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Julia Fisher late 2007
15 June 1983|
Julia Fischer, born in Munich, is of German-Slovakian parentage. Her mother came from the German minority in Slovakia and emigrated from Košice in Slovakia to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1972. Her German father moved in the same year from Eastern Saxony to West Germany.
Julia Fischer began her studies before her fourth birthday, when she received her first violin lesson from Helge Thelen; a few months later she started studying the piano with her mother Viera Fischer. Fischer said, "my mother's a pianist and I wanted to play the piano as well, but as my elder brother also played the piano, she thought it would be nice to have another instrument in the family. I agreed to try out the violin and stayed with it." She began her formal violin education at the Leopold Mozart Conservatory in Augsburg. At the age of nine Julia Fischer went to the Munich Academy of Music.
Among the most prestigious competitions that Julia Fischer has won are the International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition under Lord Yehudi Menuhin's supervision, where she won both the first prize and the special prize for best Bach solo work performance in 1995 and the Eighth Eurovision Competition for Young Instrumentalists in 1996, which was broadcast in 22 countries from Lisbon. In 1997 Julia Fischer was awarded the “Prix d‘Espoir” by the Foundation of European Industry. She recently had the opportunity to play Mozart's own violin in the room in which he was born at Salzburg to honour his 250th birthday.
At the moment she plays on a Guadagnini made in 1750 which she bought in summer 2004. For four years since 2000, she had been using a Stradivarius, the 1716 Booth, on loan from Nippon Music Foundation. Before he had the Strad, she played a Guarneri del Gesù and a Gagliano. She uses two bows, one a copy of the Heifetz Tourte by the Viennese maker Thomas Gerbeth, the other a French bow which she uses when she needs to send the Tourte bow away to be rehaired.
Prizes and honours
Julia Fischer has won five prizes for her violin playing and three prizes for her piano playing a.o. at Jugend musiziert. She won all eight competitions she entered.
- 1995: 1st Prize at the international Yehudi Menuhin competition, in addition to a special prize, "Best Bach Solo-work". Music journalist Edward Greenfield said, "I first heard Julia Fischer in 1995 as a 12-year-old in the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition. Not only did she win outright in the junior category, she was manifestly more inspired than anyone in the senior category."
- 1996: Winner 8th Eurovision Competition for Young Instrumentalists in Lisbon
- 1997: Prix d'Espoir the prize of the European music industry
- 1997: Soloist prize of the festival "Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania"
- 1998: EIG Music Award
- 2000: Promotion prize Deutschlandfunks
- 2005: ECHO Klassik Award for the CD Russian Violin Concertos
- 2005: Winner of the Beethoven ring
- 2006: During the celebrations of Mozart's birthday in his hometown Salzburg, Fischer played on Mozart's violin (with Daniel Müller-Schott and Jonathan Gilad). About the event she says: "During the first hour I couldn't play anything I wanted, because during the days of Mozart the violins were a lot shorter and I wasn't used to that".
- 2006: "BBC Music Magazine Awards 2006 Best Newcomer" for the CD Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (BWV 1001–1006). The jury said, “There are many recordings of Bach's works for solo violin but rarely do they reach such breathtaking heights of musicianship as this one. Julia Fischer is an incredible technician and soulful musician who does not let an ounce of ego come between the music and the listener.”
- 2007: The Classic FM Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year.
- 2007: ECHO Klassik Award for the CD Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
|Release||Composer/Title of Work||Performer||Label/Catalog No.||Format|
|August 2002||Johannes Brahms
|October 2002||Antonio Vivaldi||Academy of St. Martin in the Fields||Opus Arte/BBC||DVD|
|October 2004||Russian Violin Concertos||PentaTone
PTC 5186 059
|May 2005|| Johann Sebastian Bach
PTC 5186 072
|September 2005|| Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
PTC 5186 064
|June 2006||Felix Mendelssohn
PTC 5186 085
|September 2006|| Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
PTC 5186 094
|November 2006||Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky||PentaTone
PTC 5186 095
|March 2007||Johannes Brahms
PTC 5186 066
|October 2007||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
PTC 5186 098
|January 2009||Johann Sebastian Bach||Decca
- What's On in London, 20 April 2005
- WQXR interview on January 4, 2006
- Strings magazine, May 2006, No.139
- Russian Violin Concertos CD review from Gramophone magazine, January 2005
- Violinkonzerte Bwv 1043/1041/1042/1060, Amazon.de
- Bach: Violin Concertos / Julia Fischer, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, et al. CD, Cd Universe
- Presto Classical Biography, Presto Classical
- Julia Fischer's fanclub
- Julia Fischer's homepage
- Julia Fischer's General Management
- PentaTone's homepage
- Audio interview from May 2006 from the website of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Musicians site
- article featured in Strings magazine, May 2006, No. 139
-  Audio interview and Bach performance at WQXR in January 2006