A wonderfully versatile musician, Carolin Widmann’s activities span the great classical concerti, new commissions specially written for her, solo recitals, a wide variety of chamber music and period instrument performances, including play/direction from the violin. Widmann was awarded the Bayerischer Staatspreis for music in 2017, honouring her individuality and exceptional musicianship. Widmann was also the recipient of an International Classical Music Award (Concerto category) for her critically acclaimed recording of both Mendelssohn’s and Schumann’s Violin Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, released in August 2016 by ECM and which Widmann herself conducted from the violin.
Named ‘Musician of the Year’ at the International Classical Music Awards 2013, Widmann has enjoyed collaborations with some of the world’s leading orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, BBC Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Czech Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestra, with distinguished conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Roger Norrington, Edward Gardner, Sakari Oramo, Vladimir Jurowski, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, Christoph von Dohnányi and François-Xavier Roth. She has also appeared at such widely known festivals as Berliner Festspiele, Salzburg, Lucerne, Festival d’ Automne Paris, Ravinia Festival and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. During the 2014-15 season, Widmann was Artist-in-Residence at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, which included numerous recital and chamber performances as well as a play/direct project on gut strings with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. That season also saw Carolin perform the world première of a new violin concerto written for her by Julian Anderson, at the Southbank Centre with the London Philharmonic under Jurowski.
Recent highlights include Carolin’s debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Esa Pekka Salone, Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Maxim Emelyanychev and her New York debut play/directing the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as returns to the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein, and the WDR Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Cologne.
Highlights of Widmann’s 2021-22 season include engagements with the Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester with Robin Ticciati, and an Italian recital tour with Dénes Varjon. Carolin will return to Paris for performances with both the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Insula Orchestra, as well as to Moscow with the Russian National Youth Orchestra. Carolin will also perform two premieres this season – a new Haas Concerto with the Kammerorchester Basel at the Beethovenfest Bonn, as well as a new Streich Concerto with the Münchener Kammerorchester.
A prolific chamber musician, Carolin appears regularly at the leading concert halls including Wigmore Hall London, Bozar in Brussels, Louvre Paris, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Philharmonie Berlin, and the Vienna Konzerthaus. The 2018/19 saw Carolin embark on major recital tours of North and South America, as well as a return to the Wiener Konzerthaus to perform an all Beethoven recital as part of their Beethoven celebrations. She has also recently given the world premiere of Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto No 2 at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, as well as performed the work in Europe with Orchestre de Paris and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Alte Oper under Andrés Orozco Estrada. Her discs of Schubert and Schumann sonatas received critical acclaim including the “Diapason d’Or” and the German Record Critics’ Award. In 2006, Carolin Widmann’s debut CD, “Reflections I,” was named “Critics’ Choice of the Year” by the German Record Critics’ Award Association. Her recording of Morton Feldman’s concerto “Violin and Orchestra” with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under Emilio Pomárico was released in 2013.
Widmann has a special interest in connecting with other art forms; she has performed in choreographed concerts with the Sasha Waltz Company (at the Mozartwoche Salzburg and the opening week at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg), played a solo recital in a football stadium in Frankfurt at a project curated by architect Daniel Libeskind, and has designed concert programmes to be performed at museums such as the Museum Ludwig Cologne and the Museum of Modern Art MMK in Frankfurt. In March 2019, she was part of a project by performance artist Marina Abramović.
Carolin Widmann was born in Munich and studied with Igor Ozim in Cologne, Michèle Auclair in Boston and David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Since 2006, she has been professor of violin at Leipzig’s University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy”.
Carolin Widmann plays a G. B. Guadagnini violin from 1782, on loan from a Charitable Trust.