Pinchas Zukerman (born July 16, 1948) is a violinist, violist, and conductor of Israeli descent.
Born in Tel Aviv to Yehuda and Miriam Lieberman Zukerman, Zukerman began his musical studies at age 4, on the recorder. His father then taught him clarinet, and picked up the violin at age 8. Isaac Stern and Pablo Casals learned of Zukerman's violin talent during a 1962 visit to Israel. Zukerman subsequently moved to the United States that year for study at the Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Stern and Ivan Galamian. He made his New York dйbut in 1963. In 1967, he shared the Leventritt Prize with the Korean violinist Kyung-wha Chung. His 1969 debut recordings of the concerti by Tchaikovsky (under the direction of Antal Dorati, with the London Symphony Orchestra) and Mendelssohn (with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic) launched a successful recording career that continues to the present day and boasts over 110 releases.
Zukerman launched his conducting career in 1970 with the English Chamber Orchestra, and served as director of London's South Bank Festival from 1971 to 1974. In the USA, Zukerman was music director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1980 to 1987. He later directed the summer festivals of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (1991–1995) and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (1996–1999). In 1999, he became Music Director of Ottawa's National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO). In March 2012, the NACO announced the scheduled conclusion of his music directorship in 2015. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 2009.
Zukerman is on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and is the head and founder of the Zukerman Performance Program at the school. His former students have included Koh Gabriel Kameda, Julian Rachlin, and Guy Braunstein. In 1999 he founded the National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme, which counts young musicians such as Viviane Hagner, Jessica Linnebach, Antal Szalai, and Caitlin Tully as alumni. In 2006 Zukerman began his involvement in the Rolex Artistic Mentorship programme.
Zukerman plays the "Dushkin" Guarnerius del Gesщ violin of 1742. His honours include the King Solomon Award, the National Medal of Arts (presented by President Reagan in 1983), the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence, and an honorary doctorate from Brown University. His recordings have received 21 Grammy nominations, and 2 Grammy wins. He has collaborated with filmmaker Christopher Nupen on several projects, and was the subject of Nupen's "Pinchas Zukerman: Here to Make Music" documentary of 1974. In 2003 he founded a string quintet, the Zukerman Chamber Players, which has released 3 CD recordings in addition to its roster of live performances.
Zukerman has been married three times. His first marriage was to the flutist and novelist Eugenia Zukerman, from 1968 to 1985. The marriage produced two daughters, Arianna and Natalia, who are now both musicians. Arianna Zukerman is a classical soprano, while Natalia Zukerman is a folk singer and guitarist. Zukerman's second marriage was to actress Tuesday Weld from 1985 to 1998. Both marriages ended in divorce. Zukerman and his third wife, Amanda Forsyth, the NACO's principal cellist, live in the Rockcliffe Park area of Ottawa.