Igor Kalnin

Igor Kalnin Violinist

Violinist Igor Kalnin has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and an orchestra leader. A native of Russia, he started his professional musical career as a faculty member at Glinka State Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and later joined Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in Moscow. After relocating to the United States in 2004, he served as Violin Instructor at Yale University and a leader for several orchestras on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Presently, he is Assistant Professor of Violin at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and Concertmaster of Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois. During the summer season, he teaches at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan, where he also serves as Concertmaster of Blue Lake Festival and Opera Orchestras and conducts Advanced Chamber Orchestra.


He is a prizewinner of a number of international and national violin and chamber music competitions. As a soloist, he performed with orchestras in Europe, Asia, and America, including Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Kostroma Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Jackson Symphony (MI), Salisbury Symphony (MD), Chamber Orchestra Turkistan, Blue Lake Festival Orchestra, Rose Chamber Orchestra, and Luther College Chamber Orchestra among others. As a recitalist and chamber musician, he appeared in prestigious venues around the world, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York and Rachmaninov Hall at Moscow Conservatory in Russia. His live solo and chamber music performances have been broadcasted on radio and TV stations in Russia and the United States, including numerous live performances on Blue Lake Public Radio. Together with pianist Rochelle Sennet, he founded Duo MemDi, a forefront chamber group, which focuses on performing repertoire by memory and increasing diversity in the world of classical music by commissioning and performing music of underrepresented composers. He is also a member of Luther College Piano Quartet, which has been performing and giving masterclasses in the Midwest area.


Throughout his career, he has been passionate about teaching students of all ages. His college and pre-college students have won regional, state, and international competitions, and were accepted to prestigious music programs. As a clinician, he has given masterclasses at universities and conservatories throughout the United States and internationally. He is a co-founder of the educational project “The Art of Orchestral Playing” at Glinka State Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The original idea of the project was to introduce undergraduate and graduate Russian students to the requirements and standard repertoire for auditions in American orchestras, but the range and focus of topics expanded quickly and has included the place of classical music and musicians in the twenty-first century, outreach, and psychology of public performance. He has been giving lecture-discussions, masterclasses, and recitals for the project since 2012.


An experienced orchestral musician, he performs regularly as Concertmaster of Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois and Blue Lake Festival and Opera Orchestras in Michigan during the summer season. Previously, he has served as Concertmaster of Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and The Prairie Ensemble, as well as Principal Second Violinist of Lansing Symphony and Waterbury Symphony Orchestras. In addition, he performed as Guest Concertmaster for a number of professional orchestras in Russia and the United States.


Dr. Kalnin holds an undergraduate diploma with distinction from Balakirev Music College, as well as graduate and post-graduate diplomas with distinction from Glinka State Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. In the United States, he has earned an Artist Diploma from Yale University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University. His primary teachers included Felix Forshtock, Galy Afanasiev, Hyo Kang, and Walter Verdehr.


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