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Principal Conductor

Jörg Widmannjorg_widmann

Principal Conductor / Artistic Partner

Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. In 2016/17 he will appear as soloist with orchestras such as Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana under Juraj Valchua, Orchestre National Belgique under Xian Zhang and the Orchestra Del Teatro Dell’ Opera di Roma under Peter Rundel. In July 2017 he will perform with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Kent Nagano.

In January 2017 Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie opened with the premiere of his new oratorio, Jörg Widmann was featured with an artist portrait, a solo recital as well as a duo recital with Mitsuko Uchida and in a play/direct concert with the Ensemble Resonanz.

Upcoming residencies include Brussel’s BOZAR where Widmann will be featured as soloist, conductor and composer. As the Munich Chamber Orchestra’s artist in focus he will perform a play-direct programme and his works will be displayed in a portrait concerto. Chamber music performances in 2016/17 include duo recitals with Mitsuko Uchida including the premiere of a new solo work for Uchida at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, a US recital tour with the Pacifica Quartet and recitals with the Hagen Quartet featuring the premiere of his new Clarinet Quintet at Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional.

Regular chamber music partners include Sir András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Elisabeth Leonskaja and the Hagen and Arcanto quartets. With Tabea Zimmermann and Dénes Várjon he will give trio recitals at Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao, at Brussel’s BOZAR and in Budapest.

Jörg Widmann will continue his intense activities as conductor performing with the Kammerphilharmonie Potsdam, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta and as its Principal Conductor with the Irish Chamber Orchestra with whom he will tour once more throughout Germany and Europe.

As clarinetist, Widmann studied with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with leading orchestras, including Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi.

Widmann gave the world premiere of Mark Andre’s Clarinet Concerto ..über at the Donauerschinger Musiktage 2015. Other clarinet concerti dedicated to and written for him include Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999) and Aribert Reimann’s Cantus (2006).

Widmann studied composition with Hans-Werner Henze, Kay Westermann, Wilfried Hiller and Wolfgang Rihm. He has won many awards including the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Elise L. Stoeger Prize (2009), the Paul Hindemith Prize in 2001, the Arnold Schönberg Prize by the Vienna Arnold Schönberg Centre and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (2004) and both the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg’s composition award and the Berliner Philharmoniker Academy’s Claudio Abbado Composition Award in 2006.

Widmann’s compositions are performed regularly by Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle and premiered by the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and more.

As its composer in residence Widmann established an extraordinary artistic collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Franz Welser-Möst including the world premiere of Widmann’s flute concerto, Flûte en suite (2011) followed by its European premiere in 2012/13 by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Emmanuel Pahud. Cleveland Orchestra featured Flûte en suit as centrepiece in their 2014 European tour, and dedicated an entire evening to Widmann’s works at the Berlin Philharmonie. His opera Babylon was premiered in 2012/13 at Bayerische Staatsoper under Kent Nagano.

Am Anfang by Anselm Kiefer and Jörg Widmann was premiered in 2009 as part of the 20th anniversary of the Opéra Bastille, in which Widmann acted as composer, clarinetist and made his debut as conductor.

Widmann has been Artist in Residence at leading Orchestras and Festivals including Lucerne and Heidelberger Frühling, Bamberger Symphoniker, Tonhalle Zürich’s creative chair and featured in Artist Portraits at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Cologne’s Philharmonie and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Widmann is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin, a full member of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz.

Framing Widmann’s own pieces were high-octane, edge-of-seat performances of Mozart and Mendelssohn.” The Irish Times

In Widmann’s hands the Hebrides Overture by Felix Mendelssohn turned into an extremely atmospheric painting of sounds. The broadly played cello line made the beginning exceedingly melancholic, and in contrast the faster part had enormous fire”. Kölnische Rundschau & Bonner Generalanzeiger



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