Soloist Gabriel Banat.jpg

Gabriel Banat

Violin | Chamber Music

As a chamber musician, Banat performed with the Galimir Quartet, the New Amsterdam and Albeneri Trios, The Rococo Ensemble, The Marlboro Festival, and the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles. Together with his violist wife, Diana, and Susan and Gerald Kagan, he also formed the Banat-Kagan piano quartet.

Devoted to contemporary music since his connection with Bartok and his teachers, Kodály and Enesco, Banat commissioned and recorded works by young American composers of his generation. His recording credits include Vox, Turnabout, CRI, Fimmadar, Decca and Decca-London.

In 1967, in the Auditorium of the New York Library of the Performing Arts, Banat and the Chilean pianist, Mario Miranda, gave the complete cycle of Mozart’s sonatas and variations. The following year collaborating with five different pianists, he gave a six-concert survey of 20th Century violin and piano sonatas. Both series were broadcast on WRVR and WFUV, the Fordham University’s radio station.

Banat’s research in European libraries resulted in “Masters of the Violin” a six-volume collection of violinist-composers of the 17th and 18th centuries (HBJ-Johnson Reprint, 1980), including concertos by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, premiered by Banat in New York, Osaka and Tokyo. In 1985, he re-discovered the original autograph scores of Mozart’s five violin concertos, believed lost in WWII. Published by Banat in facsimile (Raven Press, 1986) Isaac Stern declared the volume “Of enormous interest and inestimable value.” Subsequently, Banat performed them in Tokyo according to the manuscripts.

Banat taught at Smith College and Hart College of Music, lectured at NYU and headed the violin department of the Westchester Conservatory of Music, where he founded and conducted its youth orchestra He also gave Master Classes in the U.S., Japan, Spain, Mexico and Argentina.

During his 50 years as a concert violinist, Banat owned and performed on two violins by Stradivarius: The 1682 “ex-Hill,” now called the “Banat” and the “Pingrillé” dated 1713.

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