Janine Jansen | Biography


Janine Jansen
It was always likely that Janine Jansen would make the violin her life’s work; she began playing aged six and both her parents were musicians, as are her two brothers. What was less predictable was that she would go on not just to play the instrument, but to become one of the true greats. A playing style that combines gripping presence with infinite subtlety of tone and phrasing has the critics reaching for every superlative in the book, wherever she plays across the world: “So golden, so delicate, almost ethereal” (The Times), “dazzling dexterity” (The Australian), “a tantalizing dance of colours and textures” (New York Times), “a stunning display of sustained intensity” (The Guardian).
Born in Soest in the Netherlands, she went on to study with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Philipp Hirshhorn and Boris Belkin. Her Concertgebouw debut in 1997 made her a great star in her native Holland, but she was destined for a wider stage. She was named a BBC New Generation Artist in 2002, made her London debut in the same year, with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, and three years later opened the 2005 BBC Proms with a performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto that really put her on the international map. Along the way she received invitations from some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. She has worked with such eminent conductors as Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Chailly, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Daniel Harding, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Mark Elder, Edo de Waart and Sir Roger Norrington.
Janine Jansen was the Featured Artist at the 2014 BBC Proms, culminating in an appearance at the globally-renowned Last Night of the Proms. Her 2015 diary takes her widely across Europe, with performances of the Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Mendelssohn violin concertos featuring prominently in the schedule. In February 2016 she tours Japan before playing a London concert then taking off again around Europe.
In addition to her concerto performances and projects, Jansen is a devoted recitalist. She established and curates the annual International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht, and since 1998 she has been a member of Spectrum Concerts Berlin, a major chamber music series in the Berlin Philharmonie. Her chamber partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Itamar Golan, Kathryn Stott, Julian Rachlin, Maxim Rysanov, Torleif Thedéen and Mischa Maisky.
Janine Jansen has an exclusive recording contract with Decca. She received warmly appreciative reviews of her coupling of the Beethoven and Britten Violin Concertos with Paavo Järvi, and each of her five preceding releases was awarded a Platinum Disc for sales in The Netherlands. With a winning collection of Decca releases, she is a firm favourite among record buyers, her repertoire ranging from Beau Soir, a French recital with pianist Itamar Golan, through a recording with Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Schubert’s String Quintet to Mendelssohn, Bruch, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky concertos. In October 2013 she released a disc of Bach concertos and sonatas, part of her Bach Project, in which she was joined by 12 of her closest musician friends for two extensive European tours including visits to Paris, Amsterdam, London, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich.
In October 2015 comes a recording of Brahms and Bartók concertos with Sir Antonio Pappano conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Both works feature prominently on her tours.
In September 2003 Janine Jansen received the Dutch Music Prize from the Ministry of Culture – the highest distinction an artist can receive in The Netherlands. She has won many awards, including the Edison Classic Public Award four times, three Echo awards, the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement, the VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs for individual achievement and the Concertgebouw Prize.
Janine Jansen could probably make magic on any violin, but a great instrumentalist deserves a great instrument. She currently plays the 1727 ‘Baron Deurbroucq’ Stradivarius, on loan from the Beare’s International Violin Society.