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Irvine Arditti

In addition to his legendary career as first violinist of the Arditti Quartet, Irvine Arditti has also given life to many solo works. Born in London in 1953, Irvine Arditti began his studies at the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 16. He joined the London Symphony Orchestra in 1976 and after two years, at the age of 25, became its Co-Concert Master. He left the orchestra in 1980 in order to devote more time to the Arditti Quartet which he had formed while still a student.

Irvine Arditti has given the world premières of a plethora of large scale works especially written for him. These include Xenakis' Dox Orkh and Hosokawa's Landscape III, both for violin and orchestra, as well as Ferneyhough's Terrain, Francesconi's Riti Neurali and Body Electric, Dillon's Vernal Showers and Harvey's Scena, Paredes Señales, Pauset's Vita Nova, Reynolds Aspiration and Sciarrino's Le Stagioni Artificiali all for violin and ensemble.

He has appeared with many distinguished orchestras and ensembles including the Asko Ensemble, Avanti, Bayerische Rundfunk, BBC Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Ensemble Contrechamps, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, London Sinfonietta, Orchestre National de Paris, Het Residentie den Hague, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Nieuw Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Oslo Sinfonietta, Philharmonia orchestra, Schoenberg Ensemble, Ensemble Signal. His performances of many concertos have won acclaim by their composers, in particular Ligeti and Dutilleux.


As well as having recorded over 200 CDs with the Arditti Quartet, Irvine Arditti has built an impressive catalogue of solo recordings. His CD of solo violin works by composers such as Carter, Estrada, Ferneyhough and Donatoni, as well as his recording of Nono's La Lontananza, both on the label Montaigne Auvidis, have been awarded numerous prizes. His recording of Cage's Freeman Etudes for solo violin, as part of his complete Cage violin music series for American label Mode, has made musical history. The complete Mode recordings of Berio's Sequenza's, on which Irvine recorded the violin sequenza won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis in 2007, and was awarded best contemporary music release by the Italian music magazine Amadeus in 2008. The violin concertos by Berio, Xenakis and Mira, recorded in Moscow with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, are featured on a disc by Swedish label Bis. Recently released on the Mode label was Paredes Señales with Ensemble Signal conducted by Brad Lubman.

In November 2017 Irvine was presented in Paris with Charles Cros Grand Prix in honorem, a lifetime achievement award recognizing the sum total of his career and his exceptional role in the service of music. The prize was also for his latest solo recital CD release called Caprices with music by Boulez, Carter, Nunes and Sciarrino on the Aeon label. A double CD of the music of Roger Reynolds has just been released on the Kairos label.

Irvine Arditti's arrangement for Quartet of Cage's 44 Harmonies from Apartment House can be found on Mode Records and is published by Edition Peters in New York.

On 7th October as part of an Arditti feature at the Festival D'Automne in the Maison de la Radio in Paris there was a performance of Ferneyhough's Unsichtbare Farben for solo violin and Terrain for violin and ensemble with Ensemble Modern under Brad Lubman.

On 8th Novemberat the University of Buffalo there was the first complete performance of Felder's Jeu de Tarot with Ensemble Linea under Jean-Paul Wurtz.

On 22nd November at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Irvine performed Paredes's Violin concerto Señales with the London Sinfonietta under Martyn Brabbins.

On 8th February 2018, there was a performance of Cattaneo's violin concerto in an early evening concert (18.00) at the Royal Festival Hall, London with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Roland Kluttig. Also Sciarrino's 6 Caprici for solo violin was performed.

In early June Irvine returned again to the Festival June in Buffalo, where he was in residence for one week. He performed a recital with the pre-premiere of Thomalla's Air. Solo pieces by Nunes and Paredes were also heard, as well as a performance of Reynolds Shifting/Drifting with computer musician Paul Hembree

On 9th June there was a performance of Felder's recent violin concerto Jeu de Tarot with Ensemble Signal under Brad Lubman.

Thomalla's Air was heard again in Darmstadt on22nd July.

On29th July there was a performance of Nono's La Lontananza at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena

On10th August there was a performance of Xenakis's Dikhthas in the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires with the pianist Nicolas Hodges.

On 13th October there was a performance at the Open Music Festival in Forli, Italy with Nunes Einspielung and Sciarrino’s 6 Caprices.


On 22nd October at the Dialog series in the Gare du Nord in Basle there will be a concert with music by Dillon, Nunes, Thomalla and Xenakis.


On 23rd November in the Konzerthaus in Vienna there will be a late night recital containing Sciarrino’s 6 Caprices and a new work by James Clarke called 2017-V


In July 2013, The Techniques of Violin Playing, a book by Arditti and the composer Robert Platz was released by Barenreiter Edition.

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