“Her sound has passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music’s hidden strains of lyricism…”
The New York Times
“Even better was the brief slow movement, in which the throb of her silken tone and long-breathed phrasing honored the music’s tender romantic sensibility. She dispatched the bravura pages with spot-on digital marksmanship calculated to call attention to the music rather than to herself. In short, she made Schumann’s problematic opus succeed despite itself.”
“Faust, by contrast, was perfectly precise but wholly organic. Her sound had the complexity not of a machine’s cogs but of the jagged edge of a plant’s leaf, perfectly formed yet subject to natural forces — tugs at individual phrases, like gentle breezes, distinguishing one statement from another without a pause in velocity.”
“The stillness of focus and purity of sound that has distinguished her playing can be heard in a repertoire stretching from Beethoven and Schubert through to Hartmann and Ligeti, on modern and period strings. Where other violinists dazzle, Faust is a thinker.”
Isabelle Faust captivates her listeners through her insightful and faithful interpretations, based on a thorough knowledge of the historical context of the works as well as her attention to current scholarship.
At an early age, Isabelle Faust won the prestigious Leopold Mozart and Paganini competitions and was soon invited to appear with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Faust performs a wide-ranging repertoire, from J.S. Bach to contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Lachenmann, and Widmann. To highlight this versatility, in addition to her mastery of the great symphonic violin concertos, she also performs works such as Kurtág’s “Kafka Fragments” with soprano Anna Prohaska, or Schubert’s octet on historical instruments. She will premiere several new works for violin and orchestra in the coming seasons, including concerti by composers Péter Eötvös, Ondřej Adámek, Marco Stroppa, Oscar Strasnoy, and Beat Furrer.
Over the course of her career, Isabelle Faust has regularly performed or recorded with world-renowned conductors including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Daniel Harding, Bernard Haitink, and Andris Nelsons. In more recent years Faust developed a close relationship with the late Claudio Abbado and performed and recorded under his baton. Their recording of Beethoven’s and Berg’s violin concertos with the Orchestra Mozart received the Diapason d’or (France), Gramophone Award 2012 (UK), and a Record Academy Award (Japan).
Faust has recorded many discs for harmonia mundi with her recital partner Alexander Melnikov. These include the Brahms Sonatas for violin and piano, Schumann’s piano trios, as well as Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet. Other recent releases include the Mozart Violin Concertos with Il Gardino Armonicao and Giovanni Antonini, and Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Pablo Heras-Casado. Her recording of Bach’s harpsichord sonatas with Kristian Bezuidenhout was released in March 2018.
Isabelle Faust is Artist in Residence at the Kölner Philharmonie in the 2018/19 season.