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Antoine Tamestit

“His playing was distinguished by a lightness and rhythmic buoyancy that illuminated the varied dance characteristics of the suites. His crisp, spry sound in the faster movements became meltingly beautiful in the slower sections, like the Sarabande of the first suite; the whole work was enhanced by his graciously nuanced phrasing.”
New York Times, August 2014

Antoine Tamestit has achieved the rare distinction as a violist of playing at the highest level with orchestra and being constantly in demand as a chamber musician and recitalist. In August 2014 he was re-invited to the Mostly Mozart Festival and performed a solo recital of Bach and Hindemith, plus a chamber music concert with Martin Fröst and Shai Wosner. The New York Times praised his “refined, poised timbre” and “passionate spark, imbuing the ensuing slow section with an elegant range of textures and colors. The final movement, which Mr. Tamestit compared to a “reflective Sarabande,” unfolded with soulful intensity”.

Tamestit’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque period to the contemporary and he has performed and recorded several world premieres including George Benjamin’s Viola, Viola with Tabea Zimmermann for Nimbus Records, and the Concerto for Two Violas by Bruno Mantovani written for Tabea Zimmermann and himself, which was premiered with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the WDR Cologne. In 2009, the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth wrote her concerto for Tamestit which he premiered in Vienna, Berlin, and Tokyo.

As soloist, Antoine Tamestit has worked with the Vienna PO, London Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchestra, Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, RSO Stuttgart, with major French orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and with the several BBC symphony orchestras. He made his Russian debut at the Stars of the White Nights festival in the June 2014.

Chamber music and recitals are an important element of Antoine Tamestit's work and life and he is a regular guest in major halls across the world. He plays in a string trio with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera with whom he has appeared at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals and recorded Mozart Divertimento and Beethoven Trio Op.9 for Bis Records, and in a trio with Jörg Widmann and Francesco Piemontesi. He plays in chamber music with artists including Leonidas Kavakos, Gautier Capucon, Emmanuel Ax, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Emmanuel Pahud, Nicholas Angelich, the Ebene and the Hagen Quartets, Cédric Tiberghien, Martin Fröst and Shai Wosner.

Future engagements include performances with the WDR Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the at the Prague Festival, Festival d’Automne, twice at the Wigmore Hall, and in chamber concerts with Anne Sofie von Otter, Francesco Piemontesi and Jörg Widmann and the Trio Zimmermann. In the 2015/16 season Antoine Tamestit will premiere a concerto written for him by Jörg Widmann with the Orchestra de Paris and Paavo Järvi, and the Bayerischer Rundfunk and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding.

Antoine Tamestit has a distinguished discography. His recording of three of the Bach Suites on Naïve Records, released in November 2012, was described as “enchanting” by BBC Music Magazine (five stars) and his recording of BerliozHarold in Italy with Marc Minkowski and Les Musicians du Louvre, also on Naïve, was ‘CD of the week’ and praised by the Daily Telegraph, “strengthened by the rich, burgundy timbre of Antoine Tamestit’s solo viola and the mellifluous lyricism and vitality of his playing”. Antoine Tamestit’s recording of Hindemith solo and concertante works recorded with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Paavo Järvi, released in 2014, was awarded five stars by BBC Music Magazine. In 2015 Antoine Tamestit’s performance of Berlioz’s Harold en Italie, which was recorded in November 2013 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Velery Gergiev, will be released by LSO Live as part of the ‘Gergiev’s Berlioz’ series.

Other notable recordings by Antoine Tamestit include solo works by Bach and Ligeti (Naïve/Ambroisie), Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with Renaud Capuçon, Louis Langrée and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Virgin Classics) and the Schnittke Concerto with Warsaw Philharmonic and Kitajenko (Naïve/Ambroisie).

Antoine Tamestit is professor at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris. He plays on a viola made by Stradivarius in 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation. Together with Nobuko Imai, Antoine Tamestit is co-artistic director of the Viola Space Festival in Tokyo, focusing on the development of viola repertoire and proposing education programmes.

Born in Paris, Antoine Tamestit studied with Jesse Levine at Yale University and with Tabea Zimmermann. He was the recipient of several coveted prizes including the William Primrose Competition and the first prize at the Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme, Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2009.