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Biography

First Violin

Violinist Isabelle Faust won the Leopold Mozart and Paganini competitions at an early age, and was soon invited to appear with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, among others. These performances mark her San Francisco Symphony debut.

Ms. Faust performs repertory ranging from the works of J.S. Bach to more contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Helmut Lachenmann, and Jörg Widmann. Always exploring new musical horizons, she is equally at home in chamber music or as a soloist with major orchestras or period ensembles. In addition to the great symphonic violin concertos, she has also performed such works as György Kurtág's Kafka Fragments with soprano Christine Schäfer, and Brahms's and Mozart's clarinet quintets on historical instruments with her chamber music colleagues. Over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to regularly perform or record with such conductors as Frans Brüggen, Mariss Jansons, Giovanni Antonini, Philippe Herreweghe, Daniel Harding, and Bernard Haitink.

Ms. Faust developed a particularly close relationship with the late conductor Claudio Abbado, performing under his baton in multiple countries and recording the Beethoven and Berg violin concertos with Mr. Abbado and Orchestra Mozart for the Harmonia Mundi label. This recording received several awards, including the Diapason d'Or, an ECHO Klassik award, a 2012 Gramophone award, and the Japanese Record Academy Award. Ms. Faust has made several recordings for Harmonia Mundi with her recital partner Alexander Melnikov, including the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin. This recording was also awarded the Diapason d’Or and a Gramophone award. Her CDs of J.S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin won a Diapason d’Or in 2010.

Isabelle Faust plays the 1704 “Sleeping Beauty” Stradivarius violin, on loan to her by the L-Bank Baden-Württemberg.

(October 2014)