Since her extraordinary and unexpected debut in Paris in March 2004, when she stepped in on short notice for an ailing colleague and performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Sir Neville Marriner, German violinist Arabella Steinbacher has become a fast-rising star on the international concert scene.
Arabella Steinbacher's diverse repertoire includes more than twenty concertos for violin. In addition to all of the major concertos of the Classical and Romantic period, she also performs those of Barber, Berg, Glazunov, Khatchaturian, Milhaud, Prokofiev, Schnittke, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, and Hartmann.
Arabella Steinbacher records for ORFEO International. In 2007, Ms. Steinbacher received an ECHO-Klassik Award for Young Artist of the Year for her album, Violino Latino, a collection of a Spanish and South-American works performed with pianist Peter von Wienhardt. In addition, her recording of Shostakovich's Violin Concertos No. 1 and No. 2 was named among the October 2007 "Les Chocs du Mois" in Le Monde de la Musique. She received the German Record Critics Award in 2005 for her recording of Milhaud's rarely-heard Violin Concertos No. 1 and No. 2, and Concertino de Printemps; and again in 2006 for her Shostakovich disc. Her next CD for ORFEO, a recital recording of works by Ravel, Poulenc and Fauré, will be released in the spring of 2008.
Ms. Steinbacher's New York recital debut in June 2006 was called "a particular highlight of the month" by The Strad magazine. The New York Times wrote, "Balanced lyricism and fire ....among her assets are a finely polished technique and a beautifully varied palette of timbres."
In November 2007, Ms. Steinbacher made her debut as soloist with a major American orchestra, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi. The Chicago Tribune reported, "From her magical entry over hushed orchestral strings to the biting swagger she brought to the dancing finale, it was evident that her feeling for this music runs as deep as her technical command. The central Adagio came off especially beautifully, Steinbacher conveying its brooding melancholy with a rich vibrato, impeccable intonation and a remarkable breadth of phrasing. The sound she drew from her 1716 "Booth" Stradivari stood out from the orchestra: limitless tonal depth swaddled in velvet. Let's have her back, and soon." In conjunction with the concert, Ms. Steinbacher was featured in MUSO magazine, The Strad, Time Out Chicago, and Chicago magazine.
Other highlights of Ms. Steinbacher's 2007-2008 season include debuts with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner (broadcast live on national television and radio), the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Luisi, the Orchestre National de Belgique under Walter Weller, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Marek Janowski, and the Orchestra Nacionales de Espana under Mark Albrecht. She will also tour with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the European Youth Orchestra, performing in cities including Bucharest, Vienna, Liverpool and Bratislava. In addition, in April 2008 Ms. Steinbacher will perform recitals in New York and San Francisco, and on July 12, 2008, she will open the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, performing with the NDR-Sinfonieorchester led by Christoph von Dohnányi. The concert will be broadcast live on national television and radio.
Highlights of the 2008-2009 season include Ms. Steinbacher's debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Marek Janowski, her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, her official subscription series debut with the NDR-Sinfonieorchester under Christoph von Dohnányi, and her debut with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner. In addition, she will perform at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and in December 2008 will make her recital debut at the Theatre de Champs Elysee. Ms. Steinbacher will also appear with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, Prague Symphony Orchestra, and the National Orchestra of Belgium. She will perform during the Beethoven Easter Festival in Prague, and tour with Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In May 2009, she will perform four concerts with the Netherlands Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and then tour Spain with that orchestra. In June, she will perform Sofia Gubaidulina's Offertorium with the Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris at Salle Pleyel in Paris under Christoph von Dohnányi; in October, she will perform at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt following a tour of China. Future highlights include an appearance with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester with Sir Colin Davis during the 2009-2010 season.
Arabella Steinbacher has already appeared with leading international orchestras including the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, The London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Orquesta Sinfónica de la RTVE of Madrid, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, the WDR Orchestra of Cologne, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the MDR-Sinfonieorchester, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Danish Orchestra.
Highlights of past seasons have included a critically acclaimed tour of Germany with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Yuri Termirkanov, a tour of the United States with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a Tokyo debut with the New Japan Philharmonic, a recital debut at the Tonhalle in Zürich, a performance of the Berg violin concerto at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw, and a performance of the Beethoven Concerto with the Russian National Orchestra under Vladimir Spivakov at the 2006 International Music Festival in Colmar.
An important part of Arabella Steinbacher's concert calendar is devoted to chamber music. Her chamber music partners include the pianists Robert Kulek and Peter von Wienhardt, as well as the cellists Alban Gerhardt and Daniel Müller-Schott. Recitals and trio concerts are scheduled for cities all over the world, as well as at international music festivals including the Munich Summer Festival, Schleswig-Holstein-Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Salzburg Festival, and the Schwetzinger Festival.
Born in Munich in 1981 to a German father and a Japanese mother, Arabella Steinbacher began studying the violin at the age of three. Her mother is a professionally trained singer who came to Germany from Japan to study music, and her father was the first Solorepetitor in the Bayerische Staatsoper, from 1960 to 1972.
At nine, she became the youngest violin student of Ana Chumachenko at the Munich Academy of Music. She received further musical inspiration and guidance from Ivry Gitlis, whom she still meets regularly in Paris. In 2001, she won the sponsorship prize of the Free State of Bavaria and in the same year she was awarded a scholarship by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. From Anne-Sophie Mutter, who personally supports her, Ms. Steinbacher received a bow from the master luthier Benoit Rolland.
Arabella Steinbacher plays the "Booth" Stradivari (1716) generously provided by the Nippon Music Foundation.
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