Julia Fischer

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Julia Fischer
Geigerin 09.jpg
Julia Fischer in 2006 (Photo: Tom Specht)
Background information
Born(1983-06-15) 15 June 1983 (age 30)
Munich, Germany
GenresClassical
Occupationsviolinist, pianist
InstrumentsViolin, Piano
WebsiteJuliaFischer.com
 
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Julia Fischer
Geigerin 09.jpg
Julia Fischer in 2006 (Photo: Tom Specht)
Background information
Born(1983-06-15) 15 June 1983 (age 30)
Munich, Germany
GenresClassical
Occupationsviolinist, pianist
InstrumentsViolin, Piano
WebsiteJuliaFischer.com

Julia Fischer (born (1983-06-15)15 June 1983) is a German classical violinist and pianist.[1]

Biography[edit]

Fischer, born in Munich, Germany, is of German-Slovakian parentage. Her mother, Viera Fischer (née Krenková), came from the German minority in Slovakia and immigrated from Košice, Slovakia, to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1972. Her father, Frank-Michael Fischer, a mathematician who was born in East Germany, moved in the same year from Eastern Saxony to West Germany.

Fischer began her studies before her fourth birthday, when she received her first violin lesson from Helge Thelen. A few months later she started studying the piano with her mother. Fischer said, "my mother's a pianist and I wanted to play the piano as well, but as my elder brother also played the piano, she thought it would be nice to have another instrument in the family. I agreed to try out the violin and stayed with it."[2] She began her formal violin education at the Leopold Mozart Conservatory in Augsburg under the tutelage of Lydia Dubrowskaya. At the age of nine, Julia Fischer was admitted to the Munich Academy of Music, where she continues to work with Ana Chumachenco.

As a teenager, she was inspired mostly by Glenn Gould, Evgeny Kissin, and Maxim Vengerov.[3]

She has worked with internationally acclaimed conductors, such as Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Yakov Kreizberg, Yuri Temirkanov, Sir Neville Marriner, David Zinman, Zdeněk Mácal, Jun Märkl, Ruben Gazarian, Marek Janowski, Herbert Blomstedt, Michael Tilson Thomas, and with a variety of top German, American, British, Polish, French, Italian, Swiss, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Japanese, Czech and Slovakian orchestras. Fischer has performed in most European countries, the United States, Brazil and Japan; in concerts broadcast on TV and radio in every major European country, as well as on many U.S., Japanese and Australian radio stations.

In 2003 Fischer, with numerous performances in the U.S. in the previous six years, appeared with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Lorin Maazel playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in New York's Lincoln Center, as well as the Mendelssohn Violin concerto in Vail, Colorado. Her 2003 Carnegie Hall debut received standing ovations for her performance of Brahms's Double Concerto with Lorin Maazel and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Fischer has been on orchestral tours with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Herbert Blomstedt and the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dresden Philharmonic.

In fall 2004 the label PentaTone released Fischer's first CD: Russian violin concertos with Yakov Kreizberg and the Russian National Orchestra. It received rave reviews, climbed into the top five best-selling classical records in Germany within a few days, and received an "Editor's Choice" from Gramophone in January 2005. Other critically acclaimed recordings include sonatas and partitas for solo violin of J. S. Bach, the Mozart violin concerti and the Tchaikovsky violin concerto.

Julia Fischer, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, December 2007

Among the most prestigious competitions that Fischer has won are the International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition under Lord Yehudi Menuhin's supervision, where she won both the first prize and the special prize for best Bach solo work performance in 1995, and the Eighth Eurovision Competition for Young Instrumentalists in 1996, which was broadcast in 22 countries from Lisbon. In 1997, Fischer was awarded the "Prix d'Espoir" by the Foundation of European Industry. She had the opportunity to play Mozart's own violin in the room in which he was born at Salzburg to honor the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Her active repertoire spans from Bach to Penderecki, from Vivaldi to Shostakovich, containing over 40 works with orchestra and about 60 works of chamber music.

On 1 January 2008, Fischer had her public debut as a pianist, performing Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt. The concert was conducted by Matthias Pintscher, who stepped in for Sir Neville Marriner. On the same occasion she also performed the Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Instrument[edit]

Currently, she plays on a Guadagnini 1742 purchased in May 2004.[4] For four years prior to that, she had been using a Stradivarius, the 1716 Booth, on loan from Nippon Music Foundation, an instrument that had previously belonged to Iona Brown. She usually uses a Benoît Rolland bow, but sometimes a copy of the Heifetz Tourte by the Viennese maker Thomas Gerbeth for early Classical period music.[5]

"I play on a 4/4 violin since I was ten. The quality of my instruments has improved over time: Ventapane, Gagliano and Testore to a Guarneri del Gesu in 1998. Yet I had not been happy with this violin and I changed to a Stradivarius [the "Booth" from 1716, owned by the Nippon Music Foundation] on which I played four years and that satisfied me. But I always wanted to have my own instrument. So six years ago, I bought in London, on the advice of concertmaster of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, one of my best friends, Guadagnini from 1742." – Julia Fischer, August 2010[6]

Since 2012 she has owned and played a violin by Philipp Augustin.[7][8]

Prizes and honors[edit]

Fischer has won five prizes for her violin playing and three prizes for her piano playing a.o. at Jugend musiziert. She won all eight competitions she entered.

About recording[edit]

As for recording for PentaTone, Julia “had offers from big companies but none appealed. You don’t have to record. Yakov spoke to the people at PentaTone and to me and put us together. PentaTone more or less gave me carte blanche as to what I record and the musicians I work with are my choice; all these things were so important to me. I record to experience something and to help my playing and music-making. For the concerto CD, Yakov and I really talked about the pieces; I learnt so much by that.” [10]

"What is helpful for a career is that it is always about the music and not about the career. As soon as a young musician decides for certain reasons to have a career instead of using musical reasons, I can guarantee that it will be – if it will be at all – a short career. I truly believe that if someone wants to spend his professional life with music, he will – either as a soloist, orchestra member, teacher, concert promoter, or agent – in the end it is unimportant. One should choose to become a musician because one believes that the world needs music and without music, the emotional life of human beings is going to die. Everything else will come with dedication and hard work.” [11]

When Kreizberg asked her to record with the Russian National Orchestra, she said yes, but privately wondered whether it would come to pass, knowing that such impulsive recording plans often disappear into thin air. Still after their last performance in Philadelphia, Kreizberg already had the dates and suddenly Fischer, who had not even decided whether she wanted to start recording regularly, had a three-year, seven-CD contract with PentaTone, the new high-tech Dutch label headed by former Philips Classics executives, and one of the first labels to embrace the new SACD 5.1-channel surround-sound technology. Although she still wavered, what decided her to sign on the dotted line was that all the concerto recordings would be conducted by Kreizberg. [12]

Discography[edit]

ReleaseComposer/Title of workPerformerLabel/Catalog no.Format
2002/08BrahmsEMI Classics

5573772

CD
2002/10VivaldiOpus Arte/BBC

OA0895D

DVD-Video
2004/10Russian Violin ConcertosPentaTone

PTC 5186 059

Hybrid SACD
2005/05BachPentaTone

PTC 5186 072

Hybrid SACD
2005/09MozartPentaTone

PTC 5186 064

Hybrid SACD
2006/06MendelssohnPentaTone

PTC 5186 085

Hybrid SACD
2006/09MozartPentaTone

PTC 5186 094

Hybrid SACD
2006/11TchaikovskyPentaTone

PTC 5186 095

Hybrid SACD
2007/03BrahmsPentaTone

PTC 5186 066

Hybrid SACD
2007/10MozartPentaTone

PTC 5186 098

Hybrid SACD
2009/01BachDecca

478 0650

CD
2009/09Schubert Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Volume 1
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano in D major, D. 384 (Op. 137, No. 1)
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, D. 385 (Op. 137, No. 2)
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, D. 408 (Op. 137, No. 3)
  • Rondo for Violin and Piano in B minor “Rondo Brillant”, D. 895 (Op. 70)
PentaTone

PTC 5186 347

Hybrid SACD
2010/04Schubert Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Volume 2
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, D. 574 (Op. posth. 162)
  • Fantasy for Violin and Piano in C major, D. 934 (Op. posth. 159)
  • Fantasy in F minor for Piano duet, D. 940 (Op. posth. 103)
  • Martin Helmchen (piano)
  • Julia Fischer (first piano part, D. 940)
PentaTone

PTC 5186 348

Hybrid SACD
2010/10PaganiniDecca

478 2274

CD
2010/08Saint-Saëns

Grieg

Decca

074 3344

DVD-Video
2011/04PoèmeDecca

478 2684

CD
2013/03Antonín Dvořák

Max Bruch

Decca

478 3544

CD
2014/02Sarasate
  • Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
  • Caprice Basque, Op. 24
  • Jota Aragonesa, Op. 27
  • Sérénade andalouse, Op. 28
  • El canto del ruiseñor, Op. 29
  • Danza Española No. 1: Malagueña, Op. 21, No. 1
  • Danza Española No. 2: Habanera, Op. 21, No. 2
  • Danza Española No. 3: Romanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1
  • Danza Española No. 4: Jota Navarra, Op. 22, No. 2
  • Danza Española No. 5: Playera Op. 23 No. 1
  • Danza Española No. 6: Zapateado, Op. 23, No. 2
  • Danza Española No. 7: Vito, Op. 26, No. 1
  • Danza Española No. 8: Habanera, Op. 26, No. 2
  • Milana Chernyavska (piano)
Decca

478 5950

CD

Fischer has also recorded videos of the Vivaldi Four Seasons performed at the National Botanical Gardens of Wales with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.[13][14][15][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.signandsight.com, January 10, 2008
  2. ^ What's On in London, April 20, 2005
  3. ^ (German)"Man darf nicht spielen, um bewundert zu werden", Die Welt (19 January 2009)
  4. ^ WQXR interview on January 4, 2006
  5. ^ 2008 WNYC radio interview
  6. ^ interview conducted by Olivier Bellamy in August 2010
  7. ^ Ereignisse (German)
  8. ^ Interview, 23 March 2013 on YouTube, by Frank Elstner, SWR German television]
  9. ^ Russian Violin Concertos CD review from Gramophone magazine, January 2005
  10. ^ http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_features.php?id=2532 What's On In London 20/04/2005
  11. ^ http://www.paganini.comune.genova.it/premio_quarta_febbraio2006_paganiniana_eng.htm PREMIO PAGANINI Newsletter Quarta Corda 02/2006
  12. ^ http://www.allthingsstrings.com/News/Interviews-Profiles/Violinist-Julia-Fischer-Exhibits-Wisdom-Beyond-Her-Years Strings magazine 05/2006
  13. ^ Spring on Youtube.com
  14. ^ Summer on Youtube.com
  15. ^ Autumn on Youtube.com
  16. ^ Winter on Youtube.com

External links[edit]