Patricia Kopatchinskaja

Patricia Kopatchinskaja (born March 1977)[1] is a Moldovan-Austrian-Swiss violinist.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja
Kopatchinskaja in 2012
Kopatchinskaja in 2012
Background information
Born1977 (age 43–44)
Chișinău, Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
GenresClassical music

Early life and careerEdit

Kopatchinskaja was born in Chișinău, in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (now Moldova). She comes from a family of musicians. Her parents were both with the state folk ensemble of Moldova: her mother, Emilia Kopatchinskaja, was a violinist, and her father, Viktor Kopatchinsky, was a cimbalom player. While her parents were on concert tour through the former Eastern bloc, she grew up with her grandparents.[2][3] She started playing the violin at age 6.[4]

In 1989, the family fled to Vienna.[5] Kopatchinskaja entered the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna at age 17,[2] where she studied musical composition and violin. From age 21 to 23 she finished her studies in Bern,[2] at the Musikhochschule, where her teachers included Igor Ozim. Kopatchinskaja, her Swiss neurologist husband,[6][7] and their daughter live in Bern, Switzerland.[4]

In 2016, Kopatchinskaja wrote an editorial for The Guardian outlining her approach to music and her career and her preference for playing music "from the borders" of the repertoire instead of the standard repertoire of "Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, and Bruch."[8] She later said, "Standard pieces should be used only as exceptional, rare elements in programs. There are enough recordings out there already.… The classical music industry is so far behind. If someone does anything that’s even just a tiny bit different, it becomes a huge, heated discussion."[9]


The British Royal Philharmonic Society in 2014 named Kopatchinskaja "instrumentalist of the year" describing her as an “irresistible force of nature: passionate, challenging and totally original in her approach.”


Kopatchinskaja has played with most of the important European orchestras including Vienna, Berlin and London Philharmonic. She regularly plays in Japan and Australia and recently also extended her activity to the United States, South America, Russia and China. She has ongoing collaborations with conductors including Teodor Currentzis, Péter Eötvös, Tito Muñoz, Iván Fischer, Heinz Holliger, Vladimir Jurowski, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Kirill Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle and François-Xavier Roth.

Leading orchestras and festivalsEdit

Kopatchinskaja's experience as a leader of ensembles and chamber orchestras includes a tour with Britten Sinfonia, repeated tours with Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra and being an artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra since 2014.[10] Presently she is an artistic partner of the Camerata Bern. She has organised several staged concert productions, including "Death and the Maiden" with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, "Bye-Bye Beethoven" with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, "Dies Irae" with Lucerne Festival Alumni, and "War and Chips" and "Time and Eternity" with Camerata Bern.

From 2003 to 2005 Kopatchinskaja organised the Rüttihubeliade festival in the Swiss Alps. In June 2018, she was the music director of the Ojai Music Festival in California.[11]

Chamber music partnersEdit

Regular chamber music partners include cellist Sol Gabetta, clarinettist Reto Bieri and the pianists Joonas Ahonen, Markus Hinterhäuser, Polina Leschenko and Anthony Romaniuk.

In April 2016, Kopatchinskaja performed with Anoushka Shankar at a concert in Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany. The Raga Piloo was composed, performed and recorded by Ravi Shankar as a duet with Yehudi Menuhin on the album West Meets East, Volume 2 in 1968.

Historically informed performanceEdit

Kopatchinskaja has collaborated with Il Giardino Armonico, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MusicAeterna Perm, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the direction of Giovanni Antonini, René Jacobs and Philippe Herreweghe. She also has performed with Sir Roger Norrington and Roy Goodman.

New music and worksEdit

Kopatchinskaja has been outspoken in her support of new works and living composers, as well as works not considered part of the standard violin repertoire. She has performed and recorded works by Luca Francesconi, Francisco Coll García, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Sanchez-Chiong, Stefano Gervasoni, Simone Movio, Michael Hersch, Esa Pekka Salonen, Péter Eötvös, Heinz Holliger, and Michel van der Aa. Her "Time and Eternity" program with Camerata Bern, recorded for Alpha Classics, featured music by John Zorn, Ikonnikow, Tadeusz Sygietynski, Machaut, and Bach, along with Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Concerto Funebre.


Kopatchinskaja plays a violin by Giovanni Francesco Pressenda (Turin) in 1834,[12] which The Strad's Dennis Rooney called "a very colourful-sounding instrument whose viola-like quality lent her playing exceptional tonal interest". In 2010, she briefly played the 1741 "ex-Carrodus" violin by Guarneri del Gesù, on loan from the Austrian National Bank, but had to give it back because of unresolvable problems with Swiss customs authorities. In period-instrument environments she uses a violin by Ferdinando Gagliano (Naples, ca. 1780, mounted with a lowered bridge and gut strings) and appropriate bows.


Kopatchinskaja uses the voice in several compositions, including John Cage's "Living Room Music", Jorge Sanchez-Chiong's "Crin", Michael Hersch's Duo for violin and cello "Das Rückgrat berstend", Heinz Holliger's "Das kleine Irgendwas", her own cadenza for György Ligeti's violin concerto, and Otto Zykan's "Das mit der Stimme".

In 2017 Kopatchinskaja performed the voice part (Sprechgesang) in Arnold Schönberg's Pierrot lunaire in the USA[13] and since 2018 has performed the piece many times with, among others, members of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Montreal and Göteborg Symphonies, and her own ensemble.

In 2018-19 Kopatchinskaja and some friends made a film based on Kurt Schwitters's Dadaistic nonsense poem "Ursonate" (1932). It has been shown at several festivals.[14]

First performancesEdit

Kopatchinskaja gave first performances of numerous works, e.g.:

  • 2004/5 seven first performances, among them violin concertos dedicated to her by Johanna Doderer[15] and Otto Zykan
  • 2005/6 first performances of violin concertos dedicated to her by Gerald Resch and Gerd Kühr with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • 2007/8 first performances of violin concertos dedicated to her by Jürg Wyttenbach and the Turkish composer/pianist Fazil Say
  • 2009 first performance of the violin concerto dedicated to her by Faradj Karajew
  • 2011 first performance of violin concertos dedicated to her by Maurizio Sotelo and Helmut Oehring ("Four seasons") as well as the work "Oh whispering suns" for double choir, solo violin and cymbal by Vanessa Lann
  • 2012 first performance of the Romance for violin and strings dedicated to her by Tigran Mansurian with Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
  • 2014 first performance of her own violin concerto "Hortus animae" with Camerata Bern.[16]
  • 2015 (August) first performance of «Dialogue», concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra by Mark-Anthony Turnage (with Sol Gabetta and Gstaad Festival Orchestra).
  • 2015 (November) first performance of the violin concerto written for her by the American composer Michael Hersch with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.[17]
  • 2016 first performance of Mauricio Sotelo's "Red Inner Light Sculpture" for Solo Violin, Strings, percussion and Flamenco Dancer (commissioned by P.K.)[18]
  • 2017 first performance of Michael Hersch's duet for violin and cello "Das Rückgrat berstend", with Jay Campbell.
  • 2019 first performance of Michel van der Aa's Double concerto for violin and violoncello with Sol Gabetta, Concertgebouw Orchestra and Peter Eötvös.
  • 2019 first performance of Francisco Coll's double concerto für violin and violoncello with Sol Gabetta und Camerata Bern, composer directing.
  • 2019 first performance of Francisco Coll's LaLuLa-Lied.
  • 2019 first performance of the duo for violin and cello by Marton Illes with Jay Campbell in Santa Barbara, California.
  • 2020 first performance of the violin concerto by Marton Illes with WDR-Orchestra Cologne, directed by Michael Wendeberg
  • 2020 first performance of the violin concerto by Francisco Coll with Luxembourg Philharmonic directed by Gustavo Gimeno.
  • 2020 first performance of the violin concerto "Possible Places" by Dmitri Kourliandski (b.1976) with SWR-orchestra Stuttgart and Teodor Currentzis.
  • 2020 First performance of the double concerto for two violins "Gemini" by Helene Winkelmann, with Helene Winkelmann, Basel Symphony Orchestra and Ivor Bolton.

Richard Carrick, Violeta Dinescu, Michalis Economou, Heinz Holliger, Ludwig Nussbichler, Jorge Sánchez-Chiong, Ivan Sokolov, and Boris Yoffe have also written works for her.[citation needed]


  • 2000: 1st prize in the International Henryk Szeryng Competition in Mexico
  • 2002: Credit Suisse Young Artist Award
  • 2004: New Talent – SPP Award of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)[19]
  • 2006: Deutschlandfunk-award of the Bremer Musikfest[20]
  • 2008: Award of the music commission Kanton Bern, Switzerland
  • 2009: ECHO in the category chamber music for the CD recorded with Fazil Say (works by Beethoven, Ravel, Bártok & Say)
  • 2010: BBC-Music-Magazine award (orchestral category) for the CD recorded with Philippe Herreweghe and the Orchestre des Champs Elysees: Collected works for violin and orchestra by Beethoven
  • 2011: "Golden Bow"-award of the Meiringen music festival, Switzerland
  • 2012: Praetorius music award of the county Niedersachsen, Germany in the category "musical innovation"
  • 2013: ECHO in the category concert recording of the year (20th/21st century/violin) for the double-CD with violin concertos by Bartók, Ligeti and Eötvös, recorded with the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt respectively Ensemble Modern under Peter Eötvös (Naive)
  • 2013: Gramophone Award "Recording of the year" and Grammy-nomination, both for the double-CD with violin concertos by Bartók, Ligeti and Eötvös, recorded with the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt respectively Ensemble Modern under Peter Eötvös (Naive)
  • 2014: International Classical Music Awards (Category Concerto) for the double CD with violin concertos by Bartók, Ligeti and Eötvös
  • 2014: Prix Caecilia (Belgium) for the CD with violin concertos by Stravinsky and Prokofjev recorded with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski (Naive)
  • 2014: Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards 2013 (Category instrumentalist)
  • 2016: Music Award of the Canton of Bern, Switzerland for "remarkable musical achievements"
  • 2017: Grand Prix of the Swiss Music Awards[21]
  • 2018: Grammy in the ‘Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance’ category for her Death & The Maiden album with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on Alpha Classics[22][23]
  • 2019: 29. Würth-Prize of the Jeunesses Musicales Germany[24]
  • 2020: Honorary Membership Konzerthausgesellschaft Vienna[25]


released pieces collaborators publisher/Nr. type
1998 ein klang 1996–1998

Johanna Doderer

  • Awakening 2 for three Violins
  • Kinga Voss (Violin)
  • Jacqueline Kopacinski (Violin)
Einklang Records 001/002 Double-CD

An Introduction To Dmitri Smirnov

  • Elegy (in Memory of Edison Denisov) for cello solo
  • String of Destiny (Piano Sonata No.4) for piano
  • "Es ist..." (Violin Sonata No.3)
  • Trio for violin, cello and piano
  • Sonata (for cello and piano)
  • Postlude (in Memory of Alfred Schnittke) for violin solo
  • Alexander Iwashkin (cello)
  • Ivan Sokolov (piano)
Megadisc 7818 CD
2001 Nikolai Korndorf
  • In Honour of Alfred Schnittke (trio for violin, viola and cello)
  • Passacaglia for cello solo
  • Are you ready, Brother? (trio for piano, violin and cello)
  • Daniel Raiskin (viola)
  • Alexander Iwashkin (cello)
  • Ivan Sokolov (piano)
Megadisc 7817 CD
2004 Boris Yoffe, 32 poems from the quartet book
  • Daniel Kobyliansky (violin)
  • Boris Yoffe (viola)
  • Dichtiar Druski (cello)
Antes Edition, Bella Musica 319192 CD
2006 Jubilee-CD Classics (50 years DRS 2)
on CD Nr.10. („Young Talents“) by Kopatchinskaja

George Enescu

  • Third Sonata (Dans le charactère populaire roumain)
    • 1. Moderato malinconico
    • 2. Andante sostenuto e misterioso
    • 3. Allegro con brio, ma non troppo mosso
Mihaela Ursuleasa (piano) Swiss Radio DRS2, CDL1710 10 CDs
2006 Johanna Doderer
  • For violin and orchestra (dedicated to Kopatchinskaja)
  • Bolero for two pianos and orchestra
  • Rondane for orchestra
Edition Zeitton des ORF 2009336 CD
2007 Boris Yoffe, Musical Semantics

Boris Yoffe

  • Seven poems from the quartet book
  • Essay
  • Leicht, aber mit Hingabe
  • Daniel Kobylianski (violin)
  • Jacqueline Kopacinski (violin)
  • Roman Spitzer (viola)
  • Druski Dichtiar (cello)
  • Angela Yoffe (piano)
Megadisc MDC 7798 CD
2008 Fazil Say 1001 Nights in the Harem

Fazil Say

  • Violin concerto '1001 nights in the harem'
  • Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
  • John Axelrod (conductor)
Naïve, V 5147 CD
2008 Gerd Kühr
  • Movimenti for violin and orchestra (2006)

Gerald Resch

  • "Schlieren" concerto for Violin and orchestra (2005)

Otto Zykan

  • "Da unten im Tale" concerto for violin and orchestra (2004, dedicated to P.K.)
  • Radio-Symphony Orchestra Vienna (RSO)
  • Stefan Asbury (conductor)
  • Johannes Kalitzke (conductor)
  • Bertrand de Billy (conductor)
col legno, WWE 1CD 20279 CD
2009 Beethoven: Complete works for violin and orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Concerto for violin and orchestra D-Major op. 61
  • Romance for violin and orchestra Nr. 2 F-Major op. 50
  • Romanze for violin and orchestra Nr. 1 G-Major op. 40
  • Concerto for violin and orchestra C-Major WoO 5, fragment of the first movement
Naïve, V 5174 CD
2009 Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Violin sonata Nr. 9 („Kreutzer“)

Maurice Ravel

  • Violin sonata in G-Major

Béla Bartók

  • 6 Roumanian folk dances

Fazil Say

  • Violin sonata op. 7
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin)
  • Fazil Say (piano)
Naïve, V 5146 CD
2010 Patricia Kopatchinskaja: Rapsodia – Music from my homeland
  • Works by Enescu, Kurtag, Ligeti, Sánchez-Chiong, Ravel, Moldovan Folklore
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin)
  • Emilia Kopatchinskaja (violin & viola)
  • Viktor Kopatchinsky (cymbalom)
  • Martin Gjakonovski (double bass)
  • Mihaela Ursuleasa (piano)
Naïve, V 5193 CD
2012 Three Hungarian violin concertos
  • Bartók: Violin concerto Nr. 2
  • Eötvös: Violin concerto Nr. 1 ("Seven")
  • Ligeti: Violin concerto
Naïve, V 5285 Double-CD
2013 Two Russian violin concertos
  • Stravinsky: Concerto in re
  • Prokofjev: Violin concerto Nr. 2
Naïve, V 5352 CD
2014 Quasi Parlando ECM New Series 2323 CD
2014 Galina Ustvolskaya
  • Violin sonata, Duet, Clarinet Trio
ECM New Series 2329 CD
2015 Giya Kancheli
  • Chiaroscuro, Twilight
ECM New Series 2442 CD
2015 Take Two

Duets from 1000 years of musical history

Works by Gesualdo, De Machaut, Gibbons, Giamberti, Biber, Bach, De Falla, Milhaud, Vivier, Martinu, Cage, Holliger, Sotelo, Dick, Sanchez-Chiong and from Winchester Troper

  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin, baroque violin, voice)
  • Reto Bieri (clarinet, violin, ocarina)
  • Laurence Dreyfus (treble viol)
  • Pablo Marquez (guitar)
  • Anthony Romaniuk (harpsichord, toy piano)
  • Jorge Sanchez-Chiong (turntables and electronics)
  • Matthias Würsch (darbuka)
  • Ernesto Estrella (voice)
Alpha Classics CD
2016 Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski
  • Violin concerto
  • Les Noces
Sony classical CD[26]
2016 Robert Schumann

Complete symphonic works Vol.4

  • Violin concerto
  • Piano concerto
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin)
  • Denes Varjon (piano)
  • WDR-Symphony-Orchestra, Cologne
  • Heinz Holliger, conductor
Audite CD
2016 Faradj Karaev
  • Violin concerto
  • Vingt ans après "Nostalgie..." (Symphony)
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (Violin)
  • Azerbaijan Symphony Orchestra Baku
  • Rauf Abullayev, conductor
Paladino Music CD
2016 (March) Robert Schumann

Complete symphonic works Vol.5

  • Concert pieces for piano and orchestra op. 92 und 134
  • Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra op.131
  • Concert piece for four horns and orchestra op. 86
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (Violin)
  • Alexander Lonquich (Piano)
  • WDR-Symphony-Orchestra, Cologne
  • Heinz Holliger, conductor
Audite CD
2016 (October) Franz Schubert

Death and the Maiden and also other works by Gesualdo, Dowland, Nörmiger, Kurtag etc.

  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin, direction)
  • Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Alpha classics CD
2018 (February)

Francis Poulenc

  • Violin sonata

Leo Delibes

  • Waltz from Coppélia for piano solo

Béla Bartók

  • Violin sonata Nr.2

Maurice Ravel

  • Tzigane
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (Violin)
  • Polina Leschenko (Piano)
Alpha Classics CD
2018 (July)

Michael Hersch End Stages, Violin Concerto

  • Violin Concerto (2015)
  • End Stages for Orchestra
  • Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (End Stages)
  • ICE – International contemporary Ensemble, New York (violin concerto)
  • Tito Munoz, Dirigent (violin concerto)
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin)
New Focus Recordings

fcr 208

2019 (September)

Time and Eternity

  • John Zorn: Kol Nidre
  • Karl Amadeus Hartmann: Concerto funebre
  • Frank Martin: Polyptyque
  • Lubos Fiser: Crux
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Choral transcriptions for strings
  • Camerata Bern
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (concept, direction, solo violin)
Alpha Classics


2020 (September)


  • Antonio Vivaldi: Concertos RV 157, 191, 208, 253, 550
  • Aurelio Cattaneo: Estroso
  • Luca Francesconi: Spiccato Il Volo
  • Simone Movio: Incanto XIX
  • Marco Stroppa: Dilanio Avvinto
  • Giovanni Sollima: Moghul
  • Bela Bartok: The Bagpipe
  • Il Giardino Armonico
  • Giovanni Antonini (cond., recorder)
  • Patricia Kopatchinskaja (solo violin)
Alpha Classics


2020 (December)


Alpha Classics


Release Switzerland: Dec.4th 2020 Release Europe: Jan.8th 2021



  1. ^ Roddy, Michael (14 March 2014). "Moldovan violinist Kopatchinskaja: 'Art should be alive'". Reuters. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Ivan Hewett (14 August 2014). "Patricia Kopatchinskaja: Wild child of classical violin". Telegraph. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Patricia Kopatchinskaja: Ich kenne Dich, ich habe Dich spielen gehört". Documentary film, 2012. (Director: Béla Batthyany)
  4. ^ a b Andrew Clark (20 September 2013). "Interview: violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Viktor Kopatchinsky Biography". 20 November 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  6. ^ Christiane Peitz (8 October 2009). "Wir spielen keine Noten". Die Zeit. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  7. ^ Christine Lemke-Matwey (2 January 2014). "Mein rollendes R". Die Zeit. Retrieved 26 November 2015. (subscription required)
  8. ^ Kopatchinskaja, Patricia (5 February 2016). "Patricia Kopatchinskaja: We all need madness in our worlds". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Upside Down". VAN Magazine. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja appointed artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra". The Strad. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Ojai Music Festival and Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja Announce the 72nd Festival: June 7–10, 2018 – Ojai Music Festival". 25 October 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  12. ^ Jason Price (16 February 2018). "Patricia Kopatchinskaja's Pressenda 1834". Tarisio. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  13. ^ Rob Hubbard (27 October 2017). "Patricia Kopatchinskaja makes Schönberg fun". Pioneer Press. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Patricia Kopatchinskaja". Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  15. ^ David Gutman. "DODERER The Piano Trios". Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Der Ton, der durch die Musik wandelt". Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja withdraws from concerts due to injury". The Strad. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Kopatchinskaja premières Sotelo". Universal Edition blog. 15 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  19. ^ "パトリシア・コパチンスカヤ:avex-CLASSICS". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  20. ^ Violinistin Kopatchinskaja erhält "Förderpreis" auf (archived in Internet Archive on 17 May 2010), checked on 19 March 2014
  21. ^ "Schweizer Musikpreis 2017 – Patricia Kopatchinskaja gewinnt den Grand Prix Musik". Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Classical strings in the 60th Grammy Awards nominations". Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Patricia Kopatchinskaja". 19 May 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Ins Innere der Musik | Ausgabe: 10/19 | nmz – neue musikzeitung".
  25. ^ " : Kopatchinskaja und Gerhaher neue Ehrenmitglieder der Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft".
  26. ^ "SONY demo video on youtube".

External linksEdit