Kolja Blacher studied at the Juilliard School of Music with Dorothy DeLay and with Sandor Vegh in Salzburg. He performed as a soloist all over the world, with orchestras such as Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, NDR Symphony, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Orchestra di Santa Cecilia and Baltimore Symphony. He has worked with conductors including Kirill Petrenko, Vladimir Jurowski, Dimitri Kitajenko, Mariss Jansons, Matthias Pintscher, Markus Stenz.
Blacher’s programmatic spectrum comprises works for solo violin from Bach to Berio, the classical-romantic core repertoire, and contemporary music for violin and orchestra (including works by Magnus Lindberg, Kurt Weill, Hans Werner Henze and Bernd Alois Zimmermann). Open to new concert experiences, he gave the German premiere of Brett Dean’s „Electric Preludes“ for the six-string e-violin. In Autumn 2013, Blacher recorded Schönberg’s violin concerto together with the Gürzenich Orchestra under Markus Stenz.
In the past five years „Play-Lead“ concerts have become the new focus in Blacher’s artistic activities; as a leader – both as a soloist and from the concertmaster’s chair – he worked regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Festival Strings Lucerne, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Bern, Dresden Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the “Komische Oper” in Berlin. This new form of performance practice, increasing sought after, leads him all over the world, from St. Antonio to Kuala Lumpur, from Hagen to Paris.
Additional upcoming highlights in the 16/17 season include projects with Daniel Raiskin (Belgrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Steffens (Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz) and Alexandre Bloch (Düsseldorfer Symphoniker).
Blacher has recorded highly acclaimed CDs (e.g. Diapason d’Or) in collaboration with Claudio Abbado, with whom he has maintained close ties since their time at the Berlin Philharmonic and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. His latest release was Schönbergs’s Violin Concerto (with Markus Stenz and Gürzenich-Orchester Köln) in 2013.
Kolja Blacher was a professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg before returning to his hometown of Berlin, where he teaches at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler.” A born and bred Berliner – his father was the Baltic-German composer Boris Blacher – Kolja Blacher lives with his family in Berlin.
He plays a 1730 “Tritton” Stradivari, generously on loan from Ms Kimiko Powers.