Ivry Gitlis (Hebrew: עברי גיטליס) (born Haifa, August 22, 1922 is an Israeli violinist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. He has performed with the world's top orchestras (New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Philadelphia Philharmonic, and Israel Philharmonic), and many of his recordings are considered classics.
Born in Haifa, Mandate Palestine to Russian parents, Gitlis studied violin at an early age. When violinist Bronisław Huberman first heard him play, he sent him for study at the Conservatoire de Paris, where Gitlis won a first prize at age 13. His teachers include Carl Flesch, George Enescu, and Jacques Thibaud. In 1951, Gitlis made his debut in Paris.
His first recording, “Le Concerto à La mémoire d'un ange” by Alban Berg, won the Grand Prix du Disque in France.
In 1968 he participated in John Lennon's Dirty Mac project on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus program.
In 1971 Bruno Maderna wrote Piece for Ivry for him.
In 1990 Gitlis was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. His stated aim is the "support of education and culture of peace and tolerance".
Ivry Gitlis is a commentator (along with Itzhak Perlman) all the way through the DVD "The Art of Violin" (2000) which showcases performances and gives biographical details of many of the great violinists of the 20th Century.
Since the end of the sixties, Gitlis has resided in Paris, France.
At various stages in his career he played on the 1737 "Chant du Cygne" Stradivarius and the "Ysaye" Guarnerius del Gesu. Ivry currently owns the "Sancy" Stradivarius of 1713.