Official Biography 2017
Yuriy Bekker, critically acclaimed violinist and conductor, has led the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (South Carolina) as Concertmaster since 2007 and was named its Principal Pops Conductor in 2016. Bekker served as the orchestra’s Acting Artistic Director from 2010-2014 and Director of Chamber Orchestra from 2014-2015, playing a major role in the orchestra’s successful resurgence.
Mr. Bekker has served on faculty as a violinist and conductor for the Miami Summer Music Festival in Miami, Florida since 2014. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the College of Charleston School of the Arts as a violin professor and as conductor of the College of Charleston Orchestra. He has been Artistic Advisor to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and was given the Outstanding Artistic Achievement award from the City of Charleston to honor his cultural contributions. Bekker has also held the position of concertmaster for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria, and has held additional positions with the Houston Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras.Bekker has performed worldwide as a celebrated guest concertmaster, avid chamber musician, and critically-acclaimed soloist. In addition to over a dozen concertos with the Charleston Symphony, he has performed with the Vancouver Symphony (British Columbia), Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Chamber Music Society, European Music Festival Stuttgart (Germany), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Spoleto Festival USA, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Aspen Music Festival, at the Kennedy Center, and in cities including New York City, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Amarillo, Missoula, Asheville, Flagstaff, Scottsdale, Barcelona, Spain and Graz, Austria. He has collaborated with Herbert Greenberg, Claudio Bohorquez, Alexander Kerr, Andres Cardenes, Andrew Armstrong, Robert DeMaine, Sara Chang, Gil Shaham, Ilya Kaler, Joshua Roman, JoAnn Falletta, and Andrew Litton.
Bekker’s recent and upcoming engagements include conductor and violinist with the Amarillo Symphony, violinist on Tchaikovsky's and Bruch's Concertos for Violin with the Charleston Symphony, and conductor of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 at the Miami Summer Music Festival. As Principal Pops Conductor of the Charleston Symphony, Bekker has recently worked with notable guests artists such as Ben Folds, Tony Desare, Ellis Hall, and Cirque de la Symphonie. His busy upcoming Pops season is packed with exciting repertoire, ranging from John Williams movie music to the classics of Gershwin and Bernstein to the grandest highlights of Italian opera and cinema. Bekker earned a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Herbert Greenberg. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were acquired from the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied violin with Nelli Shkolnikova and Ilya Kaler. Born in Minsk, Belarus, Bekker is now a United States citizen, and is a proud husband and father to his wife, Jenny, and their new son, Nathanael.