Yariv Aloni, Music Director
“When the musicians are playing this well, the critic can pay attention to the interpretation and here Aloni pierced unerringly to the heart of the music.”
Deryk Barker, “Youth Orchestra Performs Brahms with Mastery,”
Victoria Times Colonist, Feb.14, 2005
Yariv Aloni has received praise for conducting “impassioned, inspiring” and “magnificently right” interpretations of major orchestral and choral repertoire. Reviewers also describe him as “a musician of considerable insight and impeccable taste.” He is music director of the Galiano Ensemble of Victoria, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, as well as being a principal guest conductor of the West Coast Symphony Orchestra in Vancouver. His other guest appearances include the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Victoria, The Victoria Choral Society and Prima Youth Choir.
As the violist of both the Penderecki string quartets and the Aviv piano quartet, he has performed in many concert halls around the world, including Lincoln Centre in New York, the Louvre in Paris, Tonhalle in Zurich, and numerous concert halls in Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Holland and Mexico. In 1985 he was invited to join Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zuckerman to play a gala concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. He was a finalist at the François Shapira competition in Tel Aviv. His awards included the Israel Broadcasting Authority award for chamber music performance and numerous awards and annual scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation.
Yariv Aloni has recorded for the United, Marquise, Tritonus and CBC labels as well as independent CD labels. He performs in numerous chamber music concerts, festivals and recital series. Victoria.
Born on a kibbutz in Israel, Yariv began studying the violin at the age of eight and turned to the viola when he was sixteen. He studied viola with David Chen at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Daniel Benyamini, principal violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and Michael Tree and the Guarneri String Quartet. With an emphasis on chamber music, he also studied at the Jerusalem Music Centre with distinguished visiting faculty from around the world, including Isaac Stern, the Amadeus and the Guarneri String Quartets, and many others. He studied conducting under the tutelage of the Hungarian conductor János Sándor, former music director of the Budapest State Opera and the Györ Philharmonic Orchestra.
János Sándor, Music Director 1996-2010
“Sándor summoned forth from his players pure magic, from the hushed openings to the glowing climax. I was not surprised to find tears running down my cheeks.”
Deryk Barker, Victoria Times Colonist, April 19, 2004
Born in Hungary in 1933, János Sándor began his professional career at the age of 18, as principal timpanist and youngest member of the Hungarian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. He studied conducting at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, where he graduated with distinction, and in Siena (Italy) with renowned conductor Sergiu Celibidache. A prize-winner at the Besançon (France) International Conductors Competition, he conducted major orchestras across Europe and North America, making over 30 recordings. His recording for Hungaroton of Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin, Dance Suite and Hungarian Peasant Songs, qualified as one of "the best five recordings of the year" in Hi-Fi News, and was awarded the Arthur Honegger Prize of the Grand Prix Nationale du Disque. Possessor of an extraordinary gift for encouraging young people, he was a founder and regular conductor of Jeunesses Musicales in Hungary, and invited guest conductor at International Youth Orchestra Festivals in Switzerland, Scotland, and Canada, where he conducted the Gala concert of the inaugural Festival of Canadian Youth Orchestras in Banff in 1974, returning frequently for 15 years.
After moving to Canada in 1991, Mr. Sándor was guest conductor with the Victoria and Edmonton Symphonies, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and the Sonor Ensemble of San Diego, and regularly returned to conduct in Europe. In 1995 he joined the University of Victoria as Artist-in-Residence, Music Director and Conductor of the UVic Orchestra and Chorus. He was appointed Music Director of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra in 1996.
In his native Hungary, János Sándor was awarded the "Franz Liszt" prize, the title "Merited Artist of the Hungarian Republic", and "Honorary Life Member" of the Györ Philharmonic Orchestra, which he founded as a professional orchestra in 1968.
After his death in May 2010, the GVYO produced a Special Edition Society Newsletter - June 2010 with tributes to János Sándor.
The Twenty Fifth Anniversary Season of the GVYO was dedicated to the memory of János Sándor in gratitude for fifteen years of musical mentorship.