Hagen String Quartet  Sunday, February 26

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Christian Zacharias

With his distinctive combination of integrity, unique style, surpassing linguistic expressiveness, deep musical insight and assured artistic instinct paired with his charismatic and captivating personality, Christian Zacharias has made a name for himself not only as one of the world’s leading pianists and conductors, but also as a musical thinker. Beginning as a pianist and later moving on to work as a conductor as well, his international career burgeoned through numerous widely acclaimed concerts with the world’s leading orchestras, renowned conductors not to mention several awards and recordings.

Zacharias’ career as a conductor, pianist and chamber musician reflect his desire to build long-lasting collaborations with like-minded musical partners. As of the 2009/10 season, Zacharias has been an Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also maintains close ties with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Kammerorchester Basel, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Bamberger Symphoniker. Zacharias also performs recitals in the major musical centres of the world and collaborates with like-minded musicians such as Frank Peter Zimmermann, the Leipziger Streichquartett and Baiba Skride. Zacharias regularly turns his attention to opera, leading productions of Mozart’s opera seria La Clemenza di Tito, his opera Le nozze di Figaro and Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène.  In early 2015, he conducted Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège. This production was awarded the “Prix de l´Europe Francophone” 2014/2015 by the Association Professionnelle de la Critique Théâtre, Musique et Danse.

He has appeared in several films since 1990: Domenico Scarlatti in Sevilla, Robert Schumann – der Dichter spricht (INA, Paris), Zwischen Bühne und Künstlerzimmer (WDR-Arte), De B comme Beethoven à Z comme Zacharias (RTS, Switzerland) and released a recording of all Beethoven piano concertos (SSR-arte).

Zacharias’ work in the world of music has earned him numerous awards and prizes, including the 2007 Midem Classical Award “Artist of the Year.” The French government also honoured him as an “Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” and he was awarded for his contributions to culture in Romania in 2009.

During his time as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, his recordings with the orchestra garnered widespread critical claim among the international press. Of note is his complete cycle of Mozart piano concertos, which won the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique and ECHO Klassik awards.  His most recent recordings feature the four Schumann symphonies and C.P.E. Bach’s Berlin symphonies.

Christian Zacharias chaired the Jury of the Clara Haskil Competition in 2015 and will also chair it in 2017.