Virtuoso violinist Giora Schmidt tackles Sibelius’ magnificent Violin Concerto with Symphony Nova Scotia

“Spectacular Sibelius” celebrates 150th anniversary of Finnish composer’s birth, with performances in Halifax and Dartmouth

Halifax, NS – After two sold-out concerts and standing ovations in 2010 and 2011, violinist Giora Schmidt returns to Symphony Nova Scotia!

This time, Giora performs Sibelius’ stunning Violin Concerto with Symphony Nova Scotia on Thursday, October 15 at 7:30 pm in Halifax’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium and on Sunday, October 18 at 2 pm at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth.

“The Sibelius violin concerto is an enormous work,” says Giora.

“With its Nordic fire and ice, passion, and conflict, the concerto begs every morsel of energy and virtuosity from the soloist and orchestra. We’ll all be swept up in a vortex of sound by the time the last note is played!”

Giora’s last two performances with the orchestra, featuring concertos from Dvořák and Tchaikovsky, were both sold-out sensations that earned him standing ovations and rave critical and audience reviews.

The Chronicle Herald said, “There was nothing conventional about Giora Schmidt’s playing… he soared, he dazzled, he ripped the double-stops from the strings in handfuls, and rippled through the scale passages with a tone of silvered lightning, displaying the kind of fevered excitement this work demands.”

Other accolades have come from the New York Times, which said “Schmidt brought a lush, shapely sound” to his performance, and from the Naples Daily News, which wrote, “The very emotionality and physicality of his performance, virtually always moving, almost dancing, at times nearly transforming himself into a whirling dervish, is glorious to watch.”

Giora was introduced into the classical music world at an early age, and studied at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music with star violinists like Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman. Since then, he has performed with major symphony orchestras around the world, making debuts at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Louvre. (To learn more about Giora and his career, visit or follow his Twitter feed: @gioraschmidt.)

“I’m thrilled to be coming back to Halifax to make music with Symphony Nova Scotia,” says Giora.

“In our last performances together, I felt an incredible connection with Maestro Gueller, the orchestra, and the audience. It’s an instant, powerful, and unspoken communication in music that doesn’t happen very often.”

Conducted by Maestro Bernhard Gueller, both concerts will feature an all-Sibelius program, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Finnish composer’s birth. To perform these major works, the Symphony will expand its 37-member orchestra with up to an additional 20 musicians.

The full concert lineup includes:

  • Jean Sibelius (1865-1957): Lemminkäinen’s Return
  • Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor
  • Jean Sibelius: Symphony no. 1 in E minor

Tickets for both concerts are available now:

  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 7:30 pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax
    Tickets start at $30 (HST included, $16 for under age 30). Available at the Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office at 6101 University Avenue, or at 902.494.3820 or
  • Sunday, Oct. 18, 2:00 pm, Alderney Landing Theatre, Dartmouth
    All tickets are $35 (HST included). Available through the Alderney Landing Theatre box office, or at 1.888.311.9090 or

While in Halifax, Giora will also lead a violin masterclass at Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of Performing Arts on Friday, October 16 at 2:30 pm. For more details, click here.

Behind the scenes with Maestro Gueller: Spectacular Sibelius!

About Giora Schmidt
Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “impossible to resist, captivating with lyricism, tonal warmth, and boundless enthusiasm,” violinist Giora Schmidt has appeared with many prominent symphony orchestras around the globe including Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Toronto, Vancouver, and the Israel Philharmonic.

In recital and chamber music, Giora has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, San Francisco Performances, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and Tokyo’s Musashino Cultural Hall. He has collaborated with eminent musicians including Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Michael Tree.

Born in Philadelphia in 1983 to professional musicians from Israel, Giora began playing the violin at the age of four. He has studied with Patinka Kopec and Pinchas Zukerman at the Manhattan School of Music, and Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School. Committed to education and sharing his passion for music, Giora was on the faculty of the Juilliard School and the Perlman Music Program from 2005-2009. Through technology and social media he continues to find new ways of reaching young violinists and music lovers around the world. His Facebook page ( has almost 70,000 global followers.

Giora was the First Prize winner of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Competition in 2000, the recipient of a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 2005 won the Classical Recording Foundation’s Samuel Sanders Award. From 2004-2006 Giora was selected to be a Starling Fellow at the Juilliard School.

About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is one of the most broadcast orchestras in the country, with over 20 commercial releases and multiple East Coast Music Awards. Visit to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!


For more information, please contact:
Heidi MacPhee
Director of Communications and Marketing, Symphony Nova Scotia
902.421.1300 x. 226
[email protected]