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Detroit (USA), 1952. Inspiring worldwide critical acclaim, violist Kim Kashkashian has been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "an artist who combines a probing, restless musical intellect with enormous beauty of tone." The New York Times has joined in these accolades, praising her "rich, mellow timbre and impressive artistry". In recent seasons, Kim Kashkashian has appeared as soloist with the major orchestras in New York, Berlin, Vienna, London, Milan, Munich and Tokyo including performances with Ricardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach and Riccardo Muti. She has performed recitals at the Metropolitan Museum and the 92nd Street "Y" in New York City, in Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Cleveland and Los Angeles and in many major music centers in Europe as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Istanbul and Milan. Kim Kashkashian's quest for new directions and forms, which she obtains through intense and continuous work with composers, is an active part of her musical life. As a result of these relationships with such composers as Gubaidulina, Penderecki, Kancheli, Kurtág, Mansurian, Pärt, Betty Olivero and Eötvös, she has extensively enlarged the repertoire for the viola. Her commitment to chamber music, which began during years of participation at the Marlboro Music Festival where she was strongly influenced by her work with Felix Galimir, continues through appearances at the Salzburg, Marlboro, Lockenhaus and Stavanger Festivals. Current ongoing partnerships include duos with pianist Robert Levin, percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, and harpsichordist Robert Hill. Ms. Kashkashian has performed with the Tokyo, Guarneri, and Galimir Quartets and toured with a unique quartet, which included violinists, Gidon Kremer and Daniel Phillips and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Recordings by Kim Kashkashian give an index of the range of her activities. After earlier recordings of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Divertimento KV 563 with DGG and Sony, her extensive discography with ECM comprises many works, either together with her longstanding chamber music partners (Robert Levin, piano & Robyn Schulkowsky, percussion) or various orchestra works, with a focus on the awarded recordings of the Brahms Sonatas (Robert Levin, piano), the CD 'Voci' with works by Luciano Berio (Robyn Schulkowsky, percussion) or her latest recording with pieces by Tigran Mansurian. A new CD with songs Guastavino, Ginastera and others with Robert Levin as her partner will be released in the autumn 2007. Parallel to the CD publication the two will go into Europe on tour, among other cities into Berlin, Paris, Rome and Milan. But the prelude of the season 2007/2008 is an intensive festival month, which brings her to the Bartok Festival in Hungary, to Verbier, Salzburg and to the Oslo Chamber Music Festival. In October, before the tour begins with Robert Levin, she will perform together with Robyn Schulkowksy and Tigran Mansurian in Poznan and Warsaw at the Malta Festival. The year 2008 brings among other things the German first performance of the viola concerto of Betty Olivero with the Munich Chamber Orchestra as well as a concert with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst at the Salzburger Festspiele. Kim Kashkashian’s extensive teaching activities have included professorships at the University of Indiana in Bloomington and at Conservatories in Freiburg and Berlin, Germany. In September 2000, she began teaching viola and chamber music at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Born in Detroit, Michigan, of Armenian descent, Kashkashian graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she studied with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle.