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Home Biography Repertoire Discography Highlights Irvine Arditti


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blebul1a.gif (1048 bytes)Irvine Arditti (violin)
Elliott Carter and Irvine Arditti, New York, January 2004
photo Robin D'amore


Irvine Arditti, "a prophet amongst musicians"

Harrison Birtwistle 12.5.09


For the fourth year in a row, Ultima, Oslo's festival of contemporary music, has had the good fortune to count violinist/new music missionary Irvine Arditti among its featured performers. Mr. Arditti has made a substantial career playing the edgiest of cutting-edge pieces, as both a soloist and the founder of the quartet that bears his name. Here, in a performance that showcased his formidable technique and his commitment to making music, Arditti showed why he is like money in the bank for the future of music.

Consider his performance with the Oslo Sinfonietta under the direction of Christian Eggen. The piece he played, a fiendishly complex rhapsody of sorts for soloist and 10-piece chamber ensemble, was Luca Francesconi's Riti sulla memoria (1991). Arditti lunged into the opening bars, slicing through each gesture as though his life depended upon his stabbing each and every note through the heart. Francesconi's music seems to require this approach: it is angular and full of energy, but the energy is somewhat scattered among a number of disparate ideas. Arditti pulled the ideas together, connecting passages that wouldn't otherwise connect to each other well; his attentive phrasing somehow made the score into song, even when the notes themselves seem only to pile up on one another.

                                                     Eric Valliere,, October 2002




In addition to his legendary career as first violinist of the Arditti Quartet, Irvine Arditti has also given life to many solo works. Born in London in 1953, Irvine Arditti began his studies at the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 16. He joined the London Symphony Orchestra in 1976 and after two years, at the age of 25, became its Co-Concert Master. He left the orchestra in 1980 in order to devote more time to the Arditti Quartet which he had formed while still a student.

Irvine Arditti has given the world premières of a plethora of large scale works especially written for him. These include Xenakis' Dox Orkh and Hosokawa's Landscape III, both for violin and orchestra, as well as Ferneyhough's Terrain, Francesconi's Riti Neurali and Body Electric, Dillon's Vernal Showers and Harvey's Scena, Paredes Señales, Pauset's Vita Nova, Reynolds Aspiration and Sciarrino's Le Stagioni Artificiali all for violin and ensemble.

He has appeared with many distinguished orchestras and ensembles including the Asko Ensemble, Avanti, Bayerische Rundfunk, BBC Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Ensemble Contrechamps, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, London Sinfonietta, Orchestre National de Paris, Het Residentie den Hague, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Nieuw Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Oslo Sinfonietta, Philharmonia orchestra, Schoenberg Ensemble, Ensemble Signal. His performances of many concertos have won acclaim by their composers, in particular Ligeti and Dutilleux.

As well as having recorded over 200 CDs with the Arditti Quartet, Irvine Arditti has built an impressive catalogue of solo recordings. His CD of solo violin works by composers such as Carter, Estrada, Ferneyhough and Donatoni, as well as his recording of Nono's La Lontananza, both on the label Montaigne Auvidis, have been awarded numerous prizes. His recording of Cage's Freeman Etudes for solo violin, as part of his complete Cage violin music series for American label Mode, has made musical history. The complete Mode recordings of Berio's Sequenza's, on which Irvine recorded the violin sequenza won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis in 2007, and was awarded best contemporary music release by the Italian music magazine Amadeus in 2008. The violin concertos by Berio, Xenakis and Mira, recorded in Moscow with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, are featured on a disc by Swedish label Bis. Recently released on the Mode label was Paredes Señales with Ensemble Signal conducted by Brad Lubman. In November 2017 Irvine was presented in Paris with Charles Cros Grand Prix in honorema lifetime achievement award recognizing the sum total of his career and his exceptional role in the service of music.The prize was also for his latest solo recital CD release called Caprices with music by Boulez,Carter, Nunes and Sciarrino on the Aeon label. A double CD of the music of Roger Reynolds has just been released on the Kairos label.

Irvine Arditti's arrangement for Quartet of Cage's 44 Harmonies from Apartment House can be found on Mode Records and is published by Edition Peters in New York.

On 7th October as part of an Arditti feature at the Festival D'Automne in the Maison de la Radio in Paris there was a performance of Ferneyhough's Unsichtbare Farben for solo violin and Terrain for violin and ensemble with Ensemble Modern under Brad Lubman.

On 8th Novemberat the University of Buffalo there was the first complete performance of Felder's Jeu de Tarot with Ensemble Linea under Jean-Paul Wurtz.

On 22nd November at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Irvine performed Paredes's Violin concerto Señales with the London Sinfonietta under Martyn Brabbins.

In November 2017 Irvine was presented in Paris with Charles Cros Grand Prix in honorema lifetime achievement award recognizing the sum total of his career and his exceptional role in the service of music. The prize was also for his latest solo recital CD release called Caprices with music by Boulez, Carter, Nunes and Sciarrinoon the Aeon label.A double CD of the music of Roger Reynolds has just been released on the Kairos label.

On 8th February 2018, there was a performance of Cattaneo's violin concerto in an early evening concert (18.00) at the Royal Festival Hall, London with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Roland Kluttig. Also Sciarrino's 6 Caprici for solo violin was performed.

In early June Irvine returned again to the Festival June in Buffalo, where he was in residence for one week. He performed a recital with the pre-premiere of Thomalla's Air. Solo pieces by Nunes and Paredes were also heard, as well as a performance of Reynolds Shifting/Drifting with computer musician Paul Hembree

Reynold. On 9th June there was a performance of Felder's recent violin concerto Jeu de Tarot with Ensemble Signal under Brad Lubman.

Thomalla's Air was heard again in Darmstadt on22nd July.

On 29th July there was a performance of Nono's La Lontananza at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena

On10th August there was a performance of Xenakis's Dikhthas in the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires with the pianist Nicolas Hodges.

On 13th October there was a performance at the Open Music Festival in Forli, Italy with Nunes Einspielung and Sciarrino’s 6 Caprices.

On 22nd October at the Dialog series in the Gare du Nord in Basle there was a concert with music by Dillon, Nunes, Thomalla and Xenakis.

On 23rd November in the Konzerthaus in Vienna there was a late night recital containing Sciarrino’s 6 Caprices and a new work by James Clarke called 2017-V

On 9th December there was a performance of Harvey's Scena with the Birmingham new music players under Emilio Pomarico. Scena was written for Irvine and premiered in 1993.

On 23rd February 2019 Irvine performed Carter's violin concerto with the Orqhestra Sinfonica de Porto under Brad Lubman.

On 15th April there was a recital at Wuertzburg Music Hochschule with music by Clarke, Felder, Platz, Reynolds, Sciarrinoand Wunsch.

On 9th May there was a performance in the University of Buffalo of Felder's violin concerto Jeu de Tarot

with Ensemble Signal under Brad Lubman.

Irvine returned to Buffalo for the Festival June in Buffalo and on 4th and 6th June and performed music by Felder, Ferneyhough and Wallin as well the young composers Kenneth Tam and Joseph Vasinda.

On 7th July there was a marathon recital in Shizuoka, Japan entitled the 20th Century violin. Solo music by Bartok, Berio, Boulez and Sciarrino was heard as well as the two solo pieces by Ferneyhough which were both written for Irvine.

On 21st September in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv and 22nd in the Mishkenot Shaanannim Music Centre, Jerusalem there were two performances of ParedesSeñales with the Israel contemporary players under Zsolt Nagy.

On 11th October there was a concert at the Skaņu Mežs Festival in Riga. Music by Clarke and Sciarrino was heard as well as a premiere of Airhui by Robert Platz

Irvine made hisfirst visit to China in December as guest of the Central Conservatory of music in Beijing.

He coached students at the conservatory and played a concert on 5th December with music by Clarke, Dillon Felder, Ferneyhough, Hosokawa and Sciarrino.

In early February 2020 the Quartet will be featured at the Eclat Festival in Stuttgart. Performances will take place every day from Thursday 6th until Sunday 9th. On the 7th in the Theaterhaus there will be a premiere of the Freiburg Diptych by James Dillon for solo violin with the electronics of the Experimental Studio in Freiburg.

On 24th February there will be a performance of Paredes Señales in the Zagreb Biennale with the Cantus Ensemble under Berislav Sipius.

In July 2013, The Techniques of Violin Playing, a book by Arditti and the composer Robert Platz was released by Barenreiter Edition.






Parallel zu seiner legendären Karriere als Erster Geiger des Arditti Quartetts ist Irvine Arditti als ein außergewöhnlicher Solist hervorzuheben. In London im Jahre 1953 geboren, begann Irvine Arditti sein Studium an der Royal Academy of Music im Alter von 16 Jahren. Er trat 1976 dem London Symphony Orchestra bei, das ihn zwei Jahre später, mit 25 Jahren, zum ersten Konzertmeister berief. 1980 verließ er das Orchester, um sich auf die Arbeit mit seinem Quartett, das er schon als Student gegründet hatte, konzentrieren zu können.


Während der letzten Jahrzehnte hat Irvine Arditti eine große Anzahl von bedeutenden, eigens für ihn komponierten Werken uraufgeführt, darunter die Violinkonzerte  Dox Orkh  von Xenakis und  Landscape III  von Hosokawa, sowie Ferneyhoughs  Terrain, Francesconis  Riti Neurali  und  Body Electric, Dillons  Vernal Showers,  Harveys  Scena,  Paredes Señales, Pausets  Vita Nova,  Reynolds  Aspiration  und Sciarrinos  Le Stagioni Artificiali.  Er trat mit vielen herausragenden Orchestern und Ensembles auf, darunter das Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, Orchestre National de Paris, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Asko Ensemble, Avanti, Nieuw Ensemble, Philharmonia orchestra, Schoenberg Ensemble, Oslo Sinfonietta, Nouvel Ensemble Modern oder das Ensemble Contrechamps. Besonders gefeiert wurden seine Aufführungen der Violinkonzerte von Ligeti, mit dem Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, und von Dutilleux, mit Het Residentie Orkest, beide in Anwesenheit der Komponisten.



Neben den über 200 CDs, die Irvine Arditti mit dem Arditti Quartett aufgenommen hat, schuf er einen beeindruckenden Katalog an Solo-Aufnahmen. Herausragend sind seine Einspielungen von Solo-Werken von Carter, Estrada, Ferneyhough und Donatoni sowie von Nono's La Lontananza beim Label  Montaigne Auvidis, die zahlreiche Preise gewannen. Seine Aufnahme von Cage's Freeman Etudes für Solo-Violine, die als Teil seiner kompletten Cage-Einspielungen für die amerikanische Plattenfirma  Mode  entstand, hat Musikgeschichte geschrieben. Die Aufnahmen der Violinkonzerte von Berio, Xenakis und Mira mit dem Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra sind auf einer CD der schwedischen Plattenfirma  Bis  erschienen. Zuletzt wurden bei Mode 44 Harmonies from Apartment House 1776  von John Cage in Irvine Ardittis  Bearbeitung für Quartett veröffentlicht, die ausserdem bei der Edition Peters in New York verlegt werden. Die kompletten Mode-Aufnahmen von Berios Sequenzen, auf der Irvine Arditti die Sequenza fuer Violine spielt, gewann 2007 den Deutschen Schallplattenpreis und wurde 2008 vom italienischen Musikmagazin Amadeus als Beste Neuerscheinung Zeitgenössischer Musik ausgezeichnet. 


Im Februar gastierte Irvine Arditti mit einem Portraitkonzert für Roger Reynolds im Miller Theatre, New York. Er spielte u.a. das Stück „Kokoro“ für Solo-Violine. „Aspiration“ für Violine und Ensemble wurden vom Ensemble Signal unter Brad Lubman begleitet. Zusätzlich veranstaltete die Eastman-School of Music einen Meisterkurs und ein Recital mit Werken von Berio, Ferneyhough, Paredes und Sciarrino. Am 7.Juni gab es ein weiteres Konzert mit Ensemble Signal und Brad Lubman innerhalb des Festivals „June in Buffalo“ in Buffalo, bei dem „Señales“ von Hilda Paredes erklang.

Am vorhergehenden Tag hatte bereits ein Solo-Konzert mit Werken von Dillon, Donatoni, Hosokawa, Traversa und Sciarrino stattgefunden.

Am 14. und 15.Juni gab es 2 Konzerte mit Ligetis Violinen-Konzert in Mexico City, zum einen in „Bellas Artes“ und zum anderen in der „Sala ollin Yoliztli“, mit dem Orchester Filharmonica de la Ciudad, dirigiert von Jose Arean.

Am 21. Juni veranstaltete das Holland Festival in Amsterdam ein Konzert mit Nonos „La Lontananza“, zusammen mit dem Experimentalstudio Freiburg und Andre Richard.

Am 2. November wird es ein Recital beim Festival Traiettorie in Parma geben, mit einem Programm aus Werken von Dillon, Donatoni, Ferneyhough, Hosokawa, Lavista, Paredes und Traversa.


Im Juli 2013 erscheint das Buch  The Techniques of Violin Playing  von Irvine Arditti und dem Komponisten Robert Platz bei der Bärenreiter Edition. 



Además de su legendaria trayectoria como primer violín del Cuarteto Arditti, Irvine Arditti también le ha dado vida a muchas obra como solista. Nació en Londres en 1953 y a los dieciséis años ingresó a estudiar en la Academia Real de Música. Se integró a la Orquesta Sinfónica de Londres en 1976 y después de dos años fue co-concertino a la edad de veinticinco años. Dejó la orquesta en 1980 para dedicar más tiempo al Cuarteto Arditti que formó cuando aún era estudiante.


Irvine Arditti ha estrenado una plétora de obras de gran escala escritas ex profeso para él. Entre éstas se incluyen Dox Orkh de Xenakis', Landscape III de Hosokawa, para violín y orquesta, así como también Terrain de Ferneyhough, Riti Neurali y Body Electric de Francesconi, Vernal Showers de Dillon, Scena de Jonathan Harvey , Vita Nova de Pauset , Aspiration de Reynolds y Le Stagioni Artificiali de Sciarrino, todas ellas para violín y grupo instrumental.

Se ha presentado con muchas distinguidas orquestas y grupos instrumentales que incluyen la orquesta de Bayerische Rundfunk, BBC Symphony, la orquesta sinfónica de la Radio de Berlin, la orquesta Real del Concertgebouw, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, la Filarmónica de Munich, Orquesta Nacional de Paris, Het Residentie den Hague, la Filarmónica de Rotterdam, Asko Ensemble, Avanti, Ensemble Contrechamps, Nieuw Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Oslo Sinfonietta, Philharmonia orchestra, Schoenberg Ensemble. Muchos compositores lo han aclamado por sus interpretaciones de varios conciertos en particular Ligeti y Dutilleux.

En el 2012 Irvine estrenó en el Miller Theatre de Nueva York Señales para violín y grupo instrumental, una obra reciente de Hilda Paredes, con el grupo Signal de Nueva York y dirigidos por Brad Lubman.

En el mismo año se hicieron muchas presentaciones alrededor del mundo de Freeman Etudes de Cage para celebrar su centenario. Estas presentaciones se realizaron en Darmstadt, Washington Tokio, Venezia y Huddersfield.


En el mes de febrero Miller theatre de Nueva York presentó un concierto monográfico del compositor Roger Reynolds. En este programa se presentó Kokoro, la obra para violín solo y Aspiration para violín y grupo instrumental con Ensemble Signal dirigidos por Brad Lubman. También hubo una clase magistral y un recital en Eastman School of Music cuyo programa consitsió de obras para violín solo de Berio, Ferneyhough, Paredes y Sciarrino. El 7 de junio hubo otro concierto con Signal y Brad Lubman en el festival June in Buffalo en cuyo programa se presentó la obra de Paredes Señales. El día anterior, dentro del marco del mismo festival hubo otro recital para violín solo con obras de Dillon, Donatoni, Hosokawa, Traversa y Sciarrino. En la ciudad de México hubo dos presentaciones del concierto para violín de Ligeti los días 14 y 15 de junio con la Orquesta Filarmonica de la ciudad de Mexico bajo la dirección de Jose Arean. Estos conciertos se presentaron en Bellas Artes y en la Sala Ollin Yolitzli. El 21 de junio se presento en Amsterdam La lontananza de Nono dentro del Festival de Holanda, con el Experimental Studio de Friburgo y Andre Richard en los medios electrónicos. El 2 de noviembre, habrá un recital dentro del Festival Traiettoria de Parma con obras de Dillon, Donatoni, Ferneyhough, Hosokawa, Lavista, Paredes y Traversa.


Además de haber grabado más de 200 CDs con el Cuarteto Arditti, Irvine Arditti ha acumulado un sorprendente catálogo como solista. Su CD para violín solo de compositores como Carter, Estrada, Ferneyhough y Donatoni, así como su grabación de La Lontananza de Nono , ambas en el sello Montaigne Auvidis, han sido galardonados con premios. Su grabación de los Freeman Etudes para violín solo, como parte de su serie completa de música para violín de Cage para el sello Mode Records, ha ocupado un espacio importante en la historia de la música. En el sello Bis están grabados los conciertos para violín de Berio, Xenakis y Mira, con la Filarmónica de Moscú.


Los arreglos de Irvine Arditti de las 44 Armonías de Apartment House de Cage están publicadas en la Editorial Peters y grabadas en Mode Records de Nueva York. Para este mismo sello grabó la Sequenza de Berio que en el 2001 ganó el Deutsche Schallplattenpreis y fue también galardonado como la mejor grabación de música contemporánea por la revista italiana Amadeus en el 2008.


En Julio del 2013 el libro The Techniques of Violin playing , escrito por Irvine Arditti en colaboración con el compositor Robert Platz, fue publicado por la editorial Barenreiter.




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