On his second album with Signum Records, internationally acclaimed violinist Charlie Siem is joined by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Oleg Caetani to perform works by Beethoven.
Charlie Siem is one of today’s foremost young violinists, with such a wide-ranging diversity of cross-cultural appeal as to have played a large part in defining what it means to be a true artist of the 21st century. Siem has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and chamber ensembles, including: the Bergen Philharmonic, the Camerata Salzburg, the Czech National Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Philharmonia is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century, based in London at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, resident in cities and at festivals across England, and streaming online.
Charlie Siem is one of today’s foremost violinists, with such a wide-ranging diversity of cross-cultural appeal as to have played a large part in defining what it means to be a true artist of the 21st century.
Born in London, to a Norwegian father and British mother, Siem began to play the violin at the age of three after hearing a broadcast of Yehudi Menuhin playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. He received a broad and thorough education from Eton College, before completing the intellectually demanding undergraduate degree programme in Music at the University of Cambridge. From 1998 to 2004, he studied the violin with Itzhak Rashkovsky in London at the Royal College of Music, and since 2004 has been mentored by Shlomo Mintz.
Siem has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and chamber ensembles, including: the Bergen Philharmonic, the Camerata Salzburg, the Czech National Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, MDR Leipzig, Camerata Salzburg. He has worked with top conductors including: Charles Dutoit, Dannis Russel Davies, Edward Gardner, Zubin Mehta, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Roger Norrington, Libor Pešek and Yuri Simonov. International festival appearances to date include: Spoleto, St. Moritz, Gstaad, Bergen, Tine@Munch, Festival Internacional de Santa Lucía, and the Windsor Festival. Siem’s regular sonata partner is renowned pianist Itamar Golan.
Charlie Siem has a varied discography and has made a number recordings, including with the London Symphony Orchestra (Warner Classics, 2011) and Münchner Rundfunkorchester (Sony Classical, 2014). He has recently recorded “Between the Clouds” (Signum Records, 2020) including works by Kreisler, Sarasate, Paganini, Elgar and Wieniawski, showcasing Siem’s versatility and virtuosity in an intimate Parisian-style ‘salon’ programme.
A great believer in giving to worthwhile causes, Siem is an ambassador of The Prince’s Trust. He is also a Visiting Professor at Leeds College of Music in the UK, and Nanjing University of the Arts in China. He gives masterclasses around the world at top institutions such as the Royal College of Music in London, and the Accademia di Musica in Florence.
Passionate about bringing classical music to new audiences around the world, in addition to his classical performance career Siem has revived the age-old violinistic tradition of composing virtuosic variations of popular themes, which he has done alongside artists including: Bryan Adams, Jamie Cullum and The Who. In 2014, he wrote his first composition – Canopy, for solo violin and string orchestra – which was commissioned by the USA television station CBS Watch! and recorded with the English Chamber Orchestra. Siem has also had numerous collaborations with fashion brands including: Armani, Chanel, Dior, Dunhill, Hugo Boss and Loro Piana.
Charlie Siem plays the 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, known as the D’Egville.
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Oleg Caetani, one of the greatest conductors of his generation, moves freely between symphonic and opera repertoire. Caetani has conducted all over the world including: the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, the Royal Opera House in London, the Opera House in San Francisco, the Musikverein in Vienna, Lincoln Center in New York, the Suntory Hall in Japan, the Sydney Opera House, the Accademia of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Munich Philharmonic, the Mozarteum Orchester in Salzburg, the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra of Russia, La Scala in Milan, the Yomiuri Orchestra in Tokyo, the Sydney Symphony and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with the greatest soloists in our day including: Marta Argerich, Sviatoslav Richter, Danil Trifonov, Vadim Repin, Misha Maiisky, Gautier Capucon, Viktoria Mullova and Emmanuele Pahud.
Caetani considers Nadia Boulanger to be the driving inspiration of his career. She discovered his talent, initiated him into music, and gave him the philosophical approach to life linked to Montaigne, that he still has today.
Caetani’s vast experience, of almost forty years now, in the opera repertoire of Verdi, Puccini, Mussorgsky and Wagner has influenced his approach to the great operatic and symphonic works of the twentieth century.
Oleg was chief designate at the ENO in 2005, chief designate 2002-2005 for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Music Conductor and Artistic Director for the same orchestra from 2005 to 2009. Before that, Caetani was the Principal Conductor for the Staatskapelle Weimar, First Kapellmeister of the Frankfurt Opera and GMD in Wiesbaden and in Chemnitz.
Shostakovich’s music plays a central role in his repertoire. Caetani translated the libretto of The Nose from Russian into German for his production in Frankfurt in 1991; he conducted the Italian premiere of the operetta Moscow Cheriomushki in 2007, and has conducted the first performances in many different countries of Shostakovich’s operas, concertos, ballets and suites, as well as having recorded the first Italian complete cycle of Shostakovich symphonies with the LaVerdi Orchestra in Milan. Their albums have won several prizes: 10/10 from Classical Today in the USA, ffff Télérama in France and Record Geijutsu in Japan. His recordings of Tansman’s Symphonies, released by Chandos, won three Diapason d’Or in 2006 and 2008; his Gounod's Symphonies for CPO (including the 3rd Symphony, discovered by Caetani) also won a Diapason D'or in January 2015.