Sunday, November 6, 2011

Arabella Steinbacher

Arabella Steinbacher is a German violinist (and pianist, as were Fritz Kreisler, Arthur Grumiaux, Louis Persinger, and as is Julia Fischer) born (in Munich) on November 14, 1981.  She is now in the forefront of concert violinists performing all over the world.  She began studying the violin with Helge Thelen at the age of three.  He was her teacher for six years.  At age nine, she became the youngest violin student of Ana Chumachenko at the Munich Academy of Music. She received further musical inspiration and guidance from Ivry Gitlis, one of the oldest living concert violinists (among whom are also Zvi Zeitlin, Camilla Wicks, Ida Haendel, Robert Mann, David Nadien, Albert Markov, Abram Shtern, and Ruggiero Ricci.)  In 2001, she was awarded a scholarship by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.  She made her debut in March, 2004, in Paris, playing the Beethoven violin concerto, actually stepping in at the last moment for an indisposed violinist.  She was 22 years old.  Many other artists have begun their careers in similar fashion – Leonard Bernstein and Shlomo Mintz come to mind.  Steinbacher made her New York recital debut in June, 2006.  She has also already appeared with most major orchestras in the world – the New York Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic are the exceptions.  Steinbacher has recorded extensively and many videos of her playing can be found on YouTube.  One such can be found here. She received the German Record Critics Award in 2005 for her recording of both of Darius Milhaud’s rarely-heard Violin Concertos.  She now records exclusively for PentaTone Classics.  Arabella Steinbacher plays the Booth Stradivarius (1716) provided by the Nippon Music Foundation and uses a bow from luthier Benoit Rolland.


  1. Arthur Grumiaux was Belgian, not German. And there are many other German vioinists, living and dead: Georg Kulenkampff, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Frank Peter Zimmerman, Christian Tetzlaff ...

  2. Yep - absolutely - Grumiaux was Belgian. I was referring to the "pianist" part. In fact, Grumiaux used to do recitals in the course of which he exchanged places with his accompanist. Fischer is good enough to do that too, and so is Steinbacher. Hilary Hahn? Gil Shaham? Maxim Vengerov? I doubt it. (I'll need to rewrite that beginning.)