Kurt Nikkanen

American violinist Kurt Nikkanen is an international soloist of the highest order. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he began his violin studies at the age of three, later studying with Roman Totenberg and Jens Ellerman. At twelve he gave his Carnegie Hall debut, performing with the New York Symphony; two years later he was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform the Paganini Concerto No.1 with the New York Philharmonic for a Young People’s Concert. He studied with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School.
Mr. Nikkanen regularly receives invitations from the leading orchestras and presenters in the USA and Europe, and has toured Japan and the Far East. He has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, including Hirokami, Jarvi, Kreizberg, Fischer, Litton, and Nelsons. In North America he has appeared with the Dallas Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra, and in Europe with the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Dresden Staatskapelle. He has also appeared with the Belgian National Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony and the orchestra of RAI Turin, Orchestra of Galicia, the Bilbao Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Nikkanen has given acclaimed performances of the Dvorak concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and Vladimir Ashkenazy, both in Prague and on tour in the USA, with concerts in New York and Chicago.

An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Kurt Nikkanen has given numerous performances of the John Adams Violin Concerto, with orchestras such as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Oregon Symphony, Hallé Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony (all under the composer’s direction). 
With the National Chamber Orchestra of Washington, Kurt Nikkanen recorded Steven R. Gerber’s violin concerto, which was written for him, for Koch International. Mr Nikkanen performed the world premiere of Mikko Heinio’s Concerto Alla Madre, subsequently recording it for Sony Classical with the Turku Philharmonic under Petri Sakari and released to great acclaim in 2010. His live recording of William Walton’s Violin Concerto with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra was released on the Nimbus Alliance label, and was a Gramophone Magazine “Critic’s Choice” selection in 2010.

In May 2010, Mr. Nikkanen gave the New York premiere of the Violin Concerto by Thomas Adès, earning praise for his ‘brilliant’ performance from the New York Times.

 

 

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