Thomas Zehetmair is one of today’s most outstanding artistic personalities. As violinist as well as conductor and chamber musician he is highly regarded worldwide. He is Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, France and Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, USA.
In his position as music director with the Royal Northern Sinfonia from 2002 until 2014 he formed the orchestra into being one of the leading orchestras in the United Kingdom. As “conductor laureate” he will still be connected to the orchestra in the future. A series of recordings documents this utterly successful collaboration: Brahms’ Violin concerto and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 with Thomas Zehetmair in double function as soloist and conductor, a disc of Sibelius’ Symphonies 3 and 6, Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Schubert’s Symphonies No. 6 and No. 9, Gál’s Symphonies No. 1 and No. 2. His most recent recordings include Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 1 and No. 5 with the Musikkollegium Winterthur for D&G. Together with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, he recorded two albums dedicated to the works of French composers.
Thomas Zehetmair has recorded nearly the entire violin repertoire and a number of his CDs have been multiply decorated. His latest CD releases include B. A. Zimmermann’s “Canto di speranza” with the WDR Symphony Orchestra under Heinz Holliger (“Diapason d’Or de l’Année”´2009), the 24 Capricci by Paganini (honorary list of the German Record Critics’ Award 2009, Midem Classic Award 2010), Elgar’s Violin concerto with the Hallé Orchestra under Mark Elder (Gramophone Award 2010) as well as Mozart’s Violin concertos with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century under Frans Brüggen, referred to as a reference recording. In addition, ECM published the recording “Manto and Madrigal” in March 2011, on which Thomas Zehetmair and his duo partner Ruth Killius explore modern and contemporary repertoire for violin and viola.
As guest conductor Thomas Zehetmair works with orchestras such as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra Manchester, the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg (Salzburger Festspiele), the Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Zürcher Kammerorchester. As a soloist he is frequently invited to play with the most outstanding orchestras worldwide.
Thomas Zehetmair was honored with the German Record Critics’ Award for his versatile artistic work as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. He was also awarded the “Karl-Böhm Interpretation Award” of the Austrian State Steiermark during a ceremony at Graz Castle; the laudation was presented by Heinz Holliger.
Thomas Zehetmair holds honorary doctorates from the Music Academy Franz Liszt in Weimar and Newcastle University, UK.