Yosef Tamir-Smirnoff (violin, viola)

A native of Moscow, Yosef Tamir-Smirnoff began studying violin at the Tchaikovsky Institute of Music under the guidance of Irina Kouznetsova. After immigrating to Canada, Yosef studied viola in Montreal with Alexei Dyachkov, the former violist of the Shostakovich Quartet, and in Bloomington at Indiana University where he was the Teaching Assistant of Professor Alan DeVeritch, graduating with an Artist’s Diploma. His other principal teachers are David Zafer and Steven Dann.

As a visiting artist, Yosef has given masterclasses at University of Toronto, Queens University, Silver Creek Music Foundation, Dalhousie University and Southern Ontario  Chamber Music Institute. He has been on a faculty of the Music in Port Milford International Chamber Music Festival and Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute.

Yosef has led the viola sections of Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and Norwegian Radio Orchestra. He has performed with I Musici de Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. He presently holds a position in the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed with Idyllwild Arts Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia Orchestra, Huntsville Festival Orchestra and others.

Yosef has been successful in numerous competitions: He won first prize in the Idyllwild arts Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Kuttner Quartet Competition, and second prize in both the American String Teacher’s Association and Montreal Symphony Orchestra Solo Competitions.

Yosef is a highly sought-after chamber musician. For nearly ten years he has been a member of the critically acclaimed Tokai String Quartet, prize winners of the 2007 Banff International String Quartet Competition. He performed as a guest member of St. Petersburg String Quartet. He has performed with the Ying Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet and Toronto’s ARC Ensemble. The recording that he made with the ARC Ensemble was nominated for 2008 Grammy Award. As a soloist and chamber musician he has also collaborated with Pinchas Zukermann, Measha Brueggergosman, Jasper Wood, Jonathan Crow, Ruth Laredo, Ilya Kaler, Anton Kuerti and others. His performances have been broadcasted on NBC Television, CBC Radio and WQSR radio.

New & notable

What's new

MTMS Online Recital June 2020

Even though we can't be together, we can still share our amazing achievements! Thanks to everyone participating in our first-ever online recital. We will be adding to this page as we get more recordings.


MTMS Online Summer Choir Program

When: June 29-August 21
Cost: $250 per child
Where: Your living room!

Like you, most (if not all!) of our summer camps and programs have been cancelled. We’re here to help!