Anna Vinnitskaya (photo: Marco Borggreve)

Chamber Music

“Lost Generation”: Anna Vinnitskaya and the Brahms Ensemble Berlin

When it comes to the genre of the piano quintet, there is no getting around Johannes Brahms: his opus 34 is one of the most important and most popular works in this genre – because of its beguiling melodies, its youthful energy and its expressive virtuosity. Less well-known, but no less impressive, is the dark and mysterious Piano Quintet by Mieczysław Weinberg. In our “Lost Generation” series, Anna Vinnitskaya and the Brahms Ensemble Berlin remember the Jewish composer who fled to the Soviet Union in 1939 after the German invasion of Poland, where Dmitri Shostakovich became his friend and mentor.

Brahms Ensemble Berlin

Rachel Schmidt violin

Raimar Orlovsky violin

Julia Gartemann viola

Christoph Igelbrink cello

Anna Vinnitskaya piano

Mieczysław Weinberg

Piano Quintet, op. 18

Johannes Brahms

Piano Quintet in F minor, op. 34

Dates and Tickets

Biographies

Anna Vinnitskaya

Anna Vinnitskaya never asked herself whether she should become a musician: "Both my parents are pianists, my grandfather was a conductor, my uncle a successful violinist, winner of the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition – music has simply been part of my life since I was born. At the beginning, it was probably what my parents wanted, but after five or six years, the piano was as much a part of life for me as breathing or eating.” Today, Anna Vinnitskaya delights concert audiences internationally with her virtuosity, poetic depth and tonal nuance. Born in Novorossiysk in southern Russia, she received her training at the Rachmaninov State Conservatory in Rostov-on-Don. In 2002, she moved to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg as a master student of Yevgeny Korolyov, who became not only her teacher but also her mentor. Seven years later, she became a professor there herself. Winning 1st prize at the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels in 2007 and the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 2008 marked the beginning of her international career. In addition to her solo performances, Anna Vinnitskaya has always been passionately committed to chamber music. Her partners in this sphere include the violinist Emmanuel Tjeknavorian and the cellist Daniel Müller-Schott.

Brahms Ensemble Berlin

“The Berliner Philharmoniker enjoys a closeness to the music of Johannes Brahms that is unique in the world,” wrote a New York Times critic in 2009 after a performance by the orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Out of this tradition, the Brahms Ensemble Berlin was founded in 2010, consisting exclusively of string players from the Berliner Philharmoniker. The members of the ensemble feel closely connected to the orchestra’s sound culture and the music of Johannes Brahms. The ensemble’s programming focuses on the great chamber music repertoire of the composer who gave the ensemble its name. However, not only Brahms’ sextets, quintets and quartets for strings play a prominent role, but also his works with piano (trios, quartets and quintet) as well as the clarinet quintet. Other composers also hold an important position in the ensemble’s repertoire: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert Schumann and – as this evening – Mieczysław Weinberg. The Brahms Ensemble Berlin made its debut in April 2012 in the chamber concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker and has since performed with great success throughout Germany, including at the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, and in Japan and Korea.

Anna Vinnitskaya (photo: Marco Borggreve)

Brahms Ensemble Berlin (photo: Markus Weidmann)