Michael Barenboim lets music, in its diverse and enduring ways, speak for itself through his violin. Born in Paris and brought up in Berlin, with studies at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, Theater Rostock under Axel Wilczok and at L’Université Paris-Sorbonne in philosophy, Barenboim knows no language or artistic boundaries.
Alongside his commitment to the core repertoire of the classical and romantic periods, Barenboim is deeply invested in contemporary music. His performance of Schönberg’s Violin Concerto with Wiener Philharmoniker deserves a special mention, as he was the soloist in the orchestra’s first performance of the piece. He has also recorded this concerto with the orchestra, under the baton of his father, Daniel Barenboim.
Barenboim celebrates a long history of collaboration with the late Pierre Boulez. In honor of Boulez’s 90th birthday in 2015, he performed several of the composer’s works at the Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Dortmund, London’s Barbican Centre, Opéra National de Paris and Salzburger Festspiele. He continues to perform these pieces regularly in his recitals and has recorded both Anthèmes 1 and 2 for release by Accentus.
His recent highlights are a season-long residency with Orchestre symphonique de Bretagne, debuts with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (under Antonio Pappano), Orquesta Nacional de España (under Juanjo Mena), Auckland Philharmonia and Los Angeles Chamber orchestras, as well as a tour with Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Karl-Heinz Steffens, with whom he often works in concert. Barenboim also made his orchestral debut in Berlin, with Komische Oper Orchestra, and gave several solo recitals in Australia, including at the Sydney Opera House.
Chamber music is an important focus for Barenboim. He is a founding member of the Erlenbusch Quartet and a frequent guest at such festivals as Rheingau Musik, Beethovenfest Bonn, Lucerne, Jerusalem and Verbier. Barenboim performs more regularly this season with his pianist mother, Elena Bashkirova, and cellist Julian Steckel. They will appear together at Munich’s Herkulessaal der Residenz, Brussels’ Palais des Beaux Arts, Paris Cité de la Musique and the Lucerne Festival.
In parallel with his solo concert and recital performances, Barenboim also serves as concertmaster with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and cultivates a continuous and strong involvement in educational activities. He regularly coaches chamber music in the newly founded Barenboim-Said Akademie and has given masterclasses in Spain, Australia and New Zealand.