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Nikolaj Znaider is not only celebrated as one of the foremost violinists of today, but is fast becoming one of the most versatile artists of his generation uniting his talents as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. Nikolaj Znaider was invited by Valery Gergiev to become Principal Guest Conductor of the Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg where this season he will conduct productions of Aida, Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni in addition to symphonic concerts. Last season he made his conducting debut with the Concertgebouw Orkest and Orchestra of Santa Cecilia Rome. He is also a regular guest conductor with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Russian National Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Swedish Radio Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony. The coming season includes collaborations with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and London Symphony Orchestra to name a few. This season Znaider is Artist in Residence with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, where he will conduct two symphonic programmes, and appear in recital and concert. In the 11/12 season Znaider appeared as Artist in Residence with the Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra, and last season with the

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Nikolaj Znaider is not only celebrated as one of the foremost violinists of today, but is fast becoming one of the most versatile artists of his generation uniting his talents as soloist, conductor and chamber musician.

Nikolaj Znaider was invited by Valery Gergiev to become Principal Guest Conductor of the Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg where this season he will conduct productions of Aida, Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni in addition to symphonic concerts. Last season he made his conducting debut with the Concertgebouw Orkest and Orchestra of Santa Cecilia Rome. He is also a regular guest conductor with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Russian National Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Swedish Radio Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony. The coming season includes collaborations with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and London Symphony Orchestra to name a few.

This season Znaider is Artist in Residence with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, where he will conduct two symphonic programmes, and appear in recital and concert. In the 11/12 season Znaider appeared as Artist in Residence with the Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra, and last season with the London Symphony Orchestra, playing concerti and conducting large-scale symphonic programmes in London and abroad.

As a soloist, Znaider works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras. Highlights of the coming season include performances with WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln under Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Orchestre de Paris and David Zinman, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala and Fabio Luisi, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Boulez, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and a European tour with the SWR Sinfonieorchester under Stéphane Denève, Orchestre National de Lyon with Alan Gilbert, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Franz Welser-Möst, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Neeme Järvi. He will also perform with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and Rumon Gamba at the grand opening of their new concert hall. In recital and chamber music Znaider appears at all the major concert halls.

His latest recording for RCA RED SEAL is the Elgar Violin Concerto with the late Sir Colin Davis and the Dresden Staatskapelle. His award winning recordings of the Brahms and Korngold Violin Concerti with the Vienna Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev, the Beethoven and Mendelssohn Concerti with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and Prokofiev 2 and Glazunov Concerti with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerische Rundfunk have been greeted with great critical acclaim, as was his release of the complete works for violin and piano of Johannes Brahms with Yefim Bronfman. For EMI Classics he has recorded the Mozart Piano Trios with Daniel Barenboim and the Nielsen and Bruch Concertos with the London Philharmonic.

Znaider is passionate about the education of musical talent and was for ten years Founder and Artistic Director of the Nordic Music Academy, an annual summer school whose vision it was to create conscious and focused musical development based on quality and commitment.

Nikolaj Znaider plays the “Kreisler” Guarnerius “del Gesu” 1741 on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theater through the generosity of the VELUX FOUNDATIONS and the Knud Højgaard Foundation.

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Reviews

"This Mahler Five was spine-shudderingly good... there was also much sumptuous, idiomatically Viennese string playing to admire — and especially the silky deftness, free of cloying over-sentimentality, that Znaider encouraged in the Adagietto."

Richard Morrison, The Times

"You could pick out strands of soloist Nikolaj Znaider's musical DNA - the sweetness of Fritz Kreisler, the muscularity of Zino Francescatti, and his own exquisite wisdom for setting off the poetic against the prosaic"

Peter Dobrin, Philly.com

"Znaider is a genial presence on the podium, conducting with the minimum of fuss and very precise gestures... There was no shortage of fireworks throughout the symphony and the Scherzo was particularly brilliant in this respect."

Peter Marks, Bachtrack

"...his technique is impeccable and his intonation spot-on... And if any soloist is going to do battle with an orchestra and come out on top, it’s probably going to be Znaider, who can project his sound better than just about any other violinist on the scene today. He tore into the first movement’s double stops and arpeggios with abandon but turned, a few bars later, and delivered a sweet, gentle account of the movement’s opening theme. The rest of his performance revolved around and between those two extremes: focused, polished, straightforward."

Jonathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse

"This spirited and virtuosic reading had in its favor the elan and natural charisma of Znaider’s playing, expansive in gesture, clean and well-rounded in tone."

Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe

"Nikolaj Znaider contributed a bold yet controlled performance as soloist in Brahms’s Violin Concerto... The violinist’s hall-filling tone was never harsh or forced, not even in this movement’s slashing triple-stop chords. [...] Znaider’s free and unforced style of playing let plenty of fresh air into the music, and his phrasing stayed shapely right through the up-tempo finish."

David Wright, Boston Classical Reveiw

"It was clear that Znaider was in the Mozart groove in his boldly authoritative direction of the late, and great, C major Piano Concerto...The last two movements of Mahler’s Fifth worked superbly well. An especially self-communing Adagietto, taken at a pace dreamy enough to let the harp’s undulations work their bar-dissolving magic, paused just long enough at the end for us to savour its muted interior, before Znaider threw open the shutters unto the finale’s breezy contrapuntalism."

Peter Reed, Classical Source

"Once again, Znaider showed himself a highly sympathetic Mozartian, alert both to harmony and to rhythm, flexible too... Znaider’s tempo for the Adagietto struck me as ideal: neither maudlin, nor aggressively ‘revisionist... Moreover, Znaider never confused sentiment with sentimentality... Equally impressive was the conductor’s manipulation of connections through pitch and rhythm to ensure that the finale grew out of its predecessor, rather than simply following on."

Mark Berry, SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL

"The LSO’s performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony was exemplary, Znaider deftly navigating with no score. Balance was beautifully controlled, showing incredible detail in those interjections – one minute a wind solo, next a pizzicato violin, next a timp strike – melodies passing effortlessly from section to section, instrument to instrument, with no blemish in the line."

The Guildford Dragon

"There’s discretion and intelligence to Znaider’s playing that defines the flavour of Brahms’s North-German/Viennese romanticism, elevated by the matchless, lyric sweetness of his tone. [...] This wasn’t an overtly emotional performance, rather one in which the layers of Znaider’s musing intimacy spoke as loudly as the more bravura moments, and which clinched its restrained eloquence and passion. What a great violinist Znaider is."

Peter Reed, Classical Source

"Znaider launched into his first entry with fiery purpose, barely allowing the first note to register before flowing from rhetoric to lyrical fluency in a single-breathed account of this long opening paragraph... To say this was all proper virtuosi stuff is to compliment further a performance that combined a sure musical intelligence with the sheer joy of playing."

Tim Homfray, The Strad

"The stunning opening cadenza demonstrated that Nielsen succeeded in his challenge, and it displayed Znaider's top assets – his gleaming tone and accurate intonation, as well as his tendency towards playing exceedingly fast with exquisite clarity. He never let the excitement subside."

Violet Bergen, Classical Source

"In Nikolaj Znaider’s extraordinary performance of the solo part, it was not that the work’s technical demands sounded easy but that they sounded musical... Mr. Znaider embraced Nielsen’s characteristic swift shifts of mood, from aggressive scherzo to arching lyricism. In one cadenza, his double-stops gave the amazing illusion of felicitous accident, the bow delicately falling onto the second string."

Zachary Woolfe, New York Times

"Riccardo Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus undertook a reappraisal of Mendelssohn... Nikolaj Znaider was the sensational soloist."

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

"This was a supreme interpretation, blessed with Znaider’s maturity, vitality and sensitivity."

Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph

"Everything about this performance hit the right target... Znaider’s understated eloquence and musical insights were superb in their own right."

Geoff Diggines, Seen and Heard

"The football-style roar from the sell-out audience at the end of the evening was a good indicator of the quality of the concert. [...] The Beethoven... was never short of excellent and often far beyond. [...] The message of universal joy was inescapable tonight... and it was a very happy audience which spilled out into the balmy Manchester evening."

Rohan Shotton, Bachtrack

"Nikolaj Znaider conducted the symphony in the best way possible, with a smile on his face... Working without a score, Znaider seemed a model of composure on the platform, employing minimal gestures to maximum effect. The explosive entry of the Hallé Choir sounded like the moment the musical atom split, while the orchestra clearly relishes playing for Znaider."

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

"The Second Violin Concerto, meanwhile, was thrill-a-minute stuff. Nikolaj Znaider played with an ideal mix of weight, sweetness and astonishing dexterity. Eötvös's conducting was lean, extrovert and wonderfully detailed. Outstanding."

Tim Ashley, the Guardian

"That catalyst arrived in the form of Nikolaj Znaider and his coruscating performance of Bartók's second violin concerto. Providing punch and punctuation, Znaider proved that lyricism and brawn are not mutually exclusive."

Gavin Plumley, Entartemusik

"Znaider's playing was not bombastic nor overly showy; instead it was graceful - even elegant - and was perfectly matched in style by the orchestra, which served more as partner than mere accompanist. [...] Znaider's journeys into the upper register were beautifully controlled. The second movement could only be called sublime. It led without pause into the third and final movement, a jolly, almost playful romp."

Alan Adams, Las Vegas Review Journal

"Standard 19th century works by Weber, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky led by Franz Welser-Möst shone with brilliance, and in the latter case, almost blindingly reflected the astonishing virtuosity of Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider."

Daniel Hathaway, ClevelandClassical.com

"The Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider played it like a man possessed: possessed not just by the music’s emotional power and lyrical beauty, but also by the spirit of Kreisler’s ages and by the potency and significance of the instrument to which he applied his brilliant technique."

Richard Morrison, The Times

"The soloist Nikolaj Znaider... managed to dominate the orchestra through sheer sweetness of tone, and a passionate lyricism that caught the shy, inward moments of Elgar’s concerto as well as its bravura."

Ivan Hewitt, The Telegraph

"Easily the outstanding feature of the evening was Znaider’s eloquence in the concerto. [...] Znaider always had romance and lightness at his fingertips. A year’s close relationship with this concerto has taken him to its heart. Kreisler’s own violin added its own dusky romanticism and it was good to hear Elgar played by a soloist of international class."

Richard Fariman, The Financial Times

"Znaider delivered a technically flawless, deeply committed performance, marked by great poise and wonderful sweetness of tone. His virtuosic playing rose to its greatest heights in his impassioned account of the expansive yet intimate slow movement."

Susan Stempleski, www.classicalsource.com

"His commanding phrases, pyrotechnics and emotional playing were balanced by intimate musical statements, soft dynamics and a heartbreaking vulnerability in the smallest moments of the piece."

Elaine Schmidt, Special to the Journal Sentinel

"Znaider is a wonder. His tone is so varied, but always full and rich. His pianissimo passages are very quiet indeed, but miraculously full and present. In speedy virtuoso passages, he articulates every note with hard-edged specificity. Most important, he understands the drama in the music."

Tom Strini, Third Coast Digest

"Schoenberg's Violin Concerto sounds much more conventional, except in one vital respect - the total absence of tonality, previously the backbone of Western music. The Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider dispatched it with such magisterial ease that this formidably difficult concerto sounded almost like a salon piece."

Paul Gent, The Telegraph

"Nikolaj Znaider was the soloist in the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms. One may hear this work performed with great regularity in the concert halls of the world, but will seldom hear a better performance than the one we heard on Thursday evening."

Kelly Ferjutz, Cool Cleveland Contributor

"From a distance it was difficult to tell how many fingers Znaider has, but the apparent ease with which he mastered the concerto’s unusual hand positions suggested he may even have grown a seventh."

Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

"This was a reading of considerable musicianship; Nikolaj Znaider is clearly a very special artist, presenting this masterfully composed score of utterly consistent style in a reading that could hardly have been improved upon."

Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion

"Znaider is never short of variety and his personality was imprinted on every phrase."

Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

"Znaider’s flawless, silky tone impressed every bit as much as it had in his performance earlier in the month of Schoenberg’s violin concerto. His solo line throughout the performance was extraordinarily nuanced, which is not to say that in any sense it lacked vehemence, especially in the perfect accomplishment of his double-stopping."

Mark Berry, SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL

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Discography