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Kolja Blacher

Born in Berlin, Kolja Blacher was accepted for study with Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School of Music in New York as a fifteen-year-old. He subsequently completed his studies with Sándor Végh in Salzburg before embarking on a remarkable career as a solo violinist. He has been a professor for violin and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg since October 1999. Since spring 2009 he has a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.

Kolja Blacher appears as a soloist with important orchestras, including the Philharmonic Orchestras of Berlin, London, Oslo, St. Petersburg, Tokyo and Munich, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the NDR Sinfonieorchester, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO), the Gürzenich Orchester Cologne and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He collaborates with leading conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, Vladimir Jurovsky, Mariss Jansons, Dmitrij Kitajenko, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott and Kirill Petrenko.

After the very positive response to his playing and conducting with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Santa Caecilia in Rome, the Hong Kong Philharmonic (Beethoven’s Violin Concerto), the Kioi Sinfonietta in Tokyo (Brahms Violin Concerto) and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Kolja Blacher has discovered his passion for performing both as a conductor and soloist and will appear more frequently in the forthcoming concert seasons in this twofold capacity.

In April of 2007 his recording of sonatas by Shostakovich and Mieczyslaw Weinberg (with partner Jasha Nemtsov at the piano) on the Hänssler label was recognized with the German Record Critics’ Award (Quarterly Critics' Choice). In May of 2006 his recording of the Stravinsky and Alban Berg concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado likewise won the German Record Critics’ Award (Quarterly Critics' Choice) as well as the Diapason d’Or. The German magazine Fono Forum wrote: “This live recording once again testifies to his standing as a world-class violin soloist. His rendering of Berg's score is characterized by clearness of melodic line, romantic yet continuously nuanced tonal production. The ‘tranquillo’ close of the work is captivating. Stravinsky’s violin concerto glows with concise and powerful exuberance.”

Kolja Blacher’s earlier recordings, including the violin concerto by Boris Blacher, Hindemith’s Kammermusik Nr. 4 as well as the violin sonatas by Schumann, Bartók and Holliger (with Bruno Canino at the piano), have been recognized with many awards.

In the 2010/2011 season he will be playing amongst others with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the DSO Berlin, the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi and the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2010/2011 he also plays trio concerts with Clemens Hagen and Kirill Gerstein.

Kolja Blacher plays the “Tritton” Stradivari violin from 1730, on generous loan to him from Ms. Kimiko Powers.
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