Stuttgarter Kammerorchester & Thomas Zehetmair

Biography Stuttgarter Kammerorchester & Thomas Zehetmair

Stuttgarter Kammerorchester & Thomas Zehetmair

Thomas Zehetmair
“Virtuosic technique combined with a musical spirit that questions everything. Zehetmair finds answers where other musicians don’t even see the question.”

Thomas Zehetmair knows how to combine his multifaceted musical predilection like nobody else. He enjoys an outstanding reputation worldwide not only as a violinist, but also as a conductor and chamber musician.

He maintains close musical collaboration with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Poznań Philharmonic as well as the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, with the Seattle Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra as well as the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Since the 2019/2020 season, Zehetmair is principal conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and assumed the same role with the Orchestre National Auvergne Rhône-Alpes in the 2020/2021 season. Zehetmair has also been principal conductor of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since May 2022.

From 2012 to 2015 he held this position with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and from 2016 to 2021 with the Musikkollegium Winterthur. From 2002 to 2014, Thomas Zehetmair led the Royal Northern Sinfonia and developed it into one of England’s leading orchestras. As Conductor Laureate, he will remain associated with the orchestra in the future. The extremely successful collaboration is documented by a number of recordings. Just released in 2023 is Casken’s double concerto That Subtle Knot, recorded with Ruth Killius, featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Bartok’s Viola Concerto.

Thomas Zehetmair has recorded most of the violin repertoire and many of his recordings have received multiple awards. These recordings include Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Violin Concerto with the WDR Symphony Orchestra under Heinz Holliger (Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2009), the 24 Paganini Caprices (Best List Prize of the German Record Critics 2009, Midem Classic Award 2010), a recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the Hallé Orchestra Manchester under Sir Mark Elder (Gramophone Award 2010), as well as Mozart’s violin concertos with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century under Frans Brüggen, which is referred to as a reference recording. More recent recordings include the four Brahms symphonies and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 with the Musikkollegium Winterthur as well as J. S. Bach’s six solo sonatas and partitas.

Furthermore, the recording of Manto and Madrigals with his duo partner Ruth Killius was released in 2011 by ECM, presenting contemporary works for violin and viola.

He is also a founding member of the Zehetmair Quartet, with which he was awarded the Paul Hindemith Prize by the city of Hanau in 2014 for its outstanding musical achievements.

In 2023, he will premiere his own composition for string trio Passacaglia, Burleske and Meditation in Switzerland.

For his diverse artistic activities, Thomas Zehetmair has received the certificate of honor of the Prize of the German Record Critics and the Karl Böhm Interpretation Prize of the State of Styria, among many other accolades. He also holds honorary doctorates from the Liszt School of Music in Weimar and Newcastle University.

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