BiographyThomas Zehetmair’s ability to skilfully blend his musical interests is unparalleled. He enjoys widespread international acclaim not only as a violinist, but also a conductor and chamber musician making him one of the most prominent artist personalities of present day. His international career as a conductor is defined primarily by his position as Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, USA as well as Principal Conductor of the Musikkollegium Winterthur commencing with the season 2016/2017.
Taking the helm of the Royal Northern Sinfonia as Principal Conductor in 2002, he sculpted it into one of England’s leading orchestras during his term ending in 2014. As “Conductor laureate” he will continue to maintain close ties with the orchestra in future. A number of recordings document his exceedingly prolific work with the orchestra: Brahms’ violin concerto and Schumann’s symphony no. 4, Sibelius’ symphonies no. 3 and 6 as well as Stravinsky’s violin concerto in D major, Schubert’s symphonies no. 6 and no. 9 as well as symphonies no. 1 and no. 2 by Hans Gál. His latest releases feature Mendelssohn’s symphonies no. 1 and no. 5 with the Musikkollegium Winterthur (MDG) as well as two albums presenting works by French composers with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris (Naïve).
Thomas Zehetmair has recorded the largest amount of repertoire for the violin; many of his releases have earned multiple awards. These recordings include, among others, B. A. Zimmermann’s violin concerto with the WDR Sinfonieorchester under Heinz Holliger (“Diapason d’Or de l’Année“ 2009), 24 Paganini Caprices (the best list of the “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“ 2009, Midem Classic Award 2010), a recording of Elgar’s violin concerto with the Hallé Orchestra Manchester under Sir Mark Elder (Gramophone Award 2010) and Mozart’s violin concertos with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century under Frans Brüggen, acclaimed as a reference recording. Furthermore, the recording “Manto and Madrigals“ appeared with ECM in March 2011 where the duo of Thomas Zehetmair and Ruth Killius embark on a journey charting modern and contemporary repertoire for the violin and viola.
Thomas Zehetmair is both a sought-after soloist and conductor among leading international orchestras. He is also the founding member of the Zehetmair Quartet, with which he was awarded the Paul Hindemith Prize by the City of Hanau in November 2014 in recognition of outstanding musical achievement.
For his far-reaching artistic contributions, Thomas Zehetmair was awarded, among other things, the certificate of honour by the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik as well as the Karl Böhm Interpretation Prize by the federated state of Styria. Thomas Zehetmair is an honorary doctor at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar and Newcastle University.