Described as “the pianist with golden hands” by international media, Jerusalem-born and Israeli native Yaron Kohlberg is one of today’s top Israeli pianists. He has played in major halls in 40 countries spanning five continents and has won more than ten international prizes, including the second prize at the 2007 Cleveland International Piano Competition.
Kohlberg speaks six languages, including Mandarin Chinese, and uses them often during his performances worldwide. He has performed as soloist at the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kremlin in Moscow, the UN Hall in Geneva, Asahi hall in Tokyo, the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, the hall of the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Melbourne Recital Center, Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires, Residenz in Munich, Shanghai Symphony Concert Hall, Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Phillipsaal in The Hague, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Salle Cortot in Paris, the Bellas Artes in Mexico City and elsewhere. He has also played in the Israel parliament (Knesset) and the residence of the Israeli president. His performances have been broadcast on major TV stations in China, Korea and Japan.
International piano competitions in which Kohlberg won top prizes include the Cleveland International Piano Competition (2007), the international Parnassos competition in Monterrey (Mexico), the Shostakovich competition (Hanover), the international Grieg competition in Oslo, the international competition in Andorra, the Top of the World competition in Tromso (Norway), and the Tivoli competition (Denmark). He won the young artist and Clairmont competitions in Israel and received various additional awards. Kohlberg appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Cleveland orchestra, the Copenhagen philharmonic orchestra, the Beijing symphony orchestra, the Oslo radio orchestra and the Palermo orchestra in Italy. He also played with all the leading Israeli orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Camerata, Haifa Symphony orchestra, Tel Aviv Soloist Ensemble and others.
In recent years Kohlberg has teamed up with his friend Bishara Haroni to form the highly successful Duo Amal piano duo. He also cooperates regularly with top musicians and ensembles around the globe. Kohlberg holds a graduate degree (with distinction) from the Buchmann-Mehta school of music of Tel Aviv University and is a student of the late Luisa Yoffe as well as Eitan Globerson and Arie Vardi. He served on juries of international competitions in the US, China, Mexico and Israel. In some of his concerts he combines classical music with new arrangements of popular and world music.
His performances have been met with outstanding praise from the press. About a recent concert, The Washington Post reported that: “Kohlberg showed an intuitive understanding of Schumann’s music, the fleeting sense of fancy, here light as a spider web and then crashing down with heavy-footed fury, both humorous and self-righteous.” NPR later commented that: “when the music ends, if you’re not deeply moved by the depth of Kohlberg’s insight, you might want to check your pulse.”
In 2018 he was instated as President and CEO of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.