The Martha and Peyton Woodson Chair

Bassist Leonid Finkelshteyn enjoys an active career as a performer and teacher. Currently principal bassist of the North Carolina Symphony and the Eastern Festival Orchestra in North Carolina, Mr. Finkelshteyn also serves on the faculty of East Carolina University, North Carolina State University and the Eastern Music Festival; in addition to maintaining a large private studio.

As a soloist, he has made numerous concerto appearances with both the North Carolina Symphony and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra in Wisconsin including works by Bottesini, Bruch, Koussevitsky and Tubin. Mr. Finkelshteyn has also performed the North American premiere of Gareth Glyn’s Microncerto and the world premiere of J.Mark Scearce’s Antaeus, a concerto for double bass and orchestra which the North Carolina Symphony commissioned for Mr. Finkelshteyn. Upon arriving here in the U.S., Mr. Finkelshteyn attended the Aspen Music Festival where he won the E. Nakamichi Double Bass Competition, performing the Koussevitsky Concerto with the festival orchestra.

Other artistic pursuits have included tours with the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia Hungarica. In addition, Mr. Finkelshteyn has appeared with the St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dallas Symphonies as guest principal bassist and recently served as principal bassist of the Mostly Mozart Festvial Orchestra, led by Louis Langree at Lincoln Center in New York. He has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony and most recently appeared with the All Star Orchestra under the direction of Gerard Schwarz as part of a series of programs for PBS set to air in 2013.

Mr. Finkelshteyn has performed with a number of conductors throughout his career, namely, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Alan Gilbert, Marris Jansons, Neeme and Paavo Jarvi, Louis Langree, Lorin Maazel, Andrew Manze, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Gerard Schwarz, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Yuri Temirkanov, and Osmo Vanska.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Finkelshteyn has participated in the South Hampton Arts Festival in NY and continues to appear as part of the Four Seasons Festival at East Carolina University, the Eastern Music Festival Chamber Music Series, and the North Carolina Symphony Chamber Music series. He has collaborated with his brother, cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn, Julia Fischer, Mark Kosover, Adam Neiman, Awadagin Pratt, and Elina Vahala among others.

A committed teacher, Mr. Finkelshteyn was recently invited to give masterclasses at Yale University and in NYC for students from the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music. He makes a point of being involved within his community as well, leading sectionals for local Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and the NC All State Orchestra. In addition, Mr. Finkelshteyn works with local music teachers with their double bass students offering masterclasses and sectionals. A native of Leningrad in the former Soviet Union, he joined the Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonic at only 19 years of age, while still a student at the Leningrad Conservatory from which he earned a M.M., graduating with honors. His primary teachers were Peter Weinblatt and Sergei Akopov. Eventually, he became principal bassist of the Symphony Orchestra and was a prize winner of the Soviet Union Bass Competition before emigrating to the U.S. in 1990.