Violist Antoine Tamestit is internationally recognized as a leading soloist, recitalist and chamber musician beloved for his unsurpassed technique and the much-vaunted beauty of his richly coloured tone. His broad repertoire ranges from Baroque to the present, and his strong commitment to contemporary music is reflected in numerous premieres of new works.
In 2324 season Antoine continues to engage on a truly international level, from European tour with Staatskapelle Dresden to debuts with Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, artist-in-residence at the South Korean Tongyeong International Music Festival as well as premiere of Joe Hisaishi’s Viola Saga in Asia.
In recent seasons, Antoine has performed with orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra among many others. He performs regularly with major conductors including Teodor Currentzis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Klaus Mäkelä, Sir Antonio Pappano, Kirill Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Francois-Xavier Roth, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christian Thielemann, and Jaap van Zweden.
Among the most important pieces premiered by Antoine Tamestit are Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto, Thierry Escaich’s La Nuit des Chants, Bruno Mantovani’s Concerto for Two Violas with Tabea Zimmermann, as well as Gérard Tamestit’s Sakura and Olga Neuwirth’s Remnants of Songs and Weariness Heals Wounds. In 23/24 season, he will be premiering two new works written for him: Nikodijevich’s Psalmodija with the SWR Symphony Orchestra and Filidei’s Viola Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
As a passionate chamber musician, Antoine performs regularly with Emmanuel Ax, Isabelle Faust, Martin Fröst, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma, Emmanuel Pahud, Francesco Piemontesi, Cédric Tiberghien, Yuja Wang, Jörg Widmann, Shai Wosner, and the Ébène Quartet.
He was also a founding member of Trio Zimmermann with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera performing in Europe’s most famous concert halls for more than 10 years. Together they recorded a number of acclaimed CDs for BIS Records, including their own arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
An ardent educator, Antoine Tamestit served for 10 years as programming director of the Viola Space Festival in Japan where he focused on expanding the viola repertoire and developing a wide range of educational programs. He was also a professor at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, the Paris Conservatoire, and now teaches in masterclasses at the Kronberg Academy and around the world.
Antoine’s acclaimed discography can be found on many labels, and his recent releases with Harmonia Mundi include Johannes Brahms’ Sonatas for Viola and Piano with Cédric Tiberghien and a Telemann album with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. His 2018 recording of Widmann Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding won the Premier Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in 2019.
Born in Paris, Tamestit studied with Jean Sulem, Jesse Levine, and with Tabea Zimmermann. He was the recipient of several coveted prizes including first prize at the William Primrose Competition in 2001, and the ARD International Music Competition in 2004 as well as being awarded the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2008. In 2022 he received the prestigious triennial Hindemith Prize of the City of Hanau in recognition of his contribution to contemporary landscape within classical music.
Antoine Tamestit plays on the very first viola made by Antonio Stradivarius in 1672, generously loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation.
Livestreams and Broadcasts
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France | February 2022
Berlioz : Harold in Italy, Op.16
Click to watch on Arte
(Available until Feburary 2025)
Harold in Italy
Double Concerto (violin & viola)
Lachrymae: Reflections on a Song of Dowland
Double Concerto (clarinet & viola or violin & viola)
La nuit des chants
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Kammermusik No. 5
Double Concerto for 2 Violas and Orchestra
Clarinet Concerto in A Major (for Viola)
Remnants of Songs... an Amphigory for viola solo and orchestra
Monolog for viola and orchestra
Viola Concerto in D Major
Andante e Rondo Ungarese
Sir Andrew Davis
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Eivind Gullberg Jensen
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.