Tamara Chernyak, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, started playing the violin at the age of five. She studied with Michael Viman and graduated with honors from the Rimsky-Korsakov College, Conservatory and post-graduate programs with degrees in both performance and pedagogy. While studying, she became a member of the Mihaylovski opera and ballet theater, and in 1972 she joined the Leningrad Philharmonic.
One of the first women from Russia to become part of a major symphony orchestra, Ms. Chernyak joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1976 and played 38 years in the Music Center, Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall stages. She has appeared as a soloist several times including performances of Bartok’s Violin Concerto with Zubin Mehta and concertos by Vivaldi conducted by Christopher Hogwood and by Carlo Maria Giulini.
In her orchestral career, Ms. Chernyak has worked with world-renowned conductors and soloists including Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lorin Maazel, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Itzhak Perlman, Emmanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Midori, Evgeny Kissin, Leila Josefowicz, Gil Shaham, Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel among others.
She has played in the Salzburg Festival, Austria; Stravinsky Festival, Paris; Shostakovich Festival, Los Angeles; and Mahler Festival, Caracas and performed on the most famous stages in the world, including La Scala, Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall, Concertgebouw, and Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Chernyak has been recognized as one of the most dedicated and respected teachers in Southern California in both her private teaching practice and as a regular member of Gold Coast and International Beverly Hills festivals. She has served on the faculty of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and currently is professor of violin at Pepperdine University.