Oliver Colbentson is a native of Chicago who began playing the violin at age 5. At age 16 he won the Chicago Musical College competition and performed the Wieniawski violin concert with orchestra in Chicago’s Orchestra hall. Colbentson graduated from the University of Chicago at age 18, then enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving until his honorary discharge at age 21. He embarked on his first European concert tour, and performed his first recital in New York at Times Hall the same year. The following year he recorded the Kreutzer Sonata and Debussy Sonata for Concert Hall Records. His series of seven articles: “The Alexanian Conception of Music and Technic” was published in “Symphony Magazine.” At age 24 Colbentson performed a Town Hall recital in New York and soloed in concerts throughout the Midwest and Eastern U.S.A. From age 26 to 30 he was the Associate Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, traveling annually on concert tours of Europe. At age 30 he resigned from the Metropolitan and took up residence in Europe. Since that time he has performed as Concertmaster and Soloist with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg, Germany, chaired the Strings Department at the Meistersinger Conservatory in Nürnberg, performed over 1200 concerts and broadcasts in 28 countries, and recorded for Colosseum, MGM, Sonopress (Paris), Ampex, Zafiro (Spain), Vienna Sound, and others. In recent years, Colbentson has returned to his native America annually to play a series of concerts in the Chicago area.
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