Mirijam Contzen’s talent was discovered by the legendary Hungarian violinist Tibor Varga when he heard her perform a Mozart violin concerto - her orchestral debut - at the age of seven. He was to become her most important teacher and mentor, preparing her for the launch of her international professional career at the age of 16.
Mirijam Contzen began her career as a child prodigy and has since established herself as a multifaceted artist whose versatility and curiosity express themselves in her concerto work, her commitment to chamber music and her successful tenure as festival director. Her performances and recordings have earned her the highest praise from audiences and music critics alike.
In 2001 Mirijam Contzen won the ECHO Klassik Prize in the category “Rising Stars“ and has since performed with leading orchestras worldwide, including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with the conductors Gerd Albrecht, Dennis Russell Davies, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Christopher Hogwood, Eliahu Inbal, Bobby McFerrin, Tomas Netopil, Michael Sanderling, Leif Segerstam and Lothar Zagrosek. Highlights of her 2011/2012 season include an extended tour of South Africa and a series of performances and recordings with historical performance practice specialist Reinhard Goebel and the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra, featuring Mozart’s violin concertos as well as various works by Mozart contemporaries.
In 2005 Mirijam Contzen founded the chamber music festival Schloss Cappenberg and is now leading the festival into its eighth season. The festival takes place annually in northwest Germany in late May / early June and presents a broad range of chamber music repertoire performed by leading European musicians and soloists.
Chamber music plays an important role in Mirijam Contzen’s concert life outside of Schloss Cappenberg. In 2011 she founded the Serafino Quartet and has performed in various formations with Pierre-LaurentAimard, Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Natalia Gutman, Clemens Hagen, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos, Stephen Kovacevich, Mischa Maisky and Herbert Schuch, among others.
Mirijam Contzen is a frequent guest at music festivals around the globe, including the Salzburg Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Athens Festival, the Pianofestival Ruhr (with pianist Adrian Brendel), the Taipei Festival and the Verbier Festival. She participated in the Luzern Festival as a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado and has performed chamber music with other soloists of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She plays in the world’s leading musical cities and concert halls such as the Vienna Musikverein, the Berlin, Munich and Cologne Philharmonies, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Salle Gaveau and the Theatre des Champs-Elyees in Paris, Zurich’s Tonhalle, the Sydney Opera House and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Mirijam Contzen has made numerous recordings for a variety of labels. Most recently Oehms Classics released two recordings: a recital CD with the pianist Herbert Schuch featuring works by Brahms, Schubert and Zemlinsky; and “Mozart in Italy”, a recording of violin concertos by the Mozart contemporaries Tomas Linley and Franz Lamotte conducted by Reinhard Goebel and recorded with the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra. A 2-CD release of all the Mozart Violin Concertos with the same musical partners is scheduled for release in late 2012.
Mirijam Contzen plays a Carlo Bergonzi violin dated 1733.