Antoine Tamestit is recognised internationally as one of the great violists - soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. In addition to his peerless technique and profound musicianship, he is known for the depth and beauty of his sound with its rich, deep, burnished quality. His repertoire is broad, ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary, and he has performed and recorded several world premieres.
One of the concertos Tamestit commissioned is the concerto by Jörg Widmann. Since giving the world premiere performance in 2015 with the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi, Tamestit has given performances of the concerto with the co-commissioners, Swedish Radio Symphony and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, both under Daniel Harding, again with the Orchestre de Paris, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Tamestit’s other world premiere performances and recordings include Thierry Escaich’s La Nuit Des Chants in 2018, the Concerto for Two Violas by Bruno Mantovani written for Tabea Zimmermann and Tamestit, and Olga Neuwirth’s Remnants of Songs. Works composed for Tamestit also include Neuwirth’s Weariness Heals Wounds and Gérard Tamestit’s Sakura.
In the 2019/20 season, Tamestit is Artist in Residence at the Kammerakademie Potsdam, performing concerts throughout the season as soloist and including three play/conduct concerts. He is the subject of the London Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Artist Focus’ and will play 3 concerto programmes – the Widmann concerto with Daniel Harding, Berio Voci with Francois Xavier Roth and the Walton concerto with Alan Gilbert. In addition, he will play 4 substantial chamber music programmes with partners, Jörg Widmann, Denes Varjon, The Quatuor Arod, Colin Currie, and Masato Suzuki. Tamestit and Suzuki will play the same all-Bach programme in the 19/20 season in the Luxembourg Philharmonic, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Innsbruck and in the following season in Carnegie Hall and Montreal.
In the last season, Tamestit toured the US with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and appeared as Gardiner’s soloist with the orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He returned to the London Symphony Orchestra, and performed with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Dresden Saatskapelle, Orchestre de Paris in Paris and on tour, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. In recital and chamber music, he appeared at the Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, BOZAR in Brussels and the Prinzregententheater in Munich.
Tamestit has also appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, WDR Köln, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Philharmonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has worked with many great conductors including Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Harding, Marek Janowski, Antonio Pappano, François-Xavier Roth, Emmanuel Krivine and Franz Welser-Möst.
Antoine Tamestit is a founding member of Trio Zimmermann with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera. Together they have recorded a number of acclaimed CDs for BIS Records, most recently Bach’s Goldberg Variations which was released in May 2019, and they have played in Europe’s most famous concert halls and series. Other chamber music partners include Nicholas Angelich, Gautier Capucon, Martin Fröst, Leonidas Kavakos, Nikolai Lugansky, Emmanuel Pahud, Francesco Piemontesi, Christian Tetzlaff, Cédric Tiberghien, Yuja Wang, Jörg Widmann, Shai Wosner and the Ebene and Hagen Quartets.
Antoine Tamestit records for Harmonia Mundi and released the Widmann Concerto, recorded with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding in February 2018. The recording was selected as Editor’s Choice in BBC Music Magazine and also won the Premier Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in 2019. His first recording on Harmonia Mundi was Bel Canto: The Voice of the Viola, with Cédric Tiberghien released in February 2017. Tamestit’s distinguished discography includes Berlioz’s Harold en Italie with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev for LSO Live; for Naïve he has recorded three Bach Suites, Hindemith solo and concertante works with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Paavo Järvi; and an earlier recording of Harold in Italy with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre. In 2016 he appeared with Frank Peter Zimmermann and the Chamber Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on a new recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (Hännsler Classic). Tamestit’s second release in 2019 was Bach’s Sonatas for Viola Da Gamba which he recorded with Masato Suzuki.
Together with Nobuko Imai, Antoine Tamestit is co-artistic director of the Viola Space Festival in Japan, focusing on the development of viola repertoire and a wide range of education programmes.
Born in Paris, Antoine Tamestit studied with Jean Sulem, Jesse Levine, and with Tabea Zimmermann. He was the recipient of several coveted prizes including first prize at the ARD International Music Competition, the William Primrose Competition and the Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, as well as BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme, Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2008.
Antoine Tamestit plays on a viola made by Stradivarius in 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation.
Harold in Italy
Double Concerto (violin & viola)
Lachrymae: Reflections on a Song of Dowland
Double Concerto (clarinet & viola or violin & viola)
La nuit des chants
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Kammermusik No. 5
Double Concerto for 2 Violas and Orchestra
Clarinet Concerto in A Major (for Viola)
Remnants of Songs... an Amphigory for viola solo and orchestra
Monolog for viola and orchestra
Viola Concerto in D Major
Andante e Rondo Ungarese
Sir Andrew Davis
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Eivind Gullberg Jensen
London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Sir Antonio Pappano & Valery Gergiev
Walton / Berlioz
BBC Symphony Orchestra, cond. Sylvain Cambreling
Scottish Chamber Orchestra, cond. Robin Ticciati
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Daniel Harding
Swedish Chamber Orchestra, cond. Thomas Dausgaard
Danish National Symphony Orchestra, cond. Dmitri Kitajenko
Vienna Philharmonic, cond. Riccardo Muti & Franz Welser-Möst
Mozart / Bartók
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, cond. Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestre de Paris, cond. Paavo Järvi
Berlioz / Jörg Widmann
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, cond. Tugan Sokhiev
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremmen, cond. Paavo Järvi
Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, cond. Daniel Harding
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, cond. Marek Janowski
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, cond. Marek Janowski
Recitals and festivals
Chamber music partners
George Benjamin Viola, Viola (1997)
Bruno Mantovani Concerto for Two Violas
Olga Neuwirth Remnants of Songs… an Amphigory (2009)
Jörg Widmann Concerto (2015)
One of the most gifted French musicians of the era… The work is made to measure for Tamestit, his style of playing, his tone, his personality.
Antoine Tamestit possesses a flawless technique and combines effortless musicality with an easy communicative power. He has too a sumptuously rich tone which gains an agreeable sweetness at the top end and heard to pleasing effect in the first movement.
Antoine Tamestit played marvellously, with superb musicianship, technique and rich timbre, and a love for the music that shone through.