Jelden Michael, Germany, 2007

Tour Dates: 4 May - 21 May, 2007

Michael Jelden

Michael Jelden's play combines virtuosity, sensitivity, fiery temperament, poetry, impulsiveness and technical perfection. Since his official debut in 1985, he has performed in more than 25 countries not only in Europe but also the Americas, Asia and Africa.

His performances of the virtuoso repertoire - Paganini, Wieniawski, Hubay etc. - and his powerful interpretations of 20th century classics, like his recordings of the complete works for violin by Khachaturian with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, frequently receive ovations from both press and audiences: the German magazine called him "born to be a virtuoso", and  writes "he is a brilliant, fiery performer".

His demonstrates impressive virtuosity and great versatility. This is also shown by the fact that, for two years he was "primás" (soloist-leader) of a Hungarian Gypsy band. He is also one out of very few violinists capable of playing the integral of Paganini's "24 Capricci" in concert. This gives him a very special "touch" and makes him different from other concert violinists.

He participated in festivals in Vienna, Salzburg, Villach, Stuttgart, Venice, Rome, St. Irenée, Kiev, Saxonian Summer, Mosel festival and many others. He has also been featured several times by the "Budapest Gypsy Orchestra" (Száztagú Cigányzenekar), the world's largest symphonic Gypsy concert orchestra, and in Stravinskij's "Soldier's Tale", in which he appeared as actor and violinist, for the first time ever. The magazines SPIEGEL and VOGUE, national and international radio stations and many others have honored his accomplishments with portraits, interviews and extensive articles.

In 2003 he rediscovered an important piece of music: An "adagio" by Paganini, which originally belonged to the second concerto with the famous "Campanella". He has also discovered 5 other works for solo violin by Paganini, of which he has given the first public performance and made the premier recording. Together with other pieces, Michael Jelden's edition of Paganini's works is published by Edition Peters.

His artistry today is documented on 7 CDs. His debut CD "Scénes de la Csárda" (Jenö Hubay) was internationally acclaimed. The magazine wrote: "Electrifying debut of a Paganini with gypsy blood". His recording activity ranges from Bach and Vivaldi, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert to Khachaturian and of course Paganini, of whose works he recorded several concertos as well as the works for solo violin. TV recordings and radio productions in Germany, Italy, South America, Russia and Africa complement the activities of an extraordinarily versatile artist.

Michael Jelden studied violin with Ricardo Odnoposoff and Valerij Klimov. He has also studied conducting with Max Pommer and János Kulka. He was founder and director of Latin America's largest festival of classical music, the "Festival de Manaus", in the Brazilian rain forest. International media (New York Times, Corriere della Sera, Asahi Tokyo etc.) reported extensively from the location. He has also studied linguistics and is the author of several linguistic books and dictionaries about the Georgian, Hungarian, and German languages (Hippocrene Books, New York, and Buske Verlag, Hamburg).

Michael Jelden plays an instument by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume of Paris, 1828. The instrument was built in the style of Casparo da Salo and bears several individual charcteristics that assure it not only a special status in the oeuvre of Vuillaume, but in the ranks of other great instruments:

In the place of the scroll there is a carved head of an old man. The back bears a painting of a female angel who plays the violin. Behind the bridge there is an unidentified coat-of-arms and the head and sides are gold painted.

The carving and painting are believed to represent King David and St. Cecily, repectively.

It is altogether one of the best preserved antique instruments: The violin has neither cracks nor damage of any description.

Vuillaume was also the violin maker of choice of Nicoló Paganini. He not only repaired more than once Paganini's legendary violin, the "Cannone" by Giuseppe Guarneri "del Gesú", but he also made a wonderful copy of it. Vuillaume and Paganini together were also very active in the field of instrument trade.

It is suspected that Paganini himself once owned and played the instrument.


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