Paul Zukofsky

Biography

Born: October 22, 1943; Brooklyn, NY  
Paul Zukofsky is a violinist, conductor, and chamber musician. He is generally associated with the advancement and performance of modern music, having premiered and recorded works by Wuorinen, Glass, Carter, Babbitt, and numerous other twentieth century composers. But he has also divulged a sympathy for the music of Bach in his well-received recordings of the solo sonatas and partitas.

Zukofsky showed interest in music before the age of
Read more three and started taking his first lessons on the violin at four. His skills advanced so rapidly that he began studies with Ivan Galamian when he was just seven. His resumé as a child performer is equally impressive, having given his first public concert at six and his first with an orchestra, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, when he was 10. Three years later, he gave a recital at Carnegie Hall. By the mid-1960s, Zukofsky had become well known in both solo and chamber repertory. In the latter genre, he would team up with Gilbert Kalish for many concert appearances and recordings over the years. He also began conducting orchestras, often chamber-sized ensembles and usually in modern repertory. He served as music director for one season (1978-1979) of the Colonial Symphony Orchestra, a Madison, NJ, based ensemble. In this post, however, he also conducted works by Beethoven, Mozart, and other mainstream composers. Zukofsky has also led the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble since the 1970s, becoming its conductor in 1984. Beginning in the 1970s, Zukofsky developed a relationship with the Reykjavik College of Music in Iceland, regularly appearing in concerts and conducting seminars there. He also appeared in many concerts as conductor at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in the last two decades of the twentieth century, often leading the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and the Juilliard Orchestra. Zukofsky became a close friend of composer Philip Glass in the early 1970s and even appeared as Einstein in his opera Einstein on the Beach (1976). The character Zukofsky portrayed, of course, does not sing, but plays the violin instead. Zukofsky inspired Glass to write his Violin Concerto (1986-87) and gave the work's premiere on April 5, 1987, with the American Composers Orchestra under the direction of Dennis Russell Davies. From 1992-96, Zukofsky was director of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California. As both a conductor and violinist, he remains active in the new century and has made over 60 recordings for a number of labels, including Sony, Camerata, CRI, and one of his own, CP2, of whose parent company, Musical Observations, Inc., he is president. He has extensively recorded for this label since the early 1990s, issuing performances of works, often in premiere issues, by Cage, Feldman, Xenakis, Glass, and several other modern composers. Read less
Browse 1-7 of 7 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 491 Release Date: 05/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Wuorinen,  Glenn Lieberman
    Performer:  David Braynard
    Conductor:  Charles Wuorinen,  Glen Lieberman,  Paul Zukofsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Group for Contemporary Music,  New Music Consort,  New York String Ensemble
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  • 2.
    A. H. Sveinsson: Time and the Water / Zukofsky, Reykjavik CO
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999865 Release Date: 10/22/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Atli Heimir Sveinsson
    Performer:  Marta Gudrún Halldórsdóttir,  Sverrir Gudjónsson,  Bergbor Palsson
    Conductor:  Paul Zukofsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Jónas Tómasson - Portrait / Zukofsky, Ragnarsdóttir, Et Al
    Label: Itm Music From Iceland   Catalog: 708 Release Date: 02/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jónas Tómasson
    Performer:  Helga Ingólfsdóttir,  Ingvar Jónasson,  Emil Fridfinsson,  Kjartan Oskarsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Zukofsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Visions And Images - Jón Leifs / Zukofsky, Iceland Symphony
    Label: Itm Music From Iceland   Catalog: 604 Release Date: 12/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jón Leifs
    Conductor:  Paul Zukofsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra,  Reykjavík Male Chorus
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  • 5.
    Jón Nordal: Adagio, Epitafion, Concerto Lirico, Etc
    Label: Itm Music From Iceland   Catalog: 704 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jón Nordal
    Conductor:  Paul Zukofsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Diamond, Babbitt, Persichetti / Juilliard Orchestra
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80396 Release Date: 12/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincent Persichetti,  Milton Babbitt,  David Diamond
    Conductor:  James DePreist,  Paul Zukofsky,  Christopher Keene
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Juilliard Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Juilliard Orchestra - Schuman, Copland, Sessions
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80368 Release Date: 12/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roger Sessions,  Aaron Copland,  William Schuman
    Conductor:  Paul Zukofsky,  Sixten Ehrling,  Otto-Werner Mueller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Juilliard Orchestra
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