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The first concert of Series R features artists of worldwide renown: violinist F. P. Zimmermann and pianist M. Helmchen. The former in particular needs no introduction to Czech audiences. He has already appeared several times with the Czech Philharmonic. This, however, is to be his first Prague recital with a special Beethoven programme.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30, No. 3
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47 “Kreutzer”
— Intermission —
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 96
Frank Peter Zimmermann violin
Martin Helmchen piano
Beethoven’s ten violin sonatas hold a place of unmistakable importance in his oeuvre. In the course of the evening, we will hear three of them.
Frank Peter Zimmermann is widely regarded as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. He has been performing with all major orchestras in the world, among which the Berlin Philharmonic with whom he made his debut in 1985 with Daniel Barenboim; the Vienna Philharmonic with whom he played for the first time in 1983 with Lorin Maazel in Salzburg; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, all London orchestras, as well as all big American orchestras. He is a regular guest at all major music festivals, such as Salzburg, Edinburgh and Lucerne. Together with Antoine Tamestit (viola) and Christian Poltéra (cello) he founded the Trio Zimmermann. In recent years he has been giving recitals with pianist Martin Helmchen and during the 2021/22 season they are performing the complete or partial Beethoven sonata cycle in various major cities in Europe. BIS Records has meanwhile released the complete cycle on 3 CDs.
Over the years Frank Peter Zimmermann has built up an impressive discography for EMI Classics, Sony Classical, BIS, Ondine, Hänssler, Decca, Teldec and ECM. He has recorded virtually all major concerto repertoire, ranging from Bach to Ligeti, Dean and Pintscher; the six solo sonatas of Ysaÿe; the 24 Caprices of Paganini and the complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano by J.S. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. 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 two violin concertos of Shostakovich with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert (BIS; nominated for a Grammy Award.
Born in 1965 in Duisburg, Germany, he started learning playing the violin with his mother when he was 5 years old. He studied with Valery Gradov, Saschko Gawriloff and Herman Krebbers. He plays on the 1711 Antonius Stradivari violin "Lady Inchiquin”, which is kindly provided by the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, "Kunst im Landesbesitz".
Martin Helmchen has established himself as one of today’s most in-demand and sought-after pianists, characterised by the originality and intensity of his interpretations, alongside his excellent tonal sensitivity and technical abilities. In 2020 he was awarded the prestigious Gramophone Music Award for his recording Ludwig van Beethoven's complete piano concertos with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Andrew Manze, released by Alpha Classics. In the 2021/22 season Martin Helmchen is Artist-in-Residence with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.
From early on in his career Helmchen has performed with the world’s most renowned orchestras including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras or Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys collaborations with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Manfred Honeck, Bernhard Haitink or Jakub Hrůša among others.
Chamber music has a special significance for Helmchen; - a passion for which Boris Pergamenschikow provided the essential impetus. Close chamber music partners include his wife Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Julian Prégardien, Antje Weithaas and Carolin Widmann. Flanked by a complete recording of all sonatas for piano and violin on BIS Records, released in 2021, he will continue the great Beethoven cycle together with Frank Peter Zimmermann this season with concerts in Munich, London, Amsterdam and Prague.
Born in Berlin in 1982 and a former student of Galina Iwanzowa, Helmchen continued his studies with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. Other mentors include William Grant Naboré and Alfred Brendel. His career gained incredible momentum when he won the “Concours Clara Haskil” in 2001. Since 2010, Martin Helmchen has been an Associate Professor of chamber music at the Kronberg Academy.