Mirijam Contzen

Mirijam Contzen


Mirijam Contzen is highly esteemed by the international musical world as a soloist, chamber musician, festival director and teacher. Her playing combines grandeur and technical mastery to create compellingly refined interpretations. Mirijam Contzen’s distinctive sound and unique power of expression testify to a profoundly individual musical understanding.

Born in Münster to a German-Japanese family, she was discovered at her orchestral début by the legendary Hungarian violinist Tibor Varga, absorbing through him the direct succession of Jenő Hubay, Franz Gábriel, Zoltán Kodály and Leó Weiner. International solo débuts with orchestra very soon followed in the greatest concert halls, including Cologne Philharmonie, the Rudolfinum, Frankfurt Alte Oper, London Barbican and Suntory Hall.

From the outset of her performing career, Mirijam Contzen has been a staunch advocate of unknown repertoire. In this vein, she recorded the violin concerto Et derrière toi marchent les étoiles..” by Nicolas Bolens with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. For her début CD, which was awarded the Echo Preis in 2001, she chose seldom played works by Hubay, Ferrara and Geszler.

Her CD recording with pianist Tobias Bredohl juxtaposes works by the composer Stefan Heucke with sonatas by Hindemith.

In January 2020 Sony will release the two violin concertos of Franz Clement with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne under the direction of Reinhard Goebel, with whom Mirijam Contzen has worked intensively over many years. The second violin concerto will be the world premiere recording. Franz Clement was the dedicatee of Beethovens Violin Concerto, which itself was composed in response to Clements first violin concerto. The recording forms the first part of the Beethovens Welt” (Beethovens World) cycle, which evolved under the artistic direction of Reinhard Goebel and explores Ludwig van Beethovens milieu. A further CD of the Hummel Double Concerto for Violin and Piano with Herbert Schuch and the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, also under Reinhard Goebel, is due for release in May 2020.

In the 20/21 season, Mirijam Contzen is a guest with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Essen Philharmonic Orchestra and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Beyond this, she will tour Germany with a programme of chamber music with pianist Bernd Glemser. She has worked with leading orchestras across the globe, including Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Conductors with whom she has worked include Iván Fischer, Gianandrea Noseda, Reinhard Goebel, Vladimir Fedosejev, Leif Segerstam, Lothar Zagrosek, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Christopher Hogwood, Eliahu Inbal, Tomas Netopil, Michael Sanderling, Mario Venzago and Gabriel Feltz.

From 2005-2018 she was director of the International Music Festival in Schloss Cappenberg, which was founded upon her initiative. The festival shaped the music scene for over a decade with its focus on wide-ranging communication and intensive interaction with audiences.
Furthermore, she is a regular guest herself at prestigious festivals including Salzburg Festival, Rheingau MusicFestival, MDR Musiksommer, Verbier Festival, Lucerne Festival and the Haydn Festspielen in Eisenstadt. Claudio Abbado also invited her to perform in his “Berliner Begegnungen.

Her passion for chamber music has led to collaborations with highly renowned musicians such as Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Mischa Maisky, Clemens Hagen, Herbert Schuch, Bernd Glemser, Tobias Bredohl and Giovanni Guzzo.

In 2016, Mirijam Contzen was appointed professor of violin at Berlin University of the Arts.
Of particular concern to her is the fostering of exceptional young talent on the violin, the commitment to training music teachers, and the interest in learning processes in society.


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F. Clement: Violinkonzerte Nr.1 D-Dur & Nr.2 d-moll

Mirijam Contzen, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Reinhard Goebel
Sony, 2019

W.A. Mozart: 6 Concerti per violino

Mirijam Contzen, Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, Reinhard Goebel
Oehms, 2014

Hindemith & Hecke

Hindemith: Sonate für Violnie & Klavier op. 11 Nr. 1;
Sonate für Geige & Klavier in E
Heucke: Sonaten für Violine & Klavier op. 38 & op. 58
Tobias Bredohl, Klavier
Classic Clips, 2012

Mozart in Italien

Mirijam Contzen, Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, Reinhard Goebel
Oehms, 2009

Zemlinsky • Schubert • Brahms

Zemlinsky: Serenade A-Dur für Violine & Klavier
Schubert: Fantasie C-Dur D. 934
Brahms: Violinsonate Nr. 3 d-moll op. 108
Mirijam Contzen, Herbert Schuch


J.S. Bach, Bela Bartok, Varga, Igor Stravinsky, Ysaÿe
Arte Nova, 2004

Favourite Violin Pieces

Kreisler, Dohnanyi, de Falla, Hubay, Rachmaninov, Bartok
Arte Nova, 2001


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