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    Celebrating Violin Artistry

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    Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
    Fri, 16 Dec 2022 20:00

    Celebrating Violin Artistry

    “You can hardly play the violin more expressively, more uncompromisingly than Gringolts,” writes Harald Eggebrecht in the Süddeutsche Zeitung about this exceptional musician. Ilya Gringolts won the renowned Paganini Competition at the age of 16. Since then, he has put his virtuosity at the service of subtle interpretations. Together with the Camerata Bern, he presents a programme of works from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century – the period in which violin artistry flourished in Italy: While violin makers were creating what are still the most valuable and best-sounding instruments, musicians were advancing their playing techniques.

    Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) and Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764) were highly influential throughout Europe as masters of their instruments, conductors, composers, and teachers. The famous Concerto in G minor by Corelli, who lived in the cultural metropolis of Rome and who counted Locatelli amongst his pupils, was premiered on Christmas Eve in 1690 before the Pope. Locatelli’s impressive caprices and concertos in turn left their mark on works by Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840). With his moving Violin Concerto No. 1, he demonstrated his seemingly superhuman technical abilities, for which he was admired as a soloist on tours throughout Europe. Ilya Gringolts and the Camerata Bern perform the concerto in its original version in E flat major, which is even more technically challenging than the widely used version in D major and therefore rarely heard in the concert hall.

    Ilya Gringolts, violin and direction

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    The violinist Ilya Gringolts wins over audiences with his highly virtuosic playing and sophisticated interpretations and is always seeking out new musical challenges. As a sought-after soloist, Ilya Gringolts devotes himself to the great orchestral repertoire as well as to contemporary and rare works; he is also interested in historical performance practices. His concert programmes include virtuosic early repertoire by Paganini, Leclair, and Locatelli. At the beginning of the year, he premiered his own arrangement of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. He also launched new works by Peter Maxwell Davies, Christophe Bertrand, Bernhard Lang, Beat Furrer, and Michael Jarrell. and premieres by Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Jarrell, Christophe Bertrand, and Albert Schnelzer. In the summer of 2020, Ilya Gringolts and Ilan Volkov founded the I&I Foundation for the promotion of contemporary music, which awards commissions to young composers. A first series of short solo works was created last season, including works by Yu Kuwabara and Sky Maclachlan, which debuted on BBC Radio Scottish and at the Accademia Chigiana.


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    Together with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the violinist started the current season at the Lucerne Festival and also appeared as soloist at the anniversary concert for the season opening of Ensemble Resonanz in the Elbphilharmonie. Further invitations have also taken him to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the RSO Vienna, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchestra in his hometown of Zurich, among others.

    Ilya Gringolts has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Sympho-ny Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orches-tra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Deutsches Sym-phonie-Orchester Berlin and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Recent highlights have been joint projects with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire. From the instrument, he has recently conducted projects with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and in the 2021/22 season the Camerata Bern, the Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana, and Ensemble Resonanz.

    For his Diapason d’Or and Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award-winning recording of Locatelli’s Il labirinto armonico (2021), Ilya Gringolts also led the Finnish Baroque Orchestra from the podium. This was followed in the same year by the solo CD Ciaccona with works by Bach, Pauset, Gerhard, and Holliger, which also received the Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award. His extensive discography of highly acclaimed CD productions for Deutsche Grammophon, BIS, and Hyperion, among others, also includes the critically acclaimed recording of Paganini’s 24 Caprices for solo violin and the second part of his recording of the complete violin works of Stravinsky (2018), recorded with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia under Dima Sloboden-iouk and awarded the Diapason d’Or.

    As first violinist of the Gringolts Quartet, he has enjoyed great success at the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Dortmund, and Teatro La Fenice in Venice. A highly esteemed chamber musician, Ilya Gringolts regularly collaborates with artists such as James Boyd, Itamar Golan, Peter Laul, Aleksandar Madzar, Nicolas Altstaedt, Christian Poltera, David Kadouch, Antoine Tamestit, and Jörg Widmann.

    After studying violin and composition in St. Petersburg with Tatiana Liberova and Zhanneta Metallidi, he attended the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Itzhak Perlman. He won the International Violin Competition Premio Paganini (1998) and is still the youngest winner in the competition’s history; he was also named a BBC New Generation Artist at the outset of his career. In addition to his professor position at the Zurich University of the Arts, Ilya Gringolts was appointed to the renowned Accademia Chigiana in Siena in 2021. He plays a Stradivari (1718 “ex-Prové”) violin.

    Season 2021/22

    Camerata Bern

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    CAMERATA BERN combines innovation and quality at the highest possible level. Full of curiosity and joy in playing, the ensemble forges new paths, tests limits, and delights audiences with daring programs.

    Founded in 1962 with the goal of performing as a flexible formation without conductor, CAMERATA BERN is today a world-renowned chamber orchestra with 15 members, all outstanding soloists. Patricia Kopatchinskaja has been Artistic Partner of the ensemble since 2018.

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    CAMERATA BERN plays repertoire stretching from baroque to contemporary, performing standing up and without conductor. The ensemble’s innovative programming combines different periods and styles and ranges from classical concert programs to staged concerts, chamber music projects, and children’s concerts. With its own concert series in Bern and strong ties to the city, the ensemble also appears regularly at international festivals and at leading concert halls in Switzerland, in Europe, in North and South America, and in Asia. CAMERATA BERN performs with high-profile artists such as Antje Weithaas, Sergio Azzolini, Steven Isserlis, Ilya Gringolts, Anna Prohaska, or Kristian Bezuidenhout. Each season the ensemble selects a composer in residence, in 2022/23 the German composer Jan Dvořák.

    Recordings on CD and vinyl have won several international awards, such as the Grand Prix du Disque, the German Record Critics’ Award or the Echo Klassik. The two most recent CD releases, «Time and Eternity» with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and «Plaisirs illuminés» with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta and featuring a commissioned piece by Francisco Coll (Composer in Residence 2018/19), were both nominated for a Gramophone Award. «Plaisirs illuminés» was also awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award in 2022.

    CAMERATA BERN carries out significant work in music education for children, performing regular school concert tours in the Canton of Bern. Since 2010, in more than 250 concerts, around 18 000 school children have been able to experience music of the highest level in an accessible way in their own classrooms.

    The CAMERATA BERN foundation is subsidized by the city of Bern, the Canton of Bern and the regional conference Bern-Mittelland. The foundation receives support from the Burgergemeinde Bern, the Ursula Wirz Foundation as well as other foundations, partners and sponsors.

    In the year 2022, CAMERATA BERN celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding.

    Event Details

    Date: December 16 @ 8:00 pm
    Time: 8:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Venue: Elbphilharmonie Hamburg