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Nadja Zwiener, Violin

Nadja Zwiener’s violin playing has been described as “breathtakingly…” and “insanely virtuosic”. At the core of her music-making, however, is direct communication with the audience, an exchange which leaves both performer and audience physically as well as emotionally and intellectually moved.

Although she was brought up in an academic and scientific household, both parents instilled in Nadja and her brother a keen sense that it was art and culture that bound life together and gave significance to learning. A large part of Nadja’s musical education was spent as a founding member of the Kuss Quartett at the Musikgymnasium Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach in Berlin. At the quartet’s inception the three upper voices swapped roles; this meant that, already as a teenager, Nadja became used to learning music as a conversation between equals.

Her desire to immerse herself in a different culture, coupled with the opportunities to travel offered by the fall of the Berlin wall, brought her to London for postgraduate studies. It was while studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama that Nadja had her Damascene moment as a Baroque violinist. Asked to play in the band for Monteverdi’s Vespers, she initially thought of the music as too dry and too remote to have any emotional impact on her.

What a revelation it was: the combination of instruments and voices, of richness and clarity, unfamiliar timbres and harmonic structures were inspirational; the method of working, bringing the musicians together into a true collaboration, combined the thrill of large-scale music-making with the intimate approach of a chamber musician.

These experiences continue to inform Nadja’s attitude as the leader of The English Concert, where since 2007 she has enjoyed varied roles as leader, chamber musician and concerto soloist amongst colleagues who are as able to give musical impulses as to receive them. She particularly enjoys working with singers and creating interesting chamber music programmes, which go as far as combining early music with improvised, electronic or even contemporary music and dance. She regularly collaborates with the sound designer Johannes Malfatti and various choreographers.

As a proud Thuringian living in Leipzig, Nadja feels very at home in the music of Bach, so she was delighted to be invited by conductor Hans-Christoph Rademann to help form and to lead a new period instrument orchestra for the Bachakademie Stuttgart in 2016. Here she focuses on one defining composer and repertoire, with its own defining sound based on the Middle German tradition. This is the perfect balance for her work with Harry Bicket, Kristian Bezuidenhout and The English Concert, whose kaleidoscopic and collaborative approach offer the same qualities that first struck her at those Monteverdi rehearsals over twenty years ago.

Picture: Antje Kröger

The Artist's Homepage: http://nadjazwiener.com/


Senza Basso — Auf dem Weg zu Bach

Works by Baltzar, Matteis, Westhoff, Torelli, Corelli, Vilsmayr, Pisendel, Purcell and Biber

Nadja Zwiener, Violin

GEN 21728Katalog