Internationally acclaimed cellist Igor Gefter joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2006.
Prior to his move to Toronto, Mr. Gefter held the position of Associate Principal Cello with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. While still a student at The Juilliard School in New York, Igor was invited to play in the cello section of the New York Philharmonic; serving as an acting member and an extra cellist, this special relationship lasted for over eight years. Very much in demand as an orchestral player, Mr. Gefter has performed with the Chicago, Boston, and Detroit Symphonies. In 2009, Mr. Gefter was invited by the Seattle Symphony to serve as guest principal cellist in the opening week of the 2009–10 season. He has been a principal cellist of the Juilliard Orchestra on numerous occasions and has performed many times with the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He has also, on many occasions, had the opportunity to lead the cello section of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Gefter’s numerous honors include multiple Chalmers Performing Arts Awards from the Ontario Arts Council as well as four consecutive B-Grants from the Canada Council to study abroad. In 1997, Igor was a recipient of the John B.C. Watkins Fellowship from The Canada Council. In 1991, Mr. Gefter won first prize in the Canadian Music Competition, which resulted in numerous recitals throughout Canada. While studying in New York, Igor won the Mannes Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.
An active participant in international music festivals, Mr. Gefter serves as principal cellist for the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming every summer. In the past, he has served as principal cellist for the "Festival of the Two Worlds" in Spoleto, Italy, the International Chamber Music Festival in Venezuela, and the International Symphony Orchestra in Israel.
Igor made his début at the age of eight as a winner of the National Young Artist Competition, the first of seven consecutive competitions that he won before the age of 13. At 14, as one of the most distinguished young cellists in Russia, he was chosen to perform at the Recital Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Harvey Shapiro and Aldo Parisot. He completed his post-graduate studies in the studio of Carter Brey.
Igor enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristina and his son, Daniel. His hobbies include reading, photography and technology. He recently appeared as a cellist in a scene from the Nicole Kidman movie Birth. Igor Gefter plays a cello from the E. N. Aum Instrument Collection.