Class of 1964
World Respected Concert Violinist
Professor of Violin at Yale University
Concertmaster New Haven Symphony
Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2014
Ani Kavafian was born in Istanbul, Turkey. Her parents settled there after fleeing the Communist government of Bulgaria. Her father was the principal violinist with the Istanbul State Symphony. The family migrated to the United States in 1956 where her father taught strings in the Royal Oak Schools and directed the Kimball orchestra. At 16 Ani won first prize at the Interlochen International Music Camp in both piano and violin competition. She graduated from Kimball High School in 1966 and then entered the Julliard School of Music.
Ani Kavafian, and her sister Ida, who graduated from the high school in Interlochen Michigan, are two of the most respected American violinists, particularly in the field of chamber music. Ani has performed annually with the Chamber Music Society at the Lincoln Center in New York since 1979. She has toured the United States, Canada and Europe performing as a soloist, in duets with her sister, as part of a trio or with a Chamber Orchestra. Her solo career includes performances with virtually all of the nation’s orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She has also been part of concerts in Atlanta, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Rochester and of course our own Detroit Symphony.
Ani Kavafian is currently the concertmaster with the New Haven Symphony and a full professor of music at Yale. She holds the position of artistic director of Mostly Music, the chamber music series in New Jersey. She served as president of the Young Concert Artist Alumni Association and coordinated the organization’s 50th anniversary concert in 2011, and still returns to Interlochen to perform and provide instruction to young people.
Ani plays a 1736 Muir McKenzie Stradivarius violin. She has appeared at the White House on three occasions, and appeared on several network televisions music specials. Her recordings can be found on several different labels. She is married to artist Bernard Mindich and together they are raising a son, Matthew, who is a promising student of the cello.