Heinrich Schiff, born 1951, began playing the piano at the age of six and the violoncello at the age of ten. He studied with Tobias Kuhne in Vienna, and subsequently Andre Navarra, and made his debut as a cellist in Vienna and London in 1971. Meanwhile he attended conducting classes with Swarovsky. During the next 10 years spent establishing his career as a cellist, his interest in conducting grew through workshops and youth orchestra projects, and in 1986 he made his professional conducting debut. Since then cello performances and conducting have come to play equal roles in his career.
Since 1990 Heinrich Schiff has held conducting positions with the following orchestras:
Artistic Director of the Northern Sinfonia 1990-1996, Principal Conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic and of the Musikkollegium Winterthur, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and of the Radio Sinfonie Orchester Stuttgart. He is also much in demand internationally as a guest-conductor with orchestras such as: Philharmonia, Hallé, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, many of the German radio orchestras, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskappelle, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Oslo Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Schiff has conducted productions of "The Magic Flute" (December 1992) and "Fidelio" (September 1993) at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and "The Flying Dutchman" (1994) at the Stadttheater in Bern. He opened 2001/2 in Zurich and Winterthur with "The Merry Wives of Windsor" .
He has made a number of recordings conducting the Northern Sinfonia, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, and the Philharmonia.
Heinrich Schiff, born in 1951, began playing the piano at the age of six and the violoncello at the age of ten. Following his studies with Tobias Kühne, and subsequently André Navarra, he made his debut in Vienna and London in 1971.
For the past 25 years Heinrich Schiff has performed with all the leading orchestras in the major halls and music festivals in Europe, USA and Japan. He has worked with many of the leading conductors such as Abbado, Celibidache, Colin Davis, Dohnanyi, Eschenbach, Gielen, Haitink, Harnoncourt, Jansons, Masur, Salonen, Sawallisch, Sinopoli,Tennstedt and Welser-Möst.
Contemporary music plays an important part in his artistic work. He has collaborated, commissioned and performed many works of major contemporary composers such as Berio, Casken, Cerha, Gielen, Henze, Krenek, Lutoslawski, Penerecki, Rihm and Zender.
He has recorded all the major works of the cello repertoire ranging from Vivaldi and Haydn to Lutoslawki and Zimmermann. Apart from his prize-winning Bach Solo Suites (EMI) and Shostakovich concertos (Philips), which won the Grand Prix du Disque, Schiff has also recorded the Dvorak cello concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic (Previn), the Schumann concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Haitink), and the Brahms Double Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Sawallisch (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis). In 2000 Philips released the complete works for cello and piano by Beethoven with Till Fellner to huge critical acclaim.
For the last 15 years Heinrich Schiff has dedicated half his artistic activities to conducting. He has conducted major orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Dresden Staatskapelle, Munich Philharmonic among many others. He has also held positions as Chief/ and Principal Guest Conductor with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Northern Sinfonia, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Stuttgart Radio and Musikkollegium Winterthur.
Heinrich Schiff plays "The Mara" (Stradivarius 1711) and "The Sleeping Beauty" (Montagnana 1739).
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