Home > Artists > Michael Barenboim


During Michael Barenboim's young career as a soloist he has already played with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras and conductors. In 2011 he performed Schoenberg's Violin Concerto with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Pierre Boulez at Cologne's Philharmonie, and in May 2012 made his debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker.

2013/14 sees Barenboim give performances with SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg und Baden-Baden under Michael Gielen, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orquesta de Valencia with Yaron Traub. He also tours Germany with the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto under Karl Heinz Steffens. Recitals this season include appearances in Bad Kissingen, Berlin’s Konzerthaus and at the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival with Elena Bashkirova and Alisa Weilerstein. He also makes two appearances at Salzburg’s Mozarteum, including at the Dialoge Festival, and debuts with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields at the Perth Festival in spring 2014. He will appear at the closing concert of the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Further ahead, Barenboim will make his debut appearance with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.2 in autumn 2014. He will also participate in concerts in Berlin as part of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Highlights of last season included a very successful debut with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, again with the Schoenberg Concerto, as well as performances of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Münchner Philharmoniker under Lorin Maazel on tour throughout Europe and with the Gulbenkian Orchestra under David Zinman. Other debuts included performances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orquesta del Palau de les Arts - both under Zubin Mehta - and with NDR Sinfonieorchester under Michael Gielen. In summer 2013 he appeared at the Granada Festival with Orquestra Filarmonica della Scala de Milán under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach.

Michael Barenboim has been Concertmaster of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra since 2003.

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"He was the soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.4, which combined technical precision and a breezy sweetness to exhilarating effect, with Barenboim playing the hire-wire act with two vertiginous solos. Fizzy, lush and confident, it was a quintessential Mozart performance." (Alex Needham, The Guardian, February 2014)

"He made the gnarled lyricism and awkwardly written cadenzas [of Schoenberg's Violin Concerto] sound absurdly easy to play, varying his bow pressure to suit the varying intensities of the music. You could read his deep emotional engagement in his playing even though his facial expression remained impassive. After so stunning a performance, who could blame the audience for erupting in cheers?"  (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, March 2013)

"…as exciting a first appearance by an instrumental soloist as I can recall in years when Michael Barenboim, 27, was the soloist in the fiendishly challenging and lushly romantic Schoenberg Violin Concerto… He wholly carried the sharp rhythms, tough harmonics and tantalizing blend of logic and unpredictability of the part. Barenboim was called back for a rare fourth curtain call. He deserved it." (Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times, March 2013)