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Frank Peter Zimmerman

Frank Peter Zimmerman headshot


Frank Peter Zimmermann is widely regarded as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. Praised for his selfless musicality, his brilliance and keen intelligence he has been performing with all major orchestras in the world for well over three decades, collaborating on these occasions with the world’s most renowned conductors. His many concert engagements take him to all important concert venues and international music festivals in Europe, the United States, Asia, South America and Australia.

Highlights during the 2023/24 season include a tour with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Daniel Harding, concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, all conducted by Mr. Harding, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner, the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Vladimir Jurowski, the Bamberger Symphoniker and Andrew Manze, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Kazuki Yamada, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert, as well as with the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, conducted by Rafael Payare and Gustavo Gimeno resp.. He also gives recitals in Europe with pianists Martin Helmchen and Dmytro Choni.

Over the years Frank Peter Zimmermann has built up an impressive discography for EMI Classics, Sony Classical, BIS Records, hänssler CLASSIC, Ondine, Decca, Teldec Classics and ECM Records. He has recorded virtually all major concerto repertoire, ranging from Bach to Ligeti, as well as recital repertoire. Many of these highly acclaimed recordings have received prestigious awards and prizes worldwide. Most recent releases include the two violin concertos of Martinů with the Bamberger Symphoniker and Jakub Hrůša, coupled with the solo sonata of Bartók (BIS); the complete sonatas for piano and violin of Beethoven with Martin Helmchen (BIS); a sonata and two partitas of J.S. Bach (BIS); the two violin concertos of Shostakovich with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert (BIS; nominated for a Grammy Award); and the violin concertos of J.S. Bach with the Berliner Barock Solisten (hänssler CLASSIC). In September 2021 the Berliner Philharmoniker released a special CD on its own label with Mr. Zimmermann’s performances of the Bartók, Beethoven and Berg concertos under conductors Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding and Kirill Petrenko resp. In 2022 it received both the Gramophone Award and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

He received a number of special prizes and honours, among which the “Premio del Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena” (1990), the “Rheinischer Kulturpreis” (1994), the “Musikpreis” of the city of Duisburg (2002), the “Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse der Bundesrepublik Deutschland” (2008) and the “Paul-Hindemith-Preis der Stadt Hanau” (2010).

In 2010 he founded the Trio Zimmermann with viola player Antoine Tamestit and cellist Christian Poltéra; the trio performed in all major music centres and festivals in Europe for well over a decade. BIS Records released award-winning CD recordings of works for string trio by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Schoenberg and Hindemith.

Mr. Zimmermann has given world premieres of Magnus Lindberg’s violin concerto no. 2, Matthias Pintscher’s violin concerto “en sourdine”, Brett Dean’s violin concerto “The Lost Art of Letter Writing” and of Augusta Read Thomas’ violin concerto no. 3 “Juggler in Paradise”.

Born in 1965 in Duisburg, Germany, he started playing the violin when he was 5 years old, giving his first concert with orchestra at the age of 10. He studied with Valery Gradov, Saschko Gawriloff and Herman Krebbers.

Frank Peter Zimmermann plays on the 1711 Antonio Stradivari violin “Lady Inchiquin”, which is kindly provided by the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, “Kunst im Landesbesitz”.

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