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Thomas Zehetmair  violinist


Thomas Zehetmair is one of today’s most outstanding artistic personalities. As violinist as well as conductor and chamber musician he is highly regarded worldwide.

He is Music Director of the Northern Sinfonia in England, Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, USA and from the 2012/2013 season he takes up his position as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris (formerly Ensemble Orchestral de Paris).

Concert tours with the Northern Sinfonia have led him to the Hong Kong Festival, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany. Furthermore, Thomas Zehetmair and the Northern Sinfonia have released the following successful recordings for Avie Records: Brahms’ Violin concerto and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 with Thomas Zehetmair in double function as soloist and conductor, a disc of Sibelius’ Symphonies 3 and 6, Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, a CD of Schubert’s Symphony No. 6 and Gál’s Symphony No. 1, and most recently Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Gal’s Symphony No. 2. On the NMC label he has recorded a CD entitled ‘Unknown Britten’ with Northern Sinfonia and Sandrine Piau.

Thomas Zehetmair has recorded nearly the entire violin repertoire and a number of his CDs have been multiply decorated. His latest CD releases include B. A. Zimmermann’s “Canto di speranza” with the WDR Symphony Orchestra under Heinz Holliger (“Diapason d’Or de l’Année”), the 24 Capricci by Paganini (honory list of the German Record Critics’ Award, Midem Classic Award 2010),

Elgar’s Violin concerto with the Hallé Orchestra under Mark Elder (Gramophone Award 2010) as well as Mozart’s Violin concertos with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century under Frans Brüggen, referred to as a reference recording. Most recently, in March 2011, ECM published the recording “Manto and Madrigal” on which Thomas Zehetmair and his duo partner Ruth Killius explore modern and contemporary repertoire for violin and viola.

Thomas Zehetmair works as guest conductor with orchestras such as the Hungarian National Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra Warsaw, Hallé Orchestra Manchester, Camerata Salzburg, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra Munich, Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Orchestre National de Lyon.

His 2012/13 season includes concerts with Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands radio Chamber Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna and Bamberg

Symphony Orchestra. As violinist Thomas Zehetmair appeared at the most renowned European music centres including a residency at Salzburg Festival, featuring the world premiere of the ‘Double Concerto’ for violin & viola by Heinz Holliger, a performance with the Vienna Philharmonic, a solo recital and a concert with the Zehetmair Quartet.

In 2005, Thomas Zehetmair was honoured with the German Record Critics’ Award for his versatile artistic work as soloist, conductor and chamber musician.

In 2007 he was awarded the “Karl-Böhm Interpretation Award” of the Austrian State Steiermark during a ceremony at Graz Castle. The laudation was presented by Heinz Holliger.

Thomas Zehetmair holds honorary doctorates from the Music Academy Franz Liszt in Weimar and Newcastle University, UK.

Season 2012/2013

Northern Sinfonia/Zehetmair  Alfred Hickling The Guardian 9 November 2010

Thomas Zehetmair is a scintillating violinist and an inspired conductor, and is never more compelling than when doing both at the same time. On perhaps three occasions during a sublime account of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto did he feel the need to spin round and use his bow as a baton. The rest of the time, he closed his eyes and conducted with his shoulders, or possibly by telepathy, so intuitive has his relationship with this ensemble become.

On the recording "Unknown Britten" (NMC Recordings 2009)

"All the performances are superb. [...] And throughout, Thomas Zehetmair elicits razor-sharp, sensitively shaped playing from the Northern Sinfonia. In short, this is one of the most important Britten recordings in many a year."

Gramophone Magazine, Editor's Choice: Awards Issue 2009

Salzburger Nachrichten -  Aug.31st,2009:

"Thomas Zehetmair's packed-in listeners were motionless due to the uncommonly stupendous technique, control of the material, refined sound, open virtuosity, vivid brilliance and an almost inexhaustible, extraordinarily promising abundance of attitude and tonal quality in his playing... A memorable evening".


Thomas Zehetmair nella doppia veste di solista e direttore
L'incisione del Concerto per Violino di Brahms e delle Sinfonia no.4 di Schumann (nella versione originale del 1841)- recentemente pubblicata da Avie- è un'altra prova della ottima collaborazione di Thomas Zehetmair con la Northern Sinfonia , di cui è direttore principale dalla stagione 2002/03

"Zehetmair's daring success" di Erik Levi in: BBC Music Magazine- Luglio 2007- Disco del Mese
"Mutual trust is absolutely necessary as well as enough rehearsal time. The goal is more freedom and a very direct contact between soloist and orchestra."
"(...) The interpretation achieves a level of intimacy between soloist and orchestra that is almost unrivalled elsewhere(...)."
"(...) In the ensuing Adagio Zehetmair establishes a wonderfully fluid tempo that allows the phrases sufficient space to breathe yet maintains a real sense of creative dialogue between the violin and the solo wind instruments (...)

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