Violin Sonata in g-minor BWV 1020

Arvo Pärt


Johann Sebastian Bach

Violin Sonata g-major BWV 1019

Richard Strauss

Violin Sonata es-major op. 18

Arabella Steinbacher
Robert Kulek

Violin virtuoso Arabella Steinbacher and her piano accompanist Robert Kulek were inspired to compile an exciting programme. The two Bach sonatas BWV 1019 and BWV 1020 (today mostly assigned to his son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach) emanate late Baroque elegance and delicate melody. They contrast effectively with the only violin sonata in E-flat major (1887/88) by the 23-year-old Richard Strauss - a stormy test of talent that predicts later symphonic poems and even the Rosenkavalier. Arvo Pärt is the most famous Estonian composer. His works are created for renowned orchestras and musicians. Fratres (1977) is the result of Pärt's preoccupation with the music of the Middle Ages: the composition is archaic in its resonance and finally finds its peace and spiritual calm.

In cooperation with Schloss Elmau as part of the "Woche der Romantik".

(c) Sammy Hart
(c) Sammy Hart

Arabella SteinbacherArabella Steinbacher is celebrated as one of today’s leading violinists, since she gave her outstanding debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Sir Neville Marriner in Paris in 2004.
Known for her extraordinary varied repertoire, Arabella Steinbacher plays in addition to all major classical and romantic violin concertos also those of Bartók, Berg, Glazunov, Katchaturian, Milhaud, Prokofiev, Schnittke. Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Hindemith, Hartmann and Sofia Gubaidulinas Offertorium to name a few.

In Germany, Arabella Steinbacher frequently plays with all major orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and the NDR Symphony Orchestra under conductors such as the late Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, Riccardo Chailly, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Thomas Hengelbrock.
Internationally, Arabella Steinbacher appears with New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony, Orchestra National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra. Her debuts at the Salzburger Festspiele, at the “Proms” in London at Royal Albert Hall and at the New York Carnegie Hall have been praised by international press.
In the season 2016/17 Arabella Steinbacher appeares as Principal Guest Artist in the concert series of the Frankfurter Museums-Gesellschaft and plays with the Frankfurter Museumsorchester under Hartmut Haenchen. Highlights of the season include her first tour with the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko throughout Europe, performances of Hindemith’s violin concerto with the San Francisco Symphony under Marek Janowski, with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Luisi as well as the RSB Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski among others. She also appeares in recitals with her longtime duo-partners Robert Kulek and Peter von Wienhardt.
As CARE ambassador Arabella Steinbacher continually supports people in need. In December 2011 she toured though Japan commemorating the tsunami catastrophe of the same year. The DVD ‘Arabella Steinbacher – Music of Hope’ with her recordings of this tour was later released by the label Nightberry.
On her new album ‘Fantasies, Rhapsodies and Daydreams’ Arabella Steinbacher revisits an earlier musical era, in which playing famous virtuosic pieces by Camille Saint-Saëns, Maurice Ravel, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Pablo de Sarasate, Jules Massenet and Franz Waxman was very common. The Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo under the baton of Lawrence Foster is accompanying her on the 2016 release by Pentatone Classics. Earlier recordings include a Mozart album with the Festival Strings Lucerne, an album with sonatas by Richard Strauss and Cesar Franck with pianist Robert Kulek and her last recording by Pentatone Classics in collaboration with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Charles Dutoit with violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. Among many international and national music prizes and nominations, she was awarded with the ECHO Klassik twice. Arabella Steinbacher has been recording exclusively for Pentatone Classics since 2009.
Born into a family of musicians, Arabella Steinbacher plays the violin since the age of three and studied with Ana Chumachenco at the Munich Academy of Music since the age of nine. A source of musical inspiration and guidance of hers is Israeli violinist Ivry Gitlis.
Arabella Steinbacher currently plays the 1716 ‘Booth’ Stradivari, generously loaned by the Nippon Music Foundation.

Robert Kulek

Robert KulekThanks to his versatility as a collaborative pianist, Robert Kulek regularly performs with some of the foremost instrumentalists of today, including Nikolaj Znaider, Arabella Steinbacher, Daniel Mueller-Schott, Augustin Hadelich and Simone Lamsma.
He has also worked with such distinguished musicians as Kyung-Wha Chung, Gil Shaham, Julia Fischer, Julian Rachlin, Viviane Hagner, Shmuel Ashkenazi and Alisa Weilerstein, as well as the Jerusalem, Vogler and Aviv Quartets.
His repertoire ranges from Bach to Ligeti and includes over 120 works for duo, trio, quartet and quintet.

Robert Kulek has received high critical acclaim for his work in Europe, North America and the Far East. His concerts have taken him to venues such as the Philharmonie in Berlin, Semperoper in Dresden, Philharmonie in Cologne, Herkulessaal in Munich, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Tonhalle in Zurich, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Musée du Louvre in Paris, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre in London, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Teatro della Pergola in Florence, Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Filarmonica in Bilbao, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Chan Center in Vancouver, Palais des Beaux Arts and Pollack Hall in Montreal, Seoul Arts Center in South Korea, and Casals and Ohji Halls in Tokyo.
His festival appearances have included Schwetzingen, Mecklenburg, Nymphenburgersommer and Rheingau in Germany; Lucerne and GAIA in Switzerland; Colmar and St. Denis in France; Storioni and Zeist in the Netherlands; Ravinia in Chicago; and the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival.
Robert Kulek has always had a great passion for teaching and Since 2012 is a faculty member at the Music Conservatory in Cologne, Germany where he teaches chamber. He also gives regular Masterclasses at The Royal Irish Conservatory in Dublin and has served as a jury member of the Irish Musician of the Year in 2013 and 2014.
He has recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Orfeo, Pentatone, Avie and Tudor labels. A French sonata programme recorded with cellist Daniel Mueller-Schott was nominated for the Edison Award and was selected as CD of the Month in both The Strad and BBC Music Magazine. A recording of sonatas by Poulenc, Fauré and Ravel with violinist Arabella Steinbacher was a Strad Selection of the Month. A recent 2011 recording of French and Russian sonatas with violinist Augustin Hadelich was April’s “Editor’s Choice” in Gramophone Magazine, and a recording of the 3 Brahms sonatas with violinist Arabella Steinbacher received 5 stars in both BBC Music Magazine and Diapason.
Robert Kulek is an American of Latvian origin. He began his musical education at Mannes College of Music in New York with Elena Leonova, then studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Joan Havill, and subsequently went on to Yale University in New Haven, studying with Boris Berman and Claude Frank, and earning a degree in Performance. He has also worked with Richard Goode and Maria Curcio.
Robert Kulek lives in the Netherlands.