“Star of the show was viola player Antoine Tamestit. An impeccable soloist inHarold in Italy by Berlioz, he projected its lyricism injecting just the right sort of colour to tell a highly effective story of Berlioz’s Italian journey.”
Scotsman, April 2013
Antoine Tamestit has achieved that rare thing as a violist of playing at the highest level with orchestra and being constantly in demand as a chamber musician and recitalist. He was born in Paris and following his studies there, he went on to study with Jesse Levine at Yale University and with Tabea Zimmermann. Antoine Tamestit was the recipient of several coveted prizes which launched his career and gave him exposure in the US and in Europe - 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.
Tamestit’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque period to the contemporary and he has performed and recorded many world premieres. He played George Benjamin’s Viola, Viola with Tabea Zimmermann at the Feldkirch Festival before recording it in 2003 for Nimbus Records, and premiered the Concerto for two violas by Bruno Mantovani written for Tabea Zimmermann and himself with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the WDR Cologne. In 2009, the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth wrote a concerto for Tamestit which he premiered in Vienna, Berlin, and Tokyo.
As soloist, Antoine Tamestit has worked twice with the Vienna PO and with the 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 has also played in the opening concerts of the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York together with Louis Langrée and Christian Tetzlaff.
In November 2013, Antoine Tamestit will perform and record for LSO Live BerliozHarold en Italie with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev as part of the 'Gergiev’s Berlioz' series.
Chamber music is an important element of Antoine Tamestit's work and life and he is a regular guest in both chamber music and recital in major halls across the world. He plays as a string trio with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera and last season they appeared at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals and recorded Mozart Divertimento and Beethoven Trio Op.9 for Bis Records. He is a regular guest at the Verbier Festival and plays in chamber music with Leonidas Kavakos, Gautier Capucon, Emmanuel Ax and also performs with Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Emmanuel Pahud, Nicholas Angelich, the Ebene and the Hagen Quartets, Cédric Tiberghien and Francesco Piemontesi. In November 2006, he performed at New York’s Lincoln Center – the first time the Center has programmed a viola recital.
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.
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”. The next recording to be released is a disc of Hindemith solo and concertante works recorded with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Paavo Järvi as part of the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death.
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.