The appointment of Charles Castleman, one of the music world’s greatest and most beloved mentors, is ” a watershed moment for the Frost School of Music.”
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 9, 2014)—Charles Castleman, a prize-winning concert artist, celebrated master teacher, and renowned string quartet coach, is joining the Frost School of Music faculty as professor of violin after nearly 40 years at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in New York, where he chaired the strings department for eight years.
Castleman is one of the world’s most active performers and pedagogues on the violin today. A dynamic and highly expressive musical artist, he has appeared as a featured soloist with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, Brisbane, Chicago, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, and Shanghai, to name a few. A beloved artist-teacher with thousands of devotees and former students around the world, he has conducted master classes in all major cities of Europe, the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
He is also the founder and director of the prestigious Castleman Quartet Program, an intensive and extensive summer workshop in solo and chamber performance that is celebrating its 45th continuous year. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma praised it as “the best program of its kind… a training ground in lifemanship.”
Castleman will begin transitioning his teaching from Eastman to Frost during the 2014-2015 academic year. He will be traveling regularly to the Coral Gables campus beginning this September to teach select private lessons, conduct master classes, and coach chamber music ensembles. He will begin teaching exclusively at Frost at the start of the fall 2015 semester. Full-time undergraduate and graduate violin students who are selected to matriculate into the University and the Frost School at the start of the fall 2015 semester will then be eligible to study full time with Castleman. The application deadlines are this December 1, and admission requirements and audition information are available at www.miami.edu/frost.
A remarkably gifted performing artist whose first public performance was at age 6 with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Castleman made his solo recital debuts at age 9 at Jordan Hall in Boston and Town Hall in New York. He was a medalist in his early 20s at the prestigious and highly competitive International “Tchaikovsky” and “Brussels” competitions (the International Tchaikovsky Competition is held every four years in Moscow, Russia; the Queen Elisabeth Competition, also known as the Brussels Concours Musical International, is held in Brussels, Belgium).
The recording of Castleman’s competition performance of Léon Jongen’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with the Belgian National Orchestra was recently selected as one of only 17 violin performances to represent the excellence of the Brussels Concours Musical’s 50-year history and is included in a multi-box CD set on the Cypres Records label. Castleman’s former students have also been winners at international competitions including Brussels, Munich, Naumburg, and Szeryng and perform in top professional chamber groups and major orchestras.
“The appointment of Charles Castleman is a watershed moment for the Frost School of Music,” said Frost Dean Shelton G. Berg. “He is one of the world’s greatest and most beloved mentors in music. Charles is an innovator and forward thinker, and he will contribute greatly to the paradigm-shifting curriculum and ideals of our school. We know that the world of music continues to expand, and we will nurture and inform the skill set that prepares our graduates for vibrant careers.”
Castleman credits the Frost School’s forward-thinking faculty and leadership for his decision to join the faculty, beginning August 15. “The leadership, history, and location of the Frost School uniquely positions it to find, educate, and nourish young musicians of the highest achievement, endowed with the most extraordinary talent, from all the Americas. I am pleased and proud to be able to contribute to its future effectiveness and to add my input to its remarkably innovative thrust.”
In addition to teaching private violin lessons exclusively at the Frost School and coaching Frost string quartets starting in fall 2015, Castleman will interact with all string musicians in the Frost Chamber Orchestra, Frost Symphony Orchestra, and the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra through master classes and workshops. He also will incorporate his creative and collaborative teaching concepts into the Frost School’s trailblazing Experiential Music Curriculum, help shape a brand new type of master’s degree in performance, and participate in leading-edge initiatives at Frost, such as Universal Music U @ Frost to explore new concert and recording paradigms for classical music artists.
A prolific recording artist himself, Castleman’s impressive discography includes some of the most difficult works ever written for violin. His solo albums include recordings of six Solo Sonatas by Ysaÿe, eight Csardases for Violin and Orchestra by Jenő Hubay, and ten virtuoso cameos by Pablo de Sarasate. He also has recorded selections by George Gershwin and contemporary chamber music for violin with harpsichord by Darius Milhaud, Walter Piston, Samuel Adler, and much more.
As one of 16 Ford Foundation Concert Artists, Castleman commissioned David Amram’s Violin Concerto and premiered it with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony; he later recorded it with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra for the Newport Classic label. He is a dedicatee of the Paracelsus-inspired violin-harpsichord work “Lares Hercii” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse.
Castleman’s long-term chamber music associations have included performing and recording with The New String Trio of New York, plus recording numerous albums on major labels with the Raphael Trio and much-admired premieres at the Vienna Festival and the Kennedy Center.
Castleman earned degrees from Harvard University, Curtis Institute of Music, and the University of Pennsylvania. His teachers were Emanuel Ondricek (teaching assistant of Otakar Ševčík, a student of Eugène Ysaÿe) and Ivan Galamian (venerated violinist and pedagogue). Castleman credits David Oistrakh, Henryk Szeryng, and Josef Gingold as his most influential coaches. He plays the “Marquis de Champeaux” Stradivarius and “Sammons” Goffriller from 1708, and chooses from over 80 bows.
From the four pinnacles of performing, teaching, recording, and collaborating, classical music professionals hold Castleman in the highest regard. His joining the award-winning and esteemed full-time faculty of the Frost School of Music, of which close to 50 percent has been hired since Dean Berg joined the school in 2007 will quickly help expand the Frost School’s range and reputation throughout the world.