Arabella Steinbacher

Born in Munich in 1981 to a German father and a Japanese mother, violinist Arabella Steinbacher began studying the violin at the age of three. Her mother is a singer who came to Germany from Japan to study music, and her father was formerly first Solorepetitor in the Bavarian State Opera. At nine, she became the youngest violin student of Ana Chumachenko at the Munich Academy of Music. She received further musical inspiration and guidance from Ivry Gitlis. In 2001, Ms. Steinbacher won the sponsorship prize of the Free State of Bavaria and in the same year she was awarded a scholarship by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. Ms. Steinbacher's career was launched in 2004 with an unexpected debut in Paris, when she stepped in on short notice for an ailing colleague and performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

Highlights of her 2012-13 season include performances with the Boston, Sydney, São Paulo, and Seattle symphonies; the Philharmonia Orchestra; the Munich Philharmonic; the Orchestre National de France; the Seoul Philharmonic; and the Vienna Symphony. She will also make her debuts with the National Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. In recent seasons Ms. Steinbacher made debuts at Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and with the Israel Philharmonic. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut, as a Shenson Young Artist, in March 2011, performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto in D major, K.218.

Ms. Steinbacher records exclusively for PentaTone Classics. Her first CD on that label included Dvořák's Violin Concerto in A minor and Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1, as well as Dvořák's Romance in F minor, with the Berlin Radio Symphony led by Marek Janowski. Her other recordings include discs of Bartók's First and Second violin concertos and Prokofiev’s First and Second violin concertos. Among Ms. Steinbacher's numerous recording honors are two ECHO-Klassik awards, Les Chocs du mois from Le Monde de la musique, and two German Record Critics Awards, as well as the Editor’s Choice Award from Gramophone magazine.

Ms. Steinbacher currently plays the 1716 "Booth" Stradivarius violin, generously provided by the Nippon Music Foundation. She lives in her hometown of Munich. For more information, visit

(May 2013)