[This text has been translated electronically] Tabea Zimmermann is a seasoned musician whose profile is as multifaceted as her repertoire. Since she started viola lessons at the age of three, she has passed through many stations: From Lahr she went to Freiburg and Saarbrücken, via Salzburg and Frankfurt finally to Berlin - along this route she won prizes in Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris, Budapest and Siena, among others, and made valuable friends and acquaintances with musicians and composers. György Ligeti was particularly taken with her viola playing. Often overshadowed by the violin, Ligeti nevertheless singled out the viola, poetically attributing to it »a peculiar astringency [...] with the smoky flavour of wood, earth and tannic acid«. Tabea Zimmermann inspired him to write the Sonata for Viola Solo, which has since become part of the standard repertoire of viola literature.
On her journey in various solo and chamber music contexts, Tabea Zimmermann also developed above all her critical and political facet. For example, during her residency with Ensemble Resonanz, the dream of »filing down the hierarchical structures in music a bit more as a collective« solidified, as she states in an interview with Eckhard Roelcke in March 2020. In addition, she observes an excessive private-sector development of the cultural sector, in which the focus is on profits instead of the overall social »added value in knowledge and also in personality development«. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Zimmermann once again clarifies her passion as a viola teacher and, in connection with and as a countermeasure to profit-oriented private organisers, speaks out in favour of »an obligation to give out cheap ticket quotas to pupils, students, social institutions, etc.«.
Her point of view is clear, her perspective sharpened by over 30 years of experience, and her profile unmistakably profound and intellectual. Tabea Zimmermann, who prefers to call herself a »musician with a viola« instead of a violist, finds her grounding in teaching and her inspiration in musical encounters with other people. She describes the award from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation as »an insane honour« and feels encouraged and confirmed in her work. Zimmermann is using the prize money to set up a foundation in memory of her late husband David Shallon. At the award ceremony on 15 June from 7:30 p.m., she will play Georges Aperghis' fourth movement from »Migrants - Aria«, Benjamin Britten's »Lachrymae« together with the Ensemble Resonanz and finally »Naturale« by Luciano Berio. You can access the livestream via our Digital Stage, which will be broadcast from the Prinzregententheater in a cooperation between the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and BR-KLASSIK.
On 8 July, Tabea Zimmermann will be heard in her chamber music element at the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele: Together with pianist Javier Perianes, she will make her viola sing in »Zimmermann Perianes Cantilena«. Works by Johannes Brahms, Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados and Astor Piazzolla will be performed. We warmly congratulate Tabea Zimmermann on being awarded the Siemens Music Prize 2020 and look forward to her inspiring visit with us!