Alexander Fiterstein

Artist Bio



Born in Belarus, Alexander Fiterstein immigrated at the age of two with his family to Israel where he later studied at the Israel Arts and Science Academy.  Subsequently in the U.S., he attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and then the Juilliard School.

Mr. Fiterstein is the first prize winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition, and the “Aviv” competition in Israel.  He has received the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award (Tokyo), and numerous other awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.  Currently he serves as professor of clarinet at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.


As a soloist, Mr. Fiterstein has appeared with many orchestras around the world: the Orchestra  of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, Belgrade Philharmonic, China National Symphony , Danish National, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, KBS Symphony of Seoul, Tokyo Philharmonic and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.  In recital he has appeared at the National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, 92nd Street Y, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Louvre in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Tel-Aviv Museum in Israel.


A dedicated performer of chamber music, Mr. Fiterstein has collaborated with distinguished musicians:  Daniel Barenboim, Mitsuko Uchido, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Pinchas Zukerman, Steven Isserlis and Elena Bashkirova.  He also has appeared with important ensembles:  the American, Borromeo, Daedalus, Fine Arts, Jerusalem, Mendelssohn, Muir and Vogler string quartets.  And he has performed with the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, as a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at the Marlboro Music Festival.


Fiterstein’s Festival credits include the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, the Storioni Festival in Holland, the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and the Woodstock Mozart Festival in 2007.


In 2008, Mr. Fiterstein initiated the Zimro Project, a unique ensemble dedicated to incorporating Jewish art music into chamber music programs.  This approach was originally inspired by the Zimro Ensemble, a group that nurtured the music of Jewish composers and culture nearly a century ago in St. Petersburg, Russia.   The Alexander Fiterstein Trio, also initiated by its name-sake, regularly performs a program of Klesmer music from the traditional Eastern European Jewish wedding ceremony.


Composers Samuel Adler and Mason Bates have written works for Mr. Fiterstein who has also collaborated with John Corigliano and Osvaldo Golijov.  U.S. premieres of Henrik Strindberg’s Clarinet Concerto “Minne”, Harrison Birtwistle’s “Pulse Shadows” and Paul Schoenfield’s Clarinet Trio are also attributed to Mr. Fiterestien.  A recording of the Trio work, released in 2010 on the Naxos label, was made together with James Tocco and Yehuda Hanani. Other Naxos discs include an album of clarinet music by Ronn Yedida and a recording of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.



“Fiterstein treats his instrument as his own personal voice, dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility and range.  Every sound he makes is finely measured without inhibiting expressiveness.”