Julia Fischer – Biography
“. . . a star act on a high . . . bright, attenuated sound, vibrantly expressive but never overbearing.”
Gramophone June 2013, CD review Dvořák & Bruch
“The Bruch receives a passionate and strongly compelling performance, with Julia Fischer delivering a dazzlingly brilliant and technically flawless account of the solo part . . . the refreshing thing about Fischer’s interpretation is its avoidance of mannerism . . . Fischer’s first entry [in the Dvořák], its high notes projected with razor-sharp concentration, has tremendous dramatic presence and the violinist sustains this level of intensity throughout the rest of the score.”
BBC Music MagazineAugust 2013, CD review Dvořák & Bruch
Violinist Julia Fischer was born in Munich in 1983 and began learning the piano from her mother at the age of three. Soon she took up the violin as well and, following three years of studies at the Leopold Mozart Conservatory in Augsburg, she became a pupil of the renowned violin pedagogue Ana Chumachenco at the Munich Musikhochschule. In 1995, only eleven, she won the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. The following year, in Lisbon, she took first prize at the Eurovision Competition for Young Instrumentalists and soon launched an international career that led to her breakthrough New York appearances in 2003 with conductor Lorin Maazel at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In 2007 she was named “Artist of the Year” at the Gramophone Awards.
As one of the most sought-after musicians of her generation, Julia Fischer now performs regularly with all the leading orchestras and conductors of Europe and North America and at the most important festivals, including the BBC Proms. Recent highlights have included her Salzburg Easter Festival debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle in April 2011; Mar’eh, the new concerto written for her by Matthis Pintscher, of which she gave the world premiere with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Phiharmonic in September 2011 at the Lucerne Festival; and her 2012-13 residency at the Berlin Konzerthaus. 2013 saw her performing solo Bach, Ysaÿe and Hindemith at Carnegie Hall and in Germany. Other highlights included her Vienna Philharmonic debut in May, playing the Beethoven and Salonen Violin Concertos under Esa-Pekka Salonen, a tour with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra under Sanderling in Germany and Switzerland and a European tour with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in September.
Her schedule for 2014, launched with performances of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst, continues with appearances with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker under Andrey Boreyko (the Mendelssohn and Schumann concertos); St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov at New York’s Carnegie Hall (Prokofiev 2); San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas (Prokofiev 1); Gewandhaus under Christoph Eschenbach (Schumann); London Phiharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski (Brahms Double with Daniel Müller-Schott), a Spanish tour with the BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena (Mendelssohn’s youthful D minor concerto) and a German tour with Jurowski and the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra (Schumann). The year’s solo recitals (with accompanists including Milana Chernyavska, Igor Levit and Yulianna Avdeeva), trio concerts (with Simon Trpčeski and Daniel Müller-Schott) and appearances with the Julia Fischer Quartet will take her to London’s Wigmore Hall (as artist-in-residence), the Prague and Heidelberg Spring festivals, the Gstaad Menuhin and Bratislava festivals, as well as to Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Munich and Dresden. Plans for 2015 already include a European tour of the Brahms Concerto with Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in May.
Julia Fischer, who has continued to play the piano throughout her career, made her professional keyboard debut at the Alte Oper of Frankfurt in 2008 performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto, and played Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto no. 3 on the same evening. This much fêted concert was released on DVD by Decca in 2010.
An exclusive Decca recording artist since 2008, Fischer’s first album with her new label – Bach concertos as both leader and soloist with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields – was released in January 2009 to exceptional critical acclaim (MIDEM Classical Award 2009 “Instrumentalist of the Year”). She has already won many prizes for her earlier recordings, including Germany’s coveted Echo Award in 2005 and 2007, the BBC Music Magazine Award and France’s prestigious Diapason d’or and Choc du Monde de la musique. For her second Decca recording, featuring Paganini’s 24 Caprices, she obtained a Grammy®nomination in 2010. Poème – a lyrical and poetic set of impressionistic works for violin and orchestra – was released in 2011. Her recording of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Dvořák’s Violin Concerto with Zinman and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra appeared in early 2013. February 2014 sees the release of the violinist’s album of showpieces by the legendary Spanish virtuoso Pablo Sarasate, in which she is accompanied by pianist Milana Chernyavska.
Julia Fischer, who regards teaching as a major component of her musical career, is a professor (Germany’s youngest) at the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt.