Antoine Tamestit has been described as possessing “a flawless technique, and combines effortless musicality with an easy communicative power” (Bachtrack). He has achieved the rare distinction as a violist of being in constant demand as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. In addition to his peerless technique, 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.
In the 2017/18 season Tamestit is Artist-in-Residence with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Konzerthaus and Konzerthaus Dortmund. Other engagements in this season include a tour with the Orchestre de Paris, concerts with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Monteverdi Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Seoul Philharmonic, and with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic he will premiere a new concerto by Theirry Escaich.
Tamestit gave the world premiere performance of Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto in 2015 with the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi, and in the same season gave performances with the co-commissioners, Swedish Radio Symphony and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, under Daniel Harding. In 2016/17 he performed the concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Joshua Weilerstein. This season he plays the piece with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris.
In recent seasons, Tamestit has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, NDR Sinfonieorchester, WDR Köln, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has worked with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Marek Janowski, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, François-Xavier Roth and Franz Welser-Möst.
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 and played in Europe’s most famous concert halls and series. This season they will perform in Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Dresden. 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.
In 2017/18 Tamestit will perform chamber music with the Belcea Quartet in Vienna, London and Copenhagen, and he has toured Europe with Quator Ebene performing in Hamburg, Munich, Bilbao, Brussels, Dortmund and Florence.
Antoine Tamestit records for Harmonia Mundi and released Bel Canto: The Voice of the Viola, his first CD for the label, with Cédric Tiberghien in February 2017: "His rich, husky tone is dangerously seductive."The Arts Desk. 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 world premiere performances and recordings, in addition to Thierry Escaich’s new viola concerto in 2018 and Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto, include 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.
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.
Tamestit has taught at both the Cologne Hochschule für Musik and Paris Conservatoire, and regularly gives masterclasses worldwide.
Antoine Tamestit plays on a viola made by Stradivarius in 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation.
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.