Hon. Litt. D., University of Nebraska at Omaha; Hon. DFA, Doane College
Carol F. and Arthur L. Rice Jr. University Professorship in Music Performance. Director of orchestras. In addition to his Northwestern duties, Victor Yampolsky also serves as music director of the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin; honorary director of the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and music director emeritus of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra.
Professor Yampolsky studied violin with David Oistrakh at the Moscow Conservatory, and conducting with Maestro Nicolai Rabinovich at the Leningrad Conservatory. He was a member of the Moscow Philharmonic as both assistant concertmaster and assistant conductor, under the direction of Maestro Kyrill Kondrashin. He emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States in 1973, where a recommendation from conductor Zubin Mehta led to an audition for Leonard Bernstein, who offered Yampolsky a scholarship at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, Massachusetts. Professor Yampolsky soon accepted a position in the violin section of the Boston Symphony and was later appointed the orchestra’s principal second violinist.
He has served as conductor of the Young Artists Orchestra at Tanglewood and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has conducted over 80 professional and student orchestras throughout the world, including repeat engagements with orchestras in the United States, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Israel and Chile.
A dedicated educator, Yampolsky has given conducting master classes throughout the world. He has served as adjunct professor of violin and director of orchestras at the Boston University School of Music. He has taught at the State Conservatory of St. Petersburg Russia; Stellenbosch Conservatory in South Africa; the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in Cape Town, South Africa; Emory University; and the Universities of Akron, Victoria, and Nevada. Other activities include serving as a panel member of the American Symphony Orchestra League (now the League of American Orchestras) Conductors’ Continuum Committee. He has been a juror for the Prokofiev International Conducting Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Len van Zyl conducting competition in Cape Town, South Africa; and the Conductors Guild and CODA associations.
Professor Yampolsky has recorded for Pyramid and Kiwi-Pacific Records. He led the Omaha Symphony in its debut recording, Take Flight (2002) and the world premiere of Philip Glass’ second piano concerto, which received an award from the Nebraska Arts Council.
Director of orchestras conducts with connection to memory, emotion (The Daily Northwestern, 04/20/16)