Michael Barenboim lets music, in its diverse and enduring ways, speak for itself through his violin. Born in Paris and brought up in Berlin, with studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock under Axel Wilczok and at L’Université Paris-Sorbonne in philosophy, Barenboim knows no language or artistic boundaries.
Alongside his commitment to the core repertoire of the classical and romantic periods, Barenboim is deeply invested in contemporary music. His performance of Schönberg’s Violin Concerto with Wiener Philharmoniker deserves a special mention, as he was the soloist in the orchestra’s first performance of the piece. He has also recorded this concerto with the orchestra and his father, Daniel Barenboim, conducting.
Barenboim celebrates a long history of collaboration with the late Pierre Boulez. At the celebrations of Boulez’s 90th birthday in 2015, he performed several of the composer’s works at the Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Dortmund, London’s Barbican Centre, Opéra National de Paris and Salzburger Festspiele. He continues to perform these pieces regularly in his recitals and recently recorded both Anthèmes 1 and 2 for a new recording to be released this season by Accentus.
His 2016/17 season brings him further international debuts, including Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, for the orchestra’s season opening concert, BBC Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, as well as returns to Komische Oper Berlin, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice. While on tour in Asia, he performs in concert with the Shanghai and Guangzhou symphony orchestras and makes his recital debut in Tokyo, at the Musashino Cultural Foundation. With the Boulez Ensemble, he also performs at New York’s Carnegie Hall; in Berlin, for the opening of the Boulez Saal; and at the Wiener Konzerthaus.
Last season’s highlights included a season-long residency with Orchestre symphonique de Bretagne, debuts with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (under Antonio Pappano), Orquesta Nacional de España (under Juanjo Mena), Auckland Philharmonia and Los Angeles Chamber orchestras, as well as a tour with Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Karl-Heinz Steffens, with whom he often works in concert with. Barenboim also made his orchestral debut in Berlin, with Komische Oper Orchestra, and gave several solo recitals in Australia, including at the Sydney Opera House.
Chamber music is an important focus for Barenboim and he is a founding member of the Erlenbusch Quartet and a frequent guest at such festivals as Rheingau Musik, Beethovenfest Bonn, Lucerne, Jerusalem and Verbier. Barenboim performs more regularly this season with his pianist mother Elena Bashkirova and cellist Julian Steckel, appearing together at Munich’s Herkulessaal der Residenz, Brussel’s Palais des Beaux Arts, Paris’ Cité de la Musique and the Lucerne Festival.
Parallel to his solo concert and recital performances, Barenboim also serves as concertmaster with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and cultivates a continuous and strong involvement in educational activities. He regularly coaches chamber music in the newly founded Barenboim-Said Academy and has given masterclasses in Spain, Australia and New Zealand.