Born: Feb 27, 1965 in Duisberg, Germany
Genre: Concerto, Chamber Music
From about the mid-1980s Frank Peter Zimmermann has been recognized as one of the leading German violinists, not for the usual reasons alone-formidable technical skills and interpretive acumen-but also for his ability to adapt his style to accommodate the demands of a broad range of repertory, from J.S. Bach to contemporary composers. He has expressed a special love for the music of Mozart and Prokofiev, two composers of obviously disparate styles whose works Zimmermann has performed to international acclaim. He has also played the standard concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Sibelius and Stravinsky, as well as solo and chamber works by Bach, Debussy and Ysaye. In addition, Zimmermann has delved into more adventurous fare, taking on works by Ligeti, Matthias Pintscher and other contemporary composers. Zimmermann has made numerous recordings for many labels, including EMI, Sony, Philips and Teldec.
Frank Peter Zimmermann was born in Duisburg, Germany on February 27, 1965. He was extremely precocious: at five years of age he began playing the violin, and at ten gave his first orchestral concert playing the G major Mozart Concerto (K. 216). In 1976 he won the Youth Makes Music Competition in Germany. His roster of teachers is impressive: Valery Gradov (at Folkwang Hochschule in Essen), Saschko Gawrilloff (at the Berlin Staatliche Hochschule) and Hermann Krebbers (private studies in Amsterdam).
In 1983 Zimmermann launched his career, performing in numerous critically acclaimed concerts across Germany and parts of Europe. He made his US debut the following year with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and over the next several seasons appeared with the Boston, Chicago and National Symphony Orchestras. He also gave concerts in South America, Japan and Australia.
In the early years of his career Zimmermann regularly collaborated in chamber works with German pianist Alexander Lonquich, but since 1998 he has regularly performed with Italian pianist Enrico Pace.
In the new century Zimmermann has turned more conspicuously to contemporary music, recording the Ligeti Violin Concerto for Teldec (2002) and premiering Matthias Pintscher's En Sourdine in 2003, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductor Peter Eotvos.
Among Zimmermann's newer recordings is an ECM disc released in 2006 that might be viewed as a microcosm of his style and broad tastes: the CD, a collaborative effort with cellist Heinrich Schiff, contains chamber works for violin and cello by J.S. Bach, Honegger, Martinu, Pintscher and Ravel.
- Robert Cummings (All Music Guide)
Frank Peter Zimmermann was born in Duisburg, Germany, in 1965 and started playing the violin at the age of five, making his debut with orchestra at the age of ten. Since completing his studies with Valery Gradov, Sashko Gavriloff and Hermann Krebbers in 1983 he has played with the world's leading orchestras and worked with premier conductors. Another major focus of his concert career are his many recitals throughout the world. His regular accompanist since 1998 has been the Italian pianist Enrico Pace. In 2003 he created the solo part at the premiere of Matthias Pintscher's violin concerto en sourdine. His premiere of a violin concerto by Brett Dean with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra is scheduled to take place in March 2007. Zimmermann has made countless recordings, including almost all the major violin concertos from Bach to Weill and many works from the repertoire for violin and piano. Many of his recordings have been awarded international prizes. Zimmermann's most recent release is Ferruccio Busoni's Violin Concerto in combination with his Second Violin Sonata.