Born in 1947 in Uzhgorod in the former USSR, Mikhail Kopelman was a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory under Yuri Jankelevich and Maya Glezarova. In 1973, he won Second Prize in the Jacques Thibaud International Violin Competition in Paris. Mikhail Kopelman served as first violinist of the Borodin String Quartet with whom he performed and recorded for two decades and with the Tokyo String Quartet for six years. Currently Mikhail Kopelman performs as leader of the Kopelman Quartet. For over 15 years he has been closely associated with Sviatoslav Richter in numerous performances and recordings.
Mikhail Kopelman has taught at the faculties of the Moscow Conservatory, Yale University, and is currently professor of violin at the Eastman School of Music. Many of his former students now occupy positions in the most prestigious orchestras and universities throughout the world. Mikhail Kopelman has recorded for the Melodia, EMI, Virgin Classics, Teldec and Philips labels. In 1995, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award and the Concertgebouw Silver Medal of Honour.