Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2015/16 season will see him appear as soloist with orchestras such as Münchner Philharmoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg and Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Early in the season, Antoine Tamestit will perform the world premiere of Widmann’s new Viola Concerto at Paris Philharmonie with Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris. Daniel Harding will then give the Swedish premiere of the work with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra while the German premiere will be with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Meanwhile, Widmann’s Piano Concerto Trauermarsch will see its US premiere with Yefim Bronfman and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Widmann will continue his close collaboration with the Bamberger Symphoniker as their “Composer in Residence” for one more year. In addition, he will take up the “Creative Chair” at the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich featuring in different roles including composer, soloist, chamber musician and conductor. This series will see the world premiere of his new Trio for Viola, Clarinet and Piano. Further chamber music performances will include a return to Wigmore Hall London as well as Beethovenfest Bonn, Mozartfest Würzburg, Louvre Paris, Philharmonie Essen, Schubertiade Hohenems and Toppan Hall Tokyo. Amongst his regular chamber music partners are renowned soloists and ensembles such as Sir András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Mitsuko Uchida, and the Hagen and Arcanto quartets.
Continuing his intense activities as conductor, Jörg Widmann will perform this season with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Budapest festival Orchestra and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, of which he is Principal Guest Conductor.
As clarinetist, Widmann studied with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with leading world orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi.
Widmann will give the world premiere of Mark Andre’s new Clarinet Concerto at the Donauerschinger Musiktage. Other clarinet concerti dedicated to and written for him include Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999) and Aribert Reimann’s Cantus (2006).
Widmann studied composition with Kay Westermann, Wilfried Hiller and Wolfgang Rihm. His works continue to receive multiple awards such as the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Elise L. Stoeger Prize (2009), the Paul Hindemith Prize in 2001, the Arnold Schönberg Prize by the Vienna Arnold Schönberg Centre and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (2004) and both the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg’s composition award and the Berliner Philharmoniker Academy’s Claudio Abbado Composition Award in 2006.
Widmann’s compositions are performed regularly by conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle and premiered by orchestras such as the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and many others.
Widmann’s appointment as Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow at the Cleveland Orchestra established an extraordinary artistic collaboration with the Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Franz Welser-Möst including the world premiere of Widmann’s flute concerto, Flûte en suite in May 2011 followed by its European premiere in 2012/13 by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Emmanuel Pahud. Cleveland Orchestra featured Flûte en suit as centrepiece in their 2014 European tour, and dedicated an entire evening to Widmann’s works at the Berlin Philharmonie. His opera Babylon was premiered in 2012/13 at Bayerische Staatsoper under the baton of Kent Nagano. In the same season Alte Oper Frankfurt featured Widmann’s works in their composer portrait “Auftakt”.
Am Anfang by Anselm Kiefer and Jörg Widmann was premiered in July 2009 as part of the 20th anniversary of the Opéra Bastille, in which Widmann acted as composer, clarinetist and made his debut as conductor.
Widmann was Artist in Residence at leading Orchestras and Festivals such as Lucerne and Heidelberger Frühling and featured in Artist Portraits at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Cologne’s Philharmonie and New York’s Carnegie Hall, where his music was featured an entire season under the motto “Making Music: Jörg Widmann”.
Widmann is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin and a full member of the Bayerischen Akademie of Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freien Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz.