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Nikolaj Znaider  

violin

Nikolaj Znaider is one of the foremost violinists of today and combines a soloist career at the very highest level with a growing conducting career.    A wonderfully versatile musician, Znaider has established his conductor credentials over the last several seasons, and is increasingly in demand from many of the world’s leading orchestras.

Znaider is Principal Guest Conductor of the Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg where this season he will conduct productions of ‘Così fan tutte’ and ‘Don Giovanni’ in addition to symphonic concerts.  From 15/16, Znaider will have his own subscription series with the Mariinsky each season.

He is a regular guest conductor with orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Halle and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra where he served as Principal Guest conductor.  Following a very successful debut conducting the Cleveland Orchestra last season, |Znaider has been invited to return  for a two week residency period during which he will both conduct the orchestra and play concerti conducted by Welser-Most.  The 2014/5 season includes conducting and soloist collaborations with the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Osterfestspiele Salzburg and his conducting debut with the NDR Hamburg. Znaider enjoys a very special relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra he conducts every season.

Last season Znaider was Artist in Residence with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, where he conducted two symphonic programmes, and appeared in recitals, in chamber music and in concerto and in the 12/13 season, he was Resident Artist with the London Symphony Orchestra, playing concerti and conducting large-scale symphonic programmes in London and on tour.

As soloist, Znaider continues to perform regularly with the world’s leading orchestras. Highlights of the coming season include performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Cleveland Orchestras with Franz Welser-Möst,  a return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Andrey Boreyko, and the  Staatskapelle Dresden with Christian Thielemann.   In addition,  Znaider undertakes European tours with both the SWR Sinfonieorchester under Stéphane Denève, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra with Philippe Jordan, as well as a world tour with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Ricardo Chailly, performing in Leipzig, Vienna, Houston, Washington, Boston and New York. In recital and chamber music, Znaider has appeared at all the major concert halls worldwide.

Recording  highlights of recent years are his Elgar ‘Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61’ with the late Sir Colin Davis and the Staatskapelle Dresden,  award winning recordings of the Brahms’ ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77’ and Korngold’s ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35’ with the Vienna Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev, the Beethoven ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61’ and Mendelssohn’s ‘Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64’ with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and Prokofiev’s ‘Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63’ together with Glazunov’s ‘Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82’ with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischer  Rundfunk. He has also recorded the complete works for violin and piano of Johannes Brahms with Yefim Bronfman.

Znaider is passionate about the education of young musical talent and was for ten years Founder and Artistic Director of the Nordic Music Academy, an annual summer school whose vision it is to create conscious and focused musical development based on quality and real commitment.

Nikolaj Znaider plays the “Kreisler” Guarnerius “del Gesu” 1741 on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theater through the generosity of the VELUX Foundation and the Knud Højgaard Foundation

Live Dates

01/01/2016   Diapason

CARL NIELSEN Koncerter
5/5 Stars

"Le concertato délicieux du violoniste et des bois est prodigieux d'imagination désinvolte, la technique si parfait qu'on n'entend que sa musique,"
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01/12/2015   BBC Music Magazine

CARL NIELSEN: Concertos
4/5 Stars

"... the quality of the New York Philharmonic's woodwind principals is evident throughout the disc."
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26/11/2015   The New York Times

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)
"Mr. Gilbert balances the late-Romantic and searching contemporary elements of the symphonies in these spontaneous seeming yet organic performances."
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05/11/2015   American Record Guide

Nielsen: Concertos (Live)
"Znaider, Langevin, McGill, Gilbert, and the Philharmonic are in complete command of Nielsen’s scores, rendering each with sonic elegance, technical brilliance, and expressive insight."
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02/11/2015   Luister

CARL NIELSEN Symfonier og koncerter
"Kort en goed: zeker geen slechte set, maar alles iverziend missen ook deze opnames de overweldigende directheid en vanzelfsprekendheid van Blomstedt op Decca."
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01/11/2015   Audio

Carl Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos
"Für Alan Gilbert vermittelt Carl Nielsens Musik eine „universelle menschliche Erfahrung".Grund genug, dem dänischen Komponisten ein eigenes Projekt zu widmen. Nun krönt der Chefdirigent des New York Philharmonic seinen Nielsen-Zyklus mit einer Aufnahme der drei Konzerte des Komponisten, die 2012 und 2015 live aufgezeichnet wurden. Zusammen mit Nikolaj Znaider im Geigenkonzert (1911/12), Robert Langevin im Flötenkonzert (1926) und Anthony McGill im Klarinetten-konzert (1928) bringt Gilbert Nielsens Musik-sprache bei aller Liebe ausgesprochen differenziert zum Klingen — und weckt Neugier auf mehr."
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23/10/2015   Fanfare

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)
"(...) to me Nielsen is as much about originality in orchestration and orchestral color as in originality of musical progression. Gilbert gets this, and brings out all of Nielsen’s wonderful colors.(...) As I say, these are certainly among Gilbert’s finest efforts on disc..."
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23/10/2015   Fanfare

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)
"(...) performances are exceptionally well played and balanced, the composer’s scoring clarified to an unprecedented extent, especially in tutti (...)"
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23/10/2015   Fanfare

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)
"…Robert Langevin’s fluent, gossamer playing and ecstatic reading are wonderful; Gilbert’s accompaniment hits the contrasting, bombastic tutti passages just right. This is the highlight of the concerto disc, even of the entire set"
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20/10/2015   Audiophile Audition

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)
"Gilbert finally comes alive in this impressive set."
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20/10/2015   Klassieke Zaken

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)
"‘Hij wilde dat de slagweker in het orkest geen stokjes maar takken gebruikte, regelrecht uit het bos gehaald. Zoiets zegt veel over deze fascinerende figuur die zulke unieke muziek schreef. Traditioneel in formele zin, maar hoogst origineel wat betreft expressie—voor mij een echte kanjer.’ Het was al heel lang een droom van dirigent Alan Gilbert om het symfonisch werk van Carl Nielsen eens intensief uit te pluizen. Wel, de afgelopen jaren hebben ze het in New York geweten: bij talloze gelegenheden werd een lans gebroken voor de zes symfonieen en drie soloconcerten van de Deen, met als gevolg geregeld een nieuwe cd. Nu de laatste verschijnt, worden ze allemaal samengevat in een handzaam doosje. Het integrale symfonische oeuvre door de New York Philharmonic—om door een ringetje te halen, een echte traktatie. Dat van die takken is niet zomaar een anekdote. Gilbert associeert veel muziek van Nielsen met natuurschildering, idylle, Deense folklore. Bij deze uitvoeringen—vooral in de langzame delen—duft hij de laatromantiek te laten herleven, ofschoon Nielsen soms ook nukkige eigentijdsheden niet schuwde. In de Vijfde symfonie (1922) laat hij bijvoorbeeld een kosmische oorlog plaatsvinden tussen licht en donker. Gilbert weet er een filmmuziekachtige spanning mee op te roepen die aan horror grenst"
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14/09/2015   The Arts Desk

Nielsen: Concertos (Live)
"Nielsen’s Violin Concerto…gets an excellent performance from Nikolaj Znaider. Rarely has such an expansive piece felt so compact and finely-wrought, Znaider never letting Nielsen’s stream of ideas ramble. He’s handsomely supported by Alan Gilbert’s New York Philharmonic, the live recording well balanced."
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03/09/2015   Magasinet Klassisk

Carl Nielsen: Koncerter
4/6 Stars

”Violinisten vinder: Violinkoncerten blev til i slipstrømmen på 3. Symfoni og er præget af samme energi, store fortællestil og som noget helt særligt en spillemandsstil, som sangbare fraseringer og dynamiske finesser for at afdække lag på lag i denne koncert, der er mere end blot virtuoserier.”
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30/07/2015   MusicWeb International

Nielsen: Concertos
"...Znaider takes command and doesn’t let go. He varies his tone, as the music requires, from big and fruity to soft and silvery (...) The sound is terrific and one can hear all kinds of details in the orchestra that would otherwise go unnoticed. Dacapo’s production is fully in the luxury class. In every way this SACD is a winner and a fine conclusion to Alan Gilbert’s Nielsen cycle."
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28/07/2015   Examiner.com

Nielsen: Concertos
"Whether Nielsen is taking a retrospective or a prospective stance, Gilbert always seems to find the right approach to phrasing his thematic content, coloring it with just the right balance of instrumental resources, and managing the give-and-take between soloist and ensemble …this recent release is definitely an excellent way for the attentive listener to get to know the concertos."
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24/07/2015   Gramophone

Nielsen: Concertos
"Throughout this disc Alan Gilbert and the NYPO play on the kinship that exists between the symphonies that effectively gave the Flute and Clarinet Concertos breath. The latter is a substantial chip off the block that is the Fifth Symphony—and even has the clarinettist bring his old sparring partner, the side drum, with him. NYPO principal Anthony McGill revels effortlessly in its wild improvisatory nature and those elemental pyrotechnics."
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22/07/2015   SA-CD.net

Nielsen: Concertos
"The violin concerto alone makes this disk an absolute must, with, as a bonus, getting the other two, expertly and convincingly played […] Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic play and sound, with the help of excellent engineering…gorgeous. Bravissimo!"
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13/07/2015   Allmusic.com

Nielsen: Concertos
"...exceptional performances by violinist Nikolaj Znaider, flutist Robert Langevin, and clarinetist Anthony McGill…"
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12/07/2015   Classical CD Choice

CARL NIELSEN: Concertos
"That particular magical ingredient is present here, and these are cherishable readings of these masterworks"
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10/07/2015   Infodad.com

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos
"The concertos are very well played by violinist Nikolaj Znaider and two first chairs of the New York Philharmonic, Robert Langevin and Anthony McGill. And the orchestra itself performs with excellent responsiveness and a very warm tone for conductor Alan Gilbert …the recordings of all symphonies deserve recognition for the very fine playing of the ensemble and the excellent sound with which the discs are endowed. And the concerto performances show how much Gilbert is capable of doing with Nielsen’s music when he really sets his mind to it and complements the orchestra’s performance with excellent interpretations by first-rate soloists."
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03/07/2015   Basler Zeitung

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos
"Spielt doch mehr Nielsen, bitte!"
Ein dringlicher Hinweis auf den dänischen Komponisten Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)
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01/07/2015   Allmusic.com

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)
"Gilbert has made definitive statements of Nielsen’s most important orchestral works, preserved in the multichannel presentation that does them justice, both for their exquisite details and spacious sound. This set is sure to appeal to Nielsen buffs and audiophiles, and is recommended to any who missed the individual releases."
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30/06/2015   Classical CD Review

Carl Nielsen: Symfonier og koncerter
"Over the past months this site has praised the Alan Gibert/New York Philharmonic series of all of the symphonies of Carl Nielsen. Now all of these including the concertos have been issued in a boxed set, five disks for the price of four. These are all near-perfect performances recorded with utmost realism, highly recommended."
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18/06/2015   David's Review Corner

Carl Nielsen: Koncerter
"The sound is outstanding in its clarity, balance and impact. A remarkable conclusion to the orchestra’s Nielsen symphonic cycle."
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17/06/2015   Kristeligt Dagblad

Carl Nielsen: Symfonier og koncerter
"Har man ikke Carl Nielsens symfonier i sin samling, er der god økonomi - og betydeligt kunstnerisk udbytte - i at anskaffe sig den komplette boks med i alt fire cd'er."
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09/06/2015   Jyllands-Posten

CARL NIELSEN: KONCERTER
3/6 Stars

"Med luftig afspændthed og stram struktur holder Gilbert en perfekt orkesterbalance i de tre koncerter."
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09/06/2015   Politiken

Carl Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos
4/6 Hjerter

"Gilbert har en effektiv, kraftfuldt fremadpegende måde at dirigere Nielsen på, der lukker musikken ind i det 21. århundrede."
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01/05/2015   Magasinet Klassisk

Carl Nielsen: Symfonier og koncerter
"De mange pladeindspilninger, som netop er udkommet, eller som er på trapperne - især symfoni-indspilningerne med New York Filharmonikerne og Alan Gilbert (Dacapo), Stockholm Filharmonikerne og Sakari Oramo (BIS) og BBC Philharmonic og John Storgårds (Chandos) - burde alle bidrage til en øget interesse og en vilje til at lytte, udforske og sammenligne de forskellige indspilninger, og ikke kun af feinschmeckere, men også almindeligt interesserede klassisk musik-lyttere. Og hvis man skal tro pladeselskabsdirektørerne, så er det godt med den megen konkurrence. "Det er kun godt! Det er jo super spændende musik", siger Henrik Rørdam fra Dacapo, som spår, af Alan Gilberts indspilning af symfonierne kommer til at stå som et monument ikke blot over Nielsens musik, men også over Gilberts tid som chef for New York Filharmonikerne, når han forlader orkestret i 2017."
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Photo: Lars Gundersen

Discography

Concertos
Concertos
Carl Nielsen

SACD 6.220556 (2015)

The Symphonies & Concertos
The Symphonies & Concertos
Carl Nielsen

SACD 6.200003 (2015)


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