Contzen began her career as a child prodigy and has since established herself
as a multifaceted artist whose versatility and curiosity express themselves in
her concerto work, her commitment to chamber music and her successful tenure as
festival director. Her performances and recordings have earned her the highest
praise from audiences and music critics alike.
Mirijam Contzen won the ECHO Klassik Prize in the category “Rising Stars“ and has since performed with leading
orchestras worldwide, including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Helsinki
Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, Bamberg Symphony
Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt,
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Sydney Symphony,
Melbourne Symphony and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with
the conductors Gerd Albrecht, Dennis Russell Davies, Raphael Frühbeck de
Burgos, Christopher Hogwood, Eliahu Inbal, Bobby McFerrin, Tomas Netopil,
Michael Sanderling, Leif Segerstam and Lothar Zagrosek. Highlights of her
2011/2012 season include an extended tour of South Africa and a series of
performances and recordings with historical performance practice specialist Reinhard
Goebel and the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra, featuring Mozart’s violin concertos
as well as various works by Mozart contemporaries.
Mirijam Contzen founded the chamber music festival Schloss Cappenberg and is
now leading the festival into its eighth season. The festival takes place
annually in northwest Germany
in late May / early June and presents a broad range of chamber music repertoire
performed by leading European musicians and soloists. In 2012 the festival will
feature works by Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen; the concerts
will be broadcast by DeutschlandRadio throughout Germany.
music plays an important role in Mirijam Contzen’s concert life outside of
Schloss Cappenberg. In 2011 she founded the Serafino Quartet and has performed
in various formations with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Natalia
Gutman, Clemens Hagen, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos, Stephen Kovacevich,
Mischa Maisky and Herbert Schuch, among others.
Mirijam Contzen is a frequent guest at music
festivals around the globe, including the Salzburg Festival, the Rheingau Music
Festival, the Athens Festival, the Pianofestival Ruhr (with pianist Adrian
Brendel), the Taipei Festival and the Verbier Festival. She participated in the Luzern Festival as a
member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado and has performed
chamber music with other soloists of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra at Carnegie
Hall. She plays in the world’s leading musical
cities and concert halls such as the Vienna Musikverein, the Berlin, Munich and
Cologne Philharmonies, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, London’s Wigmore Hall, the
Salle Gaveau and the Theatre des Champs-Elyees
in Paris, Zurich’s Tonhalle, the Sydney Opera House and Tokyo’s Suntory
Mirijam Contzen has made numerous recordings
for a variety of labels. Most recently Oehms Classics released two recordings:
a recital CD with the pianist Herbert Schuch featuring works by Brahms,
Schubert and Zemlinsky; and “Mozart in Italy”,
a recording of violin concertos by the Mozart contemporaries Tomas Linley and
Franz Lamotte conducted by Reinhard Goebel and recorded with the Bavarian
Chamber Orchestra. A 2-CD release of all the Mozart Violin Concertos with the
same musical partners is scheduled for release in late 2012.
Contzen’s talent was discovered by the legendary Hungarian violinist Tibor
Varga when he heard her perform a Mozart violin concerto - her orchestral debut
- at the age of seven. He was to become her most important teacher and mentor,
preparing her for the launch of her international professional career at the
age of 16.
Mirijam Contzen plays
a Carlo Bergonzi violin dated 1733.