianship of Antonio Arias and Víctor Martín (former Concertmaster of the Spanish National Orchestra and Professor at Royal Superior Conservatory of Music in Madrid). He achieved the highest scores and got the special Prize of the Conservatory at the end of his Bachelor`s degree in violin.

He was the scholarship holder of the Department of Culture and the Commission Fulbright. He continued his studies in E.E.U.U. at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, obtaining a Performer Diploma and a Master´s degree in Violin, achieving the highest scores in all fields. He worked as a teaching assistant to Mauricio Fuks´s studio for almost four years in the above mentioned Jacobs School of Music

He attend numerous masterclasses and received many advices from many of the leading artists of the international scene, such as Lorand Fenyves, José Luis García Asensio, Nicolás Chumachenco, Ernesto Bitteti, James Dunham (Cleveland Quartett), Gyorgy Sebok, Menahem Pressler, Alan de Veritch and Janos Starker among others.

He was awarded the 1st Prize at the prestigious Pablo Sarasate Spanish Competition (1993) and was the First Classified at the National Contest " City of Soria " (1998)

He is invited to give permanent seminars for Postgraduate students and to impart lectures on a regular basis. Likewise, he is invited to give violin and chamber music masterclasses in various Conservatories throughout Spain: Almería, Madrid, Guadalajara , Superior Conservatories of Salamanca, Zaragoza, Esmuc (Barcelona), and many others, also in Europe and Asia: Poland, France, Italiy, Portugal, Korea, etc. His first appearance in Europe as Mauricio Fuks`assistant took place in the Summer Course at the “Mozarteum” in Salzburg. He often takes part on juries of various national and international violín and chamber music contests.

He is currently teaching at the Professional Conservatory of Music “Amaniel” and at the University Alfonso X El Sabio (UAX), both in Madrid, and he is invited regularly to give masterclasses at Forum Musikae and at the International Academy Ivan Galamian of Málaga.

His pupils have joined the best professional orchestras of Spain, such as ONE and RTVE, and entered the most prestigious Schools and Universities in the world like the Escuela Reina Sofía (Spain), the Royal Academy of Music in London (United Kingdom) , Boston New England Conservatory o Indiana University (E.E.U.U.) UDK en Berlín y Universität der Künste (Alemania) , Amsterdam AND Hague (Netherlands) and París Superieur Conservatoire (France) among others. Many of them have been prizewinners in various national violin contests.

His artistry is well known in countries all around the world such us Japan, Korea, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Austria, France, Portugal, E.E.U.U. México, Argentina, Spain, among others. He has played in many prestigious halls in Europe, South América and Asia.

He has been a member of the Spanish National Orchestra for a two-year period and a different renowned orchestras such us Orchestra Reina Sofía, Chamber Orchestra of Madrid and many others, having played with them in various festivals under the baton of great conductors such as J. López Cobos, Miguel Angel Gómez Martínez, Früebeck de Burgos, A. Ros Marbá, Aldo Ceccato, Antoni Witt , Kurt Sanderling or M. Rostropovich among others.

He has been likewise hired as a Concertmaster to several string and Symphonic orchestras in Spain and abroad.

He also takes part in several chamber music groups that have an extensive agenda with concerts throughout Spain and abroad. His collaboration with Plural Ensamble, one of the most prestigious groups of contemporary music in Spain, is a highlight in his performance career. He has been co-founder of several ensembles such as Trío Artis, Manuel de Falla Piano Quartet and Areteia Quartet. Violin and piano literature remains as his favorite one within the chamber music world. Thus, he has played the complete Mozart`s Sonatas in four concerts, the complete Beethoven`s Sonatas in three concerts and the three Brahms`s Sonatas.

He has achavied great success as a soloist together with Daejeon Philarmonic Orchestra among others, playing some of the most representative great concertos written for violin:

F. Mendelsshon, P.I.Tchaikovsky, Concerto nº1 de Paganini, Vivaldi`s Four Seasons and many other concerts, J.S.Bach`s concertos for violin and two violins, J.S.Bach`s Brandemburg concertos, L.V. Beethoven`s Romanzas and many other pieces.

He has shared the stage with great musicians such as Sebastian Mariné, Alfonso Maribona, Daniel del Pino, Gerardo López Laguna, Dimitri van Halderen, Graham Jackson, Mariana Gurkova, Michal Dmochowski, Vadim Glazkov, Javier Albarés, Manuel Angulo, Asier Polo, Jesús Reina, Tibor Szasz, David Fons, David Quiggle, Paul Cortese, Frederieke Saeijs, Aitzol Iturriagagoitia, Iván Siso, Iván Cítera, Emil Rovner, Peter Bruns, Alberto Rosado, Gonzalo Manzanares, Avry Levitan, Fabián Panisello, Ana Alonso, Oliver Wille, and many more artists.

He has premiered and recorded numerous works for violin and viola by spanish contemporary composers, for VERSO label and R.N.E. One of the most challenging upcoming projects is the recording of the 24 Paganini´s Caprices, considered as the pinnacle of the violin literature of all times. Likewise the six sonatas for solo violin written by E. Ysaye stand out as an essential part of his repertoire.

Mr. García owns a wonderful modern instrument made especially for him by the famous luthier José María Lozano. He plays with an excellent bow made by Ch. N. Bazin.