Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. Praised for his “lush sound” and “passionate playing” (CASA Magazine) and “formidable technical powers” (Santa Barbara News-Press), he has made several Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center appearances, and has performed in Europe, the Middle East, and across North America. His conviction that the impact of music serves people beyond the concert stage motivates him to collaborate on projects that create a strong emotional bond with his audience.
As a soloist, Niv gave a world premiere at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall as part of VSA’s 25/40 Anniversary Celebration. Concurrently, he was a featured artist in VSA’s Championing of the Arts Exhibit, where his portrait and personal reflections were displayed in the Kennedy Center Hall of States. He has appeared as a soloist with the Culver City Symphony Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, the California State University, Northridge Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest artist and given masterclasses at La Sierra University, California State University, Northridge, and Westmont College. Other recent performance highlights include recitals at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, the Perlman Music Program Alumni Recital Series, and the Epiphany Music Guild Series.
He has worked with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juilliard String Quartet, Cavani Quartet, and Ariel Quartet. He has been invited to perform at the Lake George Music Festival, Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop, Music Academy of the West, Keshet Eilon Summer Mastercourse in Israel, and iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates. Dyad, his innovative violin and bassoon duo, has performed on many concert series on the West Coast, collaborated with dance companies, and frequently commissions and performs new works alongside traditional repertoire.
One of his most rewarding projects has been an ongoing involvement with Violins of Hope, an organization that uses its collection of instruments that survived World War II to educate and create awareness about the Holocaust. His work with Violins of Hope began with a residency in Sarasota, Florida through the Perlman Music Program and has since taken him to Ottawa, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Los Angeles for performances and educational engagements. He is currently involved with bringing Violins of Hope to Los Angeles in 2020.
Niv also performs for Street Symphony, an LA-based nonprofit which places social justice at the heart of music making and serves communities disenfranchised by homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles County. Working with Street Symphony, he has connected with audiences on Skid Row, in jails, and in transitional housing and has explored using traditional western music, improvisation, and community engagement to create powerful experiences for members of these communities.
Niv is also in demand as a speaker who inspires and motivates diverse audiences. Recently he has spoken and performed at the Jewish Funders Network Conference, and at Secret Knock, one of America’s most exclusive networking events. He has been interviewed live on LA Talk Radio and has played live on classical radio station KMZT.
Niv holds both a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School, where his teachers included Itzhak Perlman and Glenn Dicterow. He serves on the professional advisory board of Shane’s Inspiration, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to building inclusive playgrounds, and formerly served on the board of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.