Violinist Ivry Gitlis, who played earthquake charity concerts 3/11, dies at age 98

Israeli-born virtuoso violinist Ivry Gitlis, who held numerous charity concerts in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, died in Paris on Thursday, French media reported. He was 98 years old.

Born in 1922 in northern Israel, Gitlis was considered a child prodigy and entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 11, graduating two years later.

Violinist Ivry Gitlis. 04.30 Gamma-Rapho / Getty / Kyodo

Starting his full-fledged professional career after World War II, Gitlis played with many well-known conductors in the United States in the 1950s.

Although many foreign musicians canceled performances in Japan after the natural disasters of 2011 and the nuclear crash in Fukushima, Gitlis continued to hold concerts, including performances at evacuation shelters.

He also played a violin specially made from the wooden remains of a tsunami.