Tamara Chernyak, violin
Tamara Chernyak, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, started playing the violin at the age of five. She attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College, Leningrad Conservatory and Post-Graduate Program, where she studied with Professor Michael Vaiman, graduating with honors with degrees in both Performance and Pedagogy. While still studying at the Conservatory, she became a member of the Michailovski Theater Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and a year and a half later joined the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1974, Ms. Chernyak moved to the United States where she spent the summer playing at the Sarasota Festival and was awarded the Leonard Bernstein personal scholarship to play in the Tanglewood Festival. There she participated in master classes with Richard Burgin, Josef Gingold, and Joseph Silverstein. Later that year Ms. Chernyak was appointed Associate Concertmaster of the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Kansas City Opera.
One of the first women from Russia to become part of a major U.S. symphony orchestra, Ms. Chernyak joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1976, and subsequently played 38 years on the Music Center, Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall stages. She has appeared as a soloist numerous times with the Orchestra including performances of Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Zubin Mehta conducting, two of Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto’s conducted by Christopher Hogwood and Carlo Maria Giulini, and Zigeunerweisen conducted by Sidney Harth.
In her orchestral career, Ms. Chernyak has worked with many of the world’s most renowned conductors and soloists including Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Andre Previn, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, John Williams, Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Itzhak Perlman, Emmanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Midori, Evgeny Kissin, Leila Josefowicz, Gil Shaham, Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, and Yo-Yo Ma, among others.
She has played in the Salzburg Festival, Austria; Stravinsky Festival, Paris; Shostakovich Festival, Los Angeles; and Mahler Festival, Caracas as well as performing on some of the most prestigious stages in the world, including La Scala, Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall, the Concertgebouw, and Carnegie Hall.
Not a stranger to studio work, Ms. Chernyak has been part of hundreds of recordings, including iconic soundtracks such as Star Wars, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Grammy award-winning Brahms Symphony No. 4 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. She has played with numerous jazz and rock artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Pink Martini, and Herbie Hancock and has additionally performed with “The 3 Tenors” and Andrea Bocelli on many occasions.
She is the founder of the Daria String Quartet and served as the Calabasas Chamber Orchestra’s Concertmaster and soloist, performing throughout Southern California and touring in Europe where she played six (6) performances with the Orchestra of Vivaldi’s complete Four Seasons. Ms. Chernyak’s chamber music collaborations include her performances with Christian Zacharias, Lars Vogt and others. She was a founding participant of the Green Umbrella Contemporary Music series of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and regularly performed at the Japan American Theatre and Gindi Auditorium.
Ms. Chernyak has been recognized as one of the most dedicated and respected teachers in Southern California in both her private teaching practice and as a regular member of Gold Coast and Beverly Hills International Festivals. She has served on the faculty of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and has been a member of the Pepperdine University music faculty since January 2015.
She currently lives in the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles with her family.