Peter Gelfand has served as Principal Cellist with Symphony Silicon Valley since its inaugural season in 2003. He served in that same capacity with the former San José Symphony from 1985 through that orchestra’s final season in 2002.
During his first three seasons in San José, he divided his time equally between the San José Symphony and the renowned St. Louis Symphony, an orchestra with which he toured and recorded extensively. From 1988 through the 1998 season, he also served as the Principal Cellist with the Monterey County Symphony.
In 1989, Professor Gelfand founded two prominent local chamber music ensembles: the San José String Quartet and the San José Chamber Players, both of which have performed in collaboration with virtually every major arts organization and educational institution in the Santa Clara Valley.
Professor Gelfand received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with legendary cellist Janos Starker. While at Indiana University, he also studied chamber music with Josef Gingold, Menahem Pressler, Franco Gulli, Gyorgy Sebok, and Eva Janzer.
Professor Gelfand has long been a passionate advocate for the Arts, Arts Education, and working artists throughout the Bay area. He has served as a Trustee with Silicon Valley Creates (Arts Council Silicon Valley) and currently serves as a Member of the Board of Directors with the California Music Center (Irving M. Klein International String Competition); as a member of the Executive Board of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 153 (San José); and as an appointed County Commissioner with the Santa Clara County-Province of Florence, Italy Sister County Commission.
A recipient of numerous grants to develop innovative family arts programs and curriculum-based music residencies for public schools, Professor Gelfand was honored in 2008 with the City of San José’s first ever “Champions of Arts Education” Award.
Professor Gelfand has been a member of the music faculty at Santa Clara University since 1993. He also has served previously as a member of the music faculties at Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory.