Ivry Gitlis was born in Haifa, Israel, in 1922. He took up the violin at age five and began concertizing at nine years old. With the help of virtuoso Bronislau Hubermann, he attended the National Conservatory in Paris, and his subsequent teachers included George Enescu, Jacques Thibaud, and Carl Flesch. He lived in England during the War and, after time spent as a factory worker, joined the British Army, where he was assigned to help entertain troops by giving recitals. He made his postwar debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and subsequently performed with all of the major orchestras in Great Britain. He won the Jacques Thibaud International Competition in Paris in 1951. Gitlis has resided in Israel since the start of the 1950s, but has concertized all over the world, his repertory extending from classical to contemporary music. He has also shown remarkably flexibility as a musician, his work extending to a notable performance in December of 1968 as part of The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, during which the 46-year-old Gitlis' contributions included performing on the "Yer Blues" jam alongside John Lennon, Keith Richards, et al. That performance was finally released officially some three decades after the fact, and is one of Gitlis' major claims to fame in the popular music world. In fact, the majority of his recordings are from live performances throughout his career. He has made only a handful of studio recordings.
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