Max Zorin

  • Associate Professor, Violin
  • Violin

208 Music Building II

Max Zorin


Max Zorin serves as associate professor of violin at Penn State where he teaches violin, chamber music, pedagogy, orchestra excerpts, and is the faculty advisor of the Penn State Chamber Music Society.

Acclaimed by Strad Magazine for his “extremely compelling” interpretations, Max Zorin leads a multifaceted life as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. His debut album, “French Touch”, clinched a gold medal from the Global Music Awards while Strings Magazine praised his playing as “simply magnificent”.

In 2024, Max Zorin anticipates the release of his new album “Connections”, featuring works by Florence Price, William Grant Still, George Gershwin, and a commissioned piece, “Jazz Waltz for violin and piano” composed by Vincent Balse. Notably, this recording was funded by a Racial Justice Grant from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State.

As a dedicated pedagogue sharing his passion for music with aspiring musicians, Max Zorin regularly conducts masterclasses in prestigious institutions abroad including London’s Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, State Conservatory of Thessaloniki in Greece, Taiwan’s University of Taipei, Stolarsky School of Music in Ukraine, as well as in the US at New York University, Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, University of Georgia, University of North Texas, University of Illinois.

Zorin’s students won awards in national competitions including the Sphinx competition, Music Teachers National Association Competition, American String Teachers Association Solo Competition, as well as numerous local and regional competitions. They perform in many fine orchestras in the US and abroad including the Boulder Symphony (assistant concertmaster), Nashville Symphony (principal second), San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Colorado Symphony. Numerous students have become outstanding music educators in PA and elsewhere in the US.

Max Zorin performed throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Asia, Israel, Russia and Ukraine. Notable venues include Alice Tully Hall in New York, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Odessa Opera Theatre, Salle Moliere, Henan Art Center in China. He appeared as a soloist with the Saint Petersburg State Orchestra, Odessa Philharmonic, Orchestre de Chambre de Lyon, Williamsport Symphony, Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Youth Symphony. Summer festivals appearances include Aspen Music Festival, Granada International Music Festival, Music Alp, and collaborations with distinguished musicians, among them Maxim Vengerov, Itamar Golan, Henry Demarquette, Romano Pallottini, and the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet.

As an advocate of new music and artistic collaborations both inside and outside the classical realm, Zorin premiered numerous works and shared the stage with genre-bending artists like fusion violinist Didier Lockwood and rock guitarist Rik Emmett. His groundbreaking 2015 music video featuring an original arrangement of "Mack the Knife" for violin and jazz trio earned him the Emerging Artist award, by the Global Music Awards.

Zorin colors his tone so cleverly that you might not even realize that you are hearing a violin at the beginning. And throughout the suite, this isn’t a classical musician who is pretending to play jazz: This is the real thing.”
Fanfare Magazine (review of Mack The Knife)

In the summer, Zorin returns to France, where he spent his formative years, to serve as the co- artistic director of Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves; a summer music festival blending masterclasses, concerts, and wine-tasting, creating a harmonious celebration in the renowned wineries of Bordeaux.

Born in Israel into a family of professional musicians, Max began studying the violin at the age of five with his father, Zacharia, an illustrious violinist from Odessa (Ukraine). Max gave his first public performances when he was eight years old and at 17 won a First Prize at the Corpus Christi International Competition. Aside from his father, his principal teachers included Dorothy De Lay, Naoko Tanaka, Peter Oundjian, Ani Kavafian, Philip Setzer. Max holds degrees from the Juilliard School, Yale University, and a doctorate from Stony Brook University.

Max Zorin performs on a violin crafted by J.B. Vuillaume (Paris ~1850) and a bow by Edwin Clement (Paris, 2008).

Selected Work