Violinist/Conductor Nikolaj Znaider’s Summer Is Whirlwind of Festival Dates

Beethoven in Cleveland (July 18), Brahms in Vail with New York Philharmonic (July 24), and Tchaikovsky in Salzburg With Vienna Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel (Aug 27 & 29)

In Dresden, Znaider Will Play and Record Elgar’s Violin Concerto – Now in its Centennial Season – Before Taking it on Tour

Nikolaj Znaider – recently selected as the “Top Choice” in the July issue of Classic FM magazine’s “Top Ten Violinists” feature – starts his summer in Dresden playing Sir Edward Elgar’s magnificent violin concerto in both concerts and recording sessions with the Dresden Staatskapelle under Sir Colin Davis. Znaider is devoting a lot of time next season to honoring the centennial of the Elgar work, which was composed for and dedicated to the great Fritz Kreisler. Amazingly, Znaider will perform the concerto on the same instrument Kreisler played for the world premiere – a 1734 Guarneri “del Gesù” on loan from the VELUX Foundations and the Knud Hojgaard Foundation, and one of several instruments Kreisler owned a century ago. Rounding out the CD will be a recording of Elgar’s Violin Sonata with Palestinian pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar joining Znaider. The recording will mark the fourth concerto disc in the violinist’s growing discography on Sony Masterworks, for which he records exclusively.

Znaider returns to the U.S. in mid-July for a series of summer festival performances. His first stop is on July 18 with the Cleveland Orchestra at their summer home, the Blossom Music Festival. Already a popular visitor in Cleveland – when he performed there this past season, the Plain Dealer raved about his “commanding, Apollonian technique” – Znaider will join the orchestra for a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto under music director, Franz Welser-Möst. Next Znaider travels to the beautiful Napa Valley and the Festival del Sole for a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto on July 22. Two days later, on July 24, he will wrap his U.S. tour at the Bravo!-Vail Valley Music Festival, repeating the Brahms with the resident New York Philharmonic under its next music director, Alan Gilbert.

Znaider returns to Europe in late August for an exciting set of concerts at the Salzburg Festival, with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of the incoming Los Angeles Philharmonic music director, Gustavo Dudamel. Pairing it with Stravinsky’s Sacre du printemps, Znaider takes on the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto for an evening concert on August 27 and a matinee on August 29. These will be his first performances with the orchestra since releasing his recording of the Brahms and Korngold concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, a disc that earned this rave from Gramophone in the July 2009 issue:

“Znaider is, for me, one of the greatest artists of his generation, and his consummate musicianship and glorious depth and range of tone are everywhere apparent, to particular effect in the Adagio of the Brahms..., where Znaider’s discreet portamenti make the most of the floating lines. ... The Korngold...should have seemed a mere bonbon after the Brahms, but such is the commitment from Znaider, Gergiev, and the orchestra that it’s a wonder from start to finish.” [Harriet Smith]

Nikolaj Znaider rounds out his summer season with appearances at the Jerusalem Intern ational Chamber Music Festival on September 1 and 2 and Northeast Germany’s region-wide Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where he will play the Brahms concerto with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields . Finally, Znaider will end the summer in the Swiss Alps at the Ascona Festival, conducting the Lugano Orchestra in a concert featuring Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2, which he will lead from the violin.

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