Violinist Philip Setzer is a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, which has produced more than 30 acclaimed recordings, won nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year.” He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and began studying violin at the age of five with his parents, both former violinists in the Cleveland Orchestra. He continued his studies with Josef Gingold and Rafael Druian, and later at The Juilliard School with Oscar Shumsky. In 1967, Mr. Setzer won second prize at the Marjorie Merriweather Post Competition in Washington, DC, and in 1976 received a Bronze Medal at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels.
Mr. Setzer has appeared with the National Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony (David Robertson, conductor), Memphis Symphony (Michael Stern), New Mexico and Puerto Rico Symphonies (Guillermo Figueroa), Omaha and Anchorage Symphonies (David Loebel), and on several occasions with the Cleveland Orchestra (Louis Lane). He has also participated in the Marlboro Music Festival.
Mr. Setzer has been a regular faculty member of the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center. His article about those workshops appeared in The New York Times on the occasion of Isaac Stern's 80th birthday celebration. He also teaches as Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at SUNY Stony Brook and has given master classes at schools around the world, including The Curtis Institute, London's Royal Academy of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory, UCLA, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Mannes School. The Noise of Time, a groundbreaking theater collaboration between the Emerson Quartet and Simon McBurney—about the life of Shostakovich—was based on an original idea of Mr. Setzer's. In April of 1989, he premiered Paul Epstein's Matinee Concerto. This piece, dedicated to and written for Mr. Setzer, has since been performed by him in Hartford, New York, Cleveland, Boston, and Aspen. Recently he has also been touring and recording the piano trios of Schubert and Mendelssohn with David Finckel and Wu Han.
Mr. Setzer’s violin was crafted by Samuel Zygmuntowicz (NY, NY 2011).