Mina Zikri, Founder & Director
As Founder, Music Director, and Conductor of the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, Mina Zikri is using his considerable talents to forge relationships with artists and musical organizations throughout the world, all in the name of developing new audiences for classical music. Recently he traveled with Daniel Baremboim as the backstage and assistant conductor for Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde on a tour that took them to Europe and South America performing at the Salzburg Festival in Austria, at The Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, and at Buenos Aires’ legendary Teatro Colón. He returns each season to his native Egypt to guest-conduct the National Symphony.
At a time when even some of the greatest orchestras in the United States are failing under the immense pressures of financial and cultural uncertainty, Zikri believes that the future of symphony orchestras can be, should be, and must be different form what everyone seems to expect.
A member of the faculty of DePaul University Community Music Division, his many career distinctions include his being named one of the twelve finalists in the 2007 Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition, where he was chosen from 223 candidates from 40 countries. He has attended the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado, on a fellowship, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from DePaul University, as well as a Performance Certificate in violin.
OSC welcomes its talented musicians from major music programs in the area, in particular, the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago with whom we have a strong professional relationship.
Why was the OSC named for a violinist?
Mina named the OSC after the esteemed Russian violinist David Oistrakh, who was universally recognized as one of the greatest virtuosos of the 20th Century. In Mina’s home country of Egypt, Oistrakh symbolized the undisputed greatness of Russian music, ballet and theater.
In the 1990s, Mina actually studied violin in Germany under the tutelage of David Oistrakh’s son and grandson.
The future of the OSC
In what some have started to refer to as our “signature” concerts, the OSC will continue to collaborate with well-known featured soloists from both the world of symphonic music and other musical genres such as folk, jazz and pop. Quality and innovation are fast becoming our trademark as we experiment to provide our audience a balance of historically proven and brand new music.
Mina and our musicians would love to see you at a concert and maybe share a glass of wine or beer with you after the show. Check out our upcoming Events for more information.
Hire the OSC
In addition to the public performances, the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago also performs for private events. Whether you need a small string quartet, a chamber group, or a complete orchestra, you can trust Oistrakh to deliver the finest musicians. Consider Oistrakh for your wedding, party, reception, or corporate function.
Contact us for more details!
Composer in residence
A graduate of Tufts University, Druzinsky studied harmony for several years with Mr. Ralph Dodds at the Chicago Musical College before entering a graduate program in composition where he discovered that atonal composers dominated academia. They held that tonality was no longer relevant. Determined to pursue his interest in tonal harmony, Druzinsky decided to study contemporary jazz piano. He was extremely fortunate to find Alan Swain, who was then teaching at DePaul University.
Druzinsky has studied piano with Vilma Krakow, arranging and orchestration with Cliff Colnot, and continues to study with Alan Swain. He earned a Masters of Music degree from DePaul University in 1990. Summers, he studied at The Aspen Music Festival with Mary Norris.
Members of the Oistrakh Symphony premiered Druzinsky’s chamber composition Roslyn Place in 2010 and debuted the full orchestral version, titled Roslyn Place Suite in 2011. They have also performed Druzinsky's string orchestra arrangements of three Brahms Intermezzi in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Druzinsky is currently composing a group of song settings of contemporary poems, the first of which premiered in October 2014.