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Franziska  Pietsch

“Franziska Pietsch is one of the most exciting artistic personalities of her generation,” said Fono Forum.

That is not by accident. The experiences of a lifetime are reflected in the playing of a musician. And Franziska Pietsch was incredibly moved by that. Musically and personally. At the age of twelve she was already celebrated as a soloist in major violin concertos and recorded virtuosos by Paganini and Sarasate. As concertmaster of various orchestras, she immersed herself in the world of great symphonic music and opera before dedicating herself intensively to chamber music for several years - especially in duos, piano trios and string trios. Today the circle has long since been closed and Franziska Pietsch impresses with Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin as well as with Prokofiev's violin concertos, for whose recording she was awarded the Quarterly Prize of the German Record Critics, among other things. The English magazine “Gramophone” was blown away by the special mix of “raw expression” and “special intimacy”. Whether she plays Bach or Bartók, Grieg or Penderecki, Strauss or Shostakovich – Franziska Pietsch achieves this with an intensity that is captivating but never seems gimmicky. And when she indulges her love of the string trio in the Trio Lirico, she can also take a step back where appropriate. This maturity may have something to do with her biography. Born into a family of musicians in East Berlin, Franziska Pietsch was discovered and supported at an early age. She studied with the famous teacher Werner Scholz, made her debut as a soloist at the Komische Oper Berlin at the age of eleven and a year later won first prize at the Bach competition for children and young people in Leipzig. While she was preparing for the Menuhin Competition in London, her father remained in the West after a tour. It took two years before Franziska, her mother and her sister were allowed to leave the GDR, two years that were marked by reprisals, without violin lessons and without concerts. But also years in which she had to ask herself fundamental questions - which path in life she wanted to take and what role music should play in it. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach was particularly helpful to her. The new beginning in the “West” was hard, even though Ulf Hoelscher, one of the most important violinists in Germany, took her under his wing as a mentor. After winning the “Maria Canals” competition in Barcelona in 1989, she made the leap to New York at the age of 20 and studied at the Juilliard School with the legendary Dorothy DeLay. She also received important inspiration in master classes with Wanda Wilkomirska, Herman Krebbers and Ruggiero Ricci.

Back in Germany, she took on the position of first concertmaster in the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra for a few years and made guest appearances in the same position at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Frankfurt Opera, the Solistes Europèens and the Orchester Philharmonique de Luxembourg (deuxième soliste), among others. Between 2000 and 2014 she played in the Trio Testore, with whom she recorded all of Brahms' piano trios and founded the “Mai Klassik” festival.

In 2014 she founded the string trio “Trio Lirico”. Chamber music playing is still just as important to her today as solo collaboration with large orchestras. Her most recent partners include the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the Budapest Philharmonic, the Dortmund Konzerthaus, and the conductors with whom she has performed include such prominent names as Antoni Wit, Horst Stein, Arpad Joò, Moshe Atzmon, Julia Jones, Toshiyuki Kamioka and Christian Macelaru. Concert tours have taken her to numerous European countries, the USA and South America. Franziska Pietsch is also a welcome guest at the Elbphilharmonie, the Palais de Beaux Arts, the Laeizhalle Hamburg, the Berliner Philharmonie and the Konzerthaus Berlin, as well as at chamber music festivals, such as the Schleswig-Holstein or Aspen Music Festival. Her CD recordings receive an outstanding response and are award-winning. In 2021, Franziska Pietsch received the coveted “International Classical Music Award” for her CD “Fantasque”.

A few years ago, a new facet was added to Franziska Pietsch's artistic work: in 2015, she published her own poems for the first time in a joint book with the artist Nasrah Nefer. With her innovative project “musikMachtpoesie” she embarks on an unconventional musical journey together with a pianist and an actor. The harmonious alternation of music and language is intended to give the audience a deeper understanding of music as a poetic mouthpiece of the soul.

Inspired by this unusual concert format, she has now founded her own festival “WINTERKLASSIK”. The premiere took place in January 2024 in the Sorbian Museum Bautzen near Dresden, a place where different cultures live and is an ideal starting point for an exciting journey to music, language and poetry.


She plays a violin by Carlo Antonio Testore, Milan 1751

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