mmanuel Abraham began studying music in 2004 at age 14, under Juilliard graduate, Guillaume Combet, at the Merit School of Music, in metropolitan Chicago, IL.
Only 2 years later (2006) he auditioned into their Tuition-Free Conservatory. In 2008, Immanuel tied 2nd in their Annual Concerto Competition.
In 2009, he graduated from the institution as a Concertmaster of Merit Symphony Orchestra, winning the Victor DeGrazia College Scholarship— the institute’s highest graduation award.
During high-school, Immanuel pursued music intensively, holding principal positions in nearly a dozen youth and community orchestras, including the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest.
In 2009, Immanuel began violin studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
In 2012, Immanuel toured as Asst. Concertmaster of Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, during their Spanish tour to Barcelona, and Lloret de Mar.
In 2013, Immanuel joined the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp staff, and won their Staff Concerto Competition, where he soloed a live radio-broadcast of the Julius Conus Violin Concerto with the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra.
2013 also held his 2nd place winning in the Stamp.fm Online Music competition. After thousands of votes, he opened for rock bands “We The Kings” and “HelloGoodbye” at the Michigan Theater, performing several original compositions on his Electric Violin.
Immanuel has enjoyed work as Concertmaster of the Michigan Pops Orchestra, Violin Specialist of the Sphinx Organization, and a published composer of both solo, and chamber music.
Immanuel graduated Summa Cum Laude, and earned the 2015 Patterson Award and Engraved Medal along with his Master’s Degree in Violin Performance, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Immanuel also soloed one of his Caprices for their 2015 commencement, which may be seen here: Violin Solo at University of Michigan 2015 Commencement
At Michigan, Immanuel studied violin with esteemed Naumburg Award-winner Andrew Jennings. He is currently earning his Doctorate in Violin Performance, under Tucson Symphony Orchestra Concertmistress, Lauren Roth, at the University of Arizona
quick interview with Iman!
1) Hello! How are you and where are you right now?
Hi Ben! I am at the University of Arizona earning my Doctorate in Violin Performance. Right now I am in a practice room, taking a break.
2) What’s the violin to you?
I have a favorite language. I read it. I write it. I speak it. The violin is the voice I use to speak my favorite language— music.
3) If you didn’t play the violin or music, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would have studied to become a doctor of medicine. However, music IS medicine by any, and every definition. And I am earning my doctorate. The way I see it, I am not only becoming a literal doctor of medicine, but the best medicine I know.
4) True or False – Music is a universal language?
True. Even the deaf beat rhythms they never heard, and the blind sing to audiences they’ll never see.
5) Who’s your favorite composer and violin player?
My favorite composer (with few exceptions) is whomever I am privileged enough to play in the moment, otherwise I cannot make good music from it. My favorite violin player is whomever I am partnered with, otherwise I cannot make good music with them.
6) Most favorite piece to play on the violin?
Whichever I happen to be writing. I write something every day. About 1 in 100 ever becomes a full piece of music, but I love the process.
7) Your most favorite film?
The Star Wars Saga. I love Sci-Fi, and really anything that inclines you to look up and wonder at all that lays beyond the horizon of human sight.
8) How about favorite food?
Indian- this has never changed. As a lifelong vegetarian, Indian cuisine is my soul food.
9) Most memorable achievement in life?
I love my girlfriend very much. Every day she continues to be with me, I consider it an achievement on my part.
10) Lastly, is your violin a boy or girl, or unsure?
Sex is so integral to human thinking, that we attach it to everything- girl toys, boy clothes, girl car, boy video-game, girl movie… I like to think the violin transcends some of our earthly habitudes, and holds the potential to elevate us above some of it.