Violinist Gilles Apap is known for his virtuosic playing and for combining elements of jazz with the classical repertoire and interpretations of folk music from different countries. Born in Algeria, Apap started violin lessons when he was young in France, and continued his studies in the United States at the Curtis Institute of Music, before finally settling in California. Already early on he had decided to pursue his own path and not bother about the expectations and conventions connected with a commercial career. He has played as soloist with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the San Francisco and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, the Hamburg and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra and the Israeli Philharmonic. Apap plays in many crossover ensembles, with whom he tours performing at jazz and folk festivals in Europe. He is also very keen on teaching and uses his own improvisation-based teaching method in the many masterclasses he gives.