Video NewsSilk Road radioPostcards from the road Maps
Curtain Design
Music & Artists

Gazi Khan, an expert khartal player, dancing in the desert in Rajasthan


Cultural Exchanges
The Silk Road Ensemble conducts cultural exchanges and workshops with musicians around the world, such as master khartal player Gazi Khan (above) from Rajasthan, India. The khartal is a percussion instrument consisting of simple wooden blocks, held two in each hand.

Jonathan Gandelsman


"The ear opens and the heart opens."


Johnny Gandelsman

Violin, composer (Israel/Russia) Johnny Gandelsman's musical voice reflects the artistic collaborations he has been a part of since moving to the United States in 1995. Through his work with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma,  Bono, Osvaldo Golijov, David Byrne, Bela Fleck, Kayhan Kalhor, Suzanne Vega, James Levine, Mark Morris, Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, Nigel Kennedy and Martin Hayes, Gandelsman has been able to integrate a wide range of creative sensibilities into his own point of view. 

Combining his Classical training with a desire to reach beyond the boundaries of the concert hall, and a voracious interest in the music of our times, Johnny developed a unique style amongst today's violinists, one that according to the Boston Globe, possesses "a balletic lightness of touch and a sense of whimsy and imagination."

A passionate advocate for new music, Johnny has premiered dozens of works written for Brooklyn Rider and Silk Road Ensemble. In 2012, he premiered works by Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Vijay Iyer,  Bela Fleck,  Daniel Cords,  Rubin Kodheli,  Dana Lyn,  Gabriel Kahane,  Colin Jacobsen, Shara Worden, John Zorn and Christina Courtin. In 2013, Johnny will premiere works by Christine Southworth, Ethan Iverson, Padma Newsome, Gregory Saunier, Evan Ziporyn, Bill Frisell, Nik Bartsch and Jenny Scheinman, as well as a violin concerto by Gonzalo Grau, commissioned for Johnny by Community Music Works.

Johnny was born in Moscow into a family of musicians. His father is a professor of Viola at Michigan State University, his mother is a pianist, and his sister is a violinist as well. Johnny lives in Brooklyn with his partner Amber and their son Julius.



Artist website

Artist contact

Other violinists
Colin Jacobsen

Other Ensemble members from Russia