Years of Service: 1984-2022

Former director of orchestras. Carol F. and Arthur L. Rice Jr. University Professorship in Music Performance.  In addition to his Northwestern duties, Victor Yampolsky also served 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 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.


Victor Yampolsky to retire from Bienen School after 38 years of teaching, conducting

June 1, 2022

Bienen ensembles perform works by Nemmers Prize winner William Bolcom

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May 27, 2021

Taichi Fukumura wins Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award

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Alumni Spotlight: Roderick Cox

February 26, 2021

Paving Musical Pathways: An Interview with Taichi Fukumura

February 17, 2021

Kyle Dickson talks race and social activism

February 2, 2021

Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth Bennett

October 30, 2020

Symphony Orchestra plays monumental Russian works Jan. 31

January 8, 2019

NUSO on Tour: Asia 2018

May 6, 2018

See All News


Mahler - Symphony No. 9

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Verbytsky - State Anthem of Ukraine

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5 in D Minor

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Brahms - Symphony No. 1 in C Minor

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Rachmaninoff - The Bells

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra with combined choirs

Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Mahler - Symphony No. 5

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Liszt - Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Brahms - Ein deutsches Requiem

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra with combined choirs

Liszt - Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Kabalevsky - Concerto for Cello in C Major

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Dvorak - Symphony No. 7 in D Minor

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Moniuszko and Chopin

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra with combined choirs