Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2017/18 season will see him appear as soloist with orchestras such as Wiener Philharmoniker under Valery Gergiev, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra with Bertrand de Billy, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra under Sylvain Cambreling, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, SWR Symphonieorchester under Peter Rundel, and Orchester de Paris with Daniel Harding.
This season will see Jörg Widmann and his work featured in various residencies and portraits. Jörg Widmann is the first Gewandhaus Composer and was commissioned by both the Gewandhausorchester and Boston Symphony Orchestra to compose a new work which will be premiered in Leipzig in March 2018, conducted by Andris Nelsons. At Gewandhaus, Jörg Widmann will be featured in a portrait concert as well as in various chamber concerts and as a soloist.
Further residencies include Orchestre de Paris, Wigmore Hall, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Mozartwoche Salzburg and Philharmonie Essen.
Chamber music performances in the 2017/18 season include a tour with the Hagen Quartet with performances of his new Clarinet Quintet in Paris, Lugano, Amsterdam, Essen, Berlin, London and Salzburg; trio recitals with Tabea Zimmermann and Dénes Várjon in Helsinki, Freiburg, at Kölner Philharmonie, Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin and Wigmore Hall, and recitals at San Francisco Performances, Toppan Hall and the premiere of a new piece written for him by Mark Andre at Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. Amongst his regular chamber music partners are renowned soloists such as Sir András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Mitsuko Uchida.
Continuing his intense activities as a conductor, Jörg Widmann will perform this season with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and as Principal Conductor with the Irish Chamber Orchestra with whom he will embark on a tour throughout Germany including concerts at International Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling, Philharmonie Essen, Mozartfest Würzburg and Leverkusen, followed by the premiere of his new violin concerto with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Carolin Widmann at Suntory Hall.
In April 2018 Christian Gerhaher and Bamberger Symphoniker under Jakub Hrůša will premiere his song cycle Das heiße Herz.
Widmann studied clarinet with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with renowned orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi.
Widmann gave the world premiere of Mark Andre’s Clarinet Concerto über at the Donauerschinger Musiktage 2015. Other clarinet concerti dedicated to and written for him include Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999) and Aribert Reimann’s Cantus (2006).
Widmann studied composition with Kay Westermann, Wilfried Hiller and Wolfgang Rihm. His works continue to receive many awards such as the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Elise L. Stoeger Prize (2009), the Paul Hindemith Prize in 2001, the Arnold Schönberg Prize by the Vienna Arnold Schönberg Centre and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (2004) and both the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg’s composition award and the Berliner Philharmoniker Academy’s Claudio Abbado Composition Award in 2006.
Widmann’s compositions are performed regularly by conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Daniel Harding, Kent Nagano, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle and premiered by orchestras such as the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Philharmonic and many others.
Widmann’s appointment as Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow at the Cleveland Orchestra established an extraordinary artistic collaboration with the Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Franz Welser-Möst including the world premiere of Widmann’s Flute Concerto, Flûte en suite in May 2011 followed by its European premiere in 2012/13 by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Emmanuel Pahud. Cleveland Orchestra featured Flûte en suit as centrepiece in their 2014 European tour, and dedicated an entire evening to Widmann’s works at the Berlin Philharmonie. His opera Babylon was premiered in 2012/13 at Bayerische Staatsoper under the baton of Kent Nagano. In the same season Alte Oper Frankfurt featured Widmann’s works in their composer portrait “Auftakt”.
Am Anfang by Anselm Kiefer and Jörg Widmann was premiered in July 2009 as part of the 20th anniversary of the Opéra Bastille, in which Widmann acted as composer, clarinetist and made his debut as conductor.
Widmann was Artist in Residence at leading Festivals and Orchestras such as Lucerne Festival and Grafenegg Festival, Bamberger Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich’s creative chair 2015/16, and both BOZAR and Elbphilarmonie’s artist in residence in its opening season. He was featured in Artist Portraits at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Cologne’s Philharmonie and New York’s Carnegie Hall, where his music was presented during an entire season under the motto “Making Music: Jörg Widmann”.
Widmann is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin and a full member of the Bayerischen Akademie of Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freien Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz. He is professor for composition at the Barenboim-Said Academy, Berlin.