"In rhetoric and expressive interpretations, Sebastian Bohren proves a versatile and imaginative Bach performer."
Described by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as one of the most “serious and unassuming musicians of his generation”, the young Swiss violinist Sebastian Bohren has already set the world talking with the expressivity of his playing, the depth of his interpretative gifts and his exceptionally well-developed sense of style. He is equally at home as a soloist and as a chamber musician performing a wide-ranging repertory that extends from Bach to the present day.
As a soloist Sebastian Bohren appears regularly with orchestras at home and abroad, including the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under James Gaffigan, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Andrew Litton and Andrew Manze, the Basel Symphony Orchestra under Ivor Bolton, the Musikkollegium Winterthur under Douglas Boyd, the Basel Chamber Orchestra under Heinz Holliger, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra under Hossein Pishkar, the CHAARTS Chamber Artists under Gábor Takács-Nagy, the St Petersburg Staatskapelle under Elim Chan and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto. Among the ensembles that he has conducted from the violin are the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, the Zurich Camerata, the Georgian Chamber Orchestra of Ingolstadt and the Bern Chamber Orchestra. He made his Lucerne Festival debut in 2018.
Plans for the immediate future include appearances with the NDR Radio Philharmonic of Hanover, the Orchestra Svizzera Italiana & Heinz Holliger, the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, with whom he will be performing Schnittke’s Double Concerto with Daniel Hope in the Zurich Tonhalle. He will also be performing Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto with the Zug Sinfonietta and Korngold with both the Orchestre de Chambre Fribourgeois and the Bern Chamber Orchestra in Bern’s Kulturcasino. Bohren also has a close working relationship with CHAARTS.
Sebastian Bohren’s recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with CHAARTS was released on the RCA Red Seal label in 2016 and was exceptionally well received by the musical press. The following year saw the release of his recording of works for violin and orchestra by Mendelssohn, Hartmann and Schubert and the digital release of live recordings of music by Vasks, Kancheli and Shostakovich. His recording of Part One of a projected complete recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas was released in June 2018 and was described by Concerti as “full of spirit, sparkling with wit and filled with warmth and sympathy – it is a joy to listen to his playing”. His latest CD brings together the violin concertos of Mendelssohn and Britten. In September 2019 Sony Classical released an arrangement of Prokofiev’s First Violin Sonata for violin, strings and percussion that Bohren himself had commissioned. Plans for 2020 include violin concertos by Mozart with CHAARTS under Gábor Takács-Nagy.
Between 2013 and 2020 Bohren was a member of the Stradivari Quartet. Among the venues where the group performed in 2019/20 are the Chamber Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, the Chamber Hall of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing and Shanghai Symphony Hall. They are also touring Japan and Korea. Highlights of recent seasons have included performances at Victoria Hall in Singapore, at the Rheingau Music Festival, the Bad Kissingen Summer Festival and the 2019 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival. The ensemble works regularly in Asia with leading orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the NCPA Orchestra of Beijing, the Shanghai Philharmonic and the Guyang Symphony Orchestra.
Sebastian Bohren additionally pursues his passion for chamber music with other artists, including Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Thomas Demenga, Hansheinz Schneeberger, Reto Bieri, Christian Poltera, Antoine Tamestit, Konstantin Lifschitz and Yekwon Sunwoo.
Sebastian Bohren lives in Zurich but continues to maintain close links with the canton of Aargau, where he was born. For the last ten years he has successfully organized his own concert series in Brugg, Stretta Concerts. Internationally acclaimed chamber musicians and orchestras come to Brugg each summer to give almost ten concerts a season in the town’s parish church. Bohren has also launched his own series of concerts in Adelboden under the title Worte und Klänge (Words and Sounds). These concerts bring together a number of hand-picked musicians for recitals in the Boutique Hotel Bellevue.
Sebastian Bohren was born in 1987 and attended the Kunst- und Sportgymnasium in Zurich. He studied the violin with Robert Zimansky and Zakhar Bron in Zurich, with Igor Karsko in Lucerne and with Ingolf Turban at Munich’s University of Music and Performing Arts. Other seminal influences have been Ana Chumachenco, Heinrich Schiff and Hansheinz Schneeberger. He has additionally received private lessons from Christoph Poppen, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Christian Tetzlaff. He plays a violin made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in Parma in 1776 (the “Ex-Wanamaker-Hart”).