Noah Bendix-Balgley was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He graduated from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and the Munich Hochschule having studied under Mauricio Fuks, Christoph Poppen, and Ana Chumachenco. In 2011, he was awarded 1st prize at the Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris as well as the Andrea Postacchini Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy where he was honoured for the best Bach interpretation. Bendix-Balgley served as the Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 2011 until 2015, when he was appointed Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Bendix-Balgley played violin with the Munich-based Athlos String Quartet at the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition in Berlin and joined the Miro String Quartet for a North American tour. In June 2016, he premiered his own Klezmer Violin Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys playing klezmer music as a hobby and has played with world-renowned klezmer groups such as Brave Old World, as well as leading klezmer violin workshops in Europe and in the United States. He performs on a Cremonese violin made in 1732 by Carlo Bergonzi.
Klezmer music, from the Hebrew-Aramaic words kley (instrument) and zemer (song), refers to a genre of Jewish music with roots in the Yiddish tradition. Klezmer dates back to at least the 16th century in Central Europe. It is the traditional celebratory instrumental music of the Yiddish-speaking Jewish people and was a significant cultural element in parts of modern Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Klezmer bands, characteristically consisted of a combination of instruments drawn from clarinets, trumpets, violins, and plucked string instruments and were often performed with a singer. The songs are popular at weddings and other family celebrations, though by no means exclusively, in Jewish communities. Performed by Polish, Romanian, Russian, and Ukrainian immigrants they made their way to America, where they enjoyed a huge revival in the late 20th century.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator