Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Joana Mallwitz
We are pleased to welcome violinist Augustin Hadelich as our new Artist in Residence and asked him about his 2023/24 season with us.
When I lived in Berlin for nine months in 2003, I came to the Konzerthaus several times to hear concerts. It was nice to be able to take a closer look at the foyer and the vestibule during the photo shoot. As a musician, you are normally only on the stage or behind it. The Konzerthaus is a wonderful building whose festive atmosphere inspires musicians and audiences.
I’m a city person, although I’ve since moved out of New York City to Connecticut. What I find fascinating about New York is how closely people live together there. Berlin is much cosier, with its avenues and wide squares where the wind sometimes whips against you. Here you are in a big city but can still find inner peace.
And as a city of music, Berlin is a very important meeting place. Everyone travels through regularly, and there is so much going on musically on a daily basis that you can’t possibly partake in everything. So, coming back to Berlin is a wonderful feeling for me.
The Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy, who lives in the USA and whose pieces are often performed there, wrote a violin concerto for me that we will perform at the Musikfest. It is a perfect fit for the programme. It is complex, has a minimalist texture without being dogmatic, and features a virtuoso solo part that tells its own story. The Irish fiddle tradition comes through, as well as French spectralism.
In the past, violin concertos underwent lots of tweaking until the final version. For our piece, the pandemic also gave us a bit of luck, because we were able to work on the piece longer, and it blossomed even more.
Engaging in a chamber music dialogue with the orchestra requires being in perfect harmony, and I am fortunate to share that wavelength with Joana Mallwitz. This is why we made an impromptu decision to perform Brahms. His concerto is one of the reasons why I am a violinist in the first place. It rewards me with so much more inspiration than the amount of effort I put into it.
I love to play it as frequently as I can. That’s why it’s the perfect piece for our tour in June 2024; with each concert, we will go even deeper into the music together.
The recital features a compelling programme with a range of stylistic contrasts, allowing listeners to perceive Bach’s music in a new light. It combines the Partitas No. 3 and 2 with Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s “Blue/s Forms” – originally, the dances on which the Partitas are based were also performed with traditional folk music – and a sonata by Eugène Ysaÿe. The trio evening brings me together with cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and pianist Martin Helmchen, who live in Berlin. We have wanted to make music together again for a long time and have now chosen Haydn, Kodály, Kurtág and Schumann.