On July 4, 2017, Arie Lipsky’s father, Haim Lipsky, died in Paris. Haim’s love of music (he played the violin and viola up to the last year of his life), his ever-ready bounty of jokes, infectious optimism, and his unerring drive to live the meaning of his name, “life” to the fullest, lives on in Arie. Haim was buried in his beloved Haifa, Israel alongside his wife overlooking the Mediterranean sea.
Haim instilled a pure love of music to his two children, Arie and Shifra. Arie, a world-class cellist and flutist, is Music Director and Conductor of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Ashland Symphony Orchestra, the Clarence Summer Orchestra, and also chairs the Chautauqua Institution Summer Chamber Music Program. Shifra, plays the viola, is a specialist in music therapy, and directs a long-running classical concert series in Paris.
As a prisoner in the Auschwitz death camp during World War II, Haim entertained German troops by playing his violin. In return for his concerts, they gave him a loaf of bread which he shared with his fellow orchestra players to survive. Haim’s story has been made into a play, “Haim: In the light of the Violin, a man playing for his life. Haim’s remarkable life and outlook proved that music is not only a living art form, but it can enhance and save life.
"My goal as a conductor is to be a musician who puts the music first, and to make sure what the composers wrote is delivered to the audience."
-Conductor Arie Lipsky
A musician’s musician, a most collaborative of conductors, and a community-recognized leader, Music Director and Conductor Arie Lipsky celebrates his 18th year with the A2SO this season. He has helped grow the symphony, improve its level of music artistry, and expand its audience to all of Southeast Michigan.
Born in Israel where he received extensive training as a cellist and as a flutist, Lipsky was just nine when he won the first of many prestigious musical competitions allowing him to solo with his town’s orchestra. After this impressive success, he began to appear in concerts throughout Israel and Europe. Lipsky subsequently began serious study of composition and conducting. His mentors include Semyon Bychkov, Yoel Levi and Kurt Mazur in conducting and Pablo Casals and Leonard Rose on cello. He holds degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Music which he received before serving in the Israeli Army.
After moving to the United States, Lipsky served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Ohio Opera. He moved to Buffalo in 1984 to become the Buffalo Philharmonic’s principal cellist and in 1990, he became the Resident Conductor. In early 1995, on short notice, Arie replaced the late Eduardo Mata conducting the Israel Chamber Orchestra, where his success resulted in return engagements with many of Israel’s orchestras. Lipsky also conducted the Arthur Rubinstein Orchestra in Lódź, Poland. Lipsky is the Music Director of the Ashland Symphony (Ohio), and also conducts major orchestras in the US, Canada and Europe.
An elegant and expressive conductor, Lipsky garners high praise from some of the world’s best conductors, audiences around the world, and the musicians with whom he works. As one local reviewer said, “under the baton of Music Director Lipsky, the Orchestra played with finesse and polish that experience brings to bear.”
Lipsky and the A2SO have created a distinguished CD, distributed on the Naxos label, of three pieces by American composer Paul Fetler. Also of note, A2SO concerts under Lipsky’s direction are being broadcast on WRCJ and WKAR radio stations.
Education and outreach are key drivers to Lipsky’s musical vision. Last season he visited over 30,000 youngsters in classrooms and coached orchestral and band classes in Ann Arbor as well as the five-county area. He continues the important side-by-side concert programs with the Pinckney Community Schools and inaugurated the Side-by-Side concerts with Ann Arbor’s Skyline High School this season.
Lipsky records on the Fleur de Son Classics label. His CD, New Arts Trio in Recital at Chautauqua was reviewed by Fanfare Magazine: “I’ll affirm that this is one of the most interesting and exciting discs of piano trios, or any chamber music, or any classical music I have ever heard.” Other critically acclaimed CD recordings include Schubert Overtures and Concertos by Sierra and Bruch, Guitar Concerti with the Castellani-Andriaccio Duo and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Arie was a member of the New Arts Trio in residence at the Chautauqua Institute, where he serves as Director of Chamber Music.
Lipsky, his wife Rachel and daughter Inbal reside in Ann Arbor.