Alexandra Soumm

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(2008) Claves Records, Switzerland: 40 Years of Passion, The Five Most Wanted Recordings

Born in Moscow, Alexandra Soumm started to learn the violin with her father at the age of five and gave her first concert two years later in the Ukraine. In 2000, she entered the Vienna Conservatory and the Graz University of Music in the class of the eminent pedagogue Boris Kuschnir. Alexandra won the Grand Prize of the Vienna Conservatory Competition in 2002, which led to an invitation to perform at the Vienna Konzerthaus. Alexandra was then selected by the Beracasa Foundation to perform at the Radio France Festival in Montpellier, her hometown.

Alexandra won First Prize in the 2004 Eurovision Competition for young musicians in Lucerne and was subsequently awarded the Herbert von Karajan Scholarship of the Karajan Centrum in Vienna.

In 2006 she made her debut with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Yoel Levi, performing the first Paganini concerto and immediately secured a re-invitation to perform Mozart Concerto no.4 in 2007 and the Paganini concerto with Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos in 2008. Alexandra’s most recent engagement with the orchestra was Mozart Violin Concerto no.3 with Herbert Blomstedt in May 2011.

In January 2009 Alexandra made her debut with the Orchestre de Paris and Neeme Järvi performing the Bruch concerto at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. She subsequently worked with the orchestra again in January 2011. Alexandra has appeared with many leading orchestras within France, including the Beethoven concerto with the Orchestre National de Lyon and Michel Plasson, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse with Tugan Sokhiev, the Orchestre National de Montpellier with Juraj Valcuha, the Orchestre National d'Ile de France with Enrique Mazzola and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice with Frédéric Lodéon.

Alexandra has performed the Glazunov concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Alexander Lazerev as well as with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and John Storgård, Lalo Symphonie Espagnol with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Lionel Bringuier, the Beethoven concerto with Alexander Shelley and the London Mozart Players and Mozart Violin Concerto no.4 at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Wiener Kammerorchester. She has also played the Mendelssohn concerto with the Grazer Philharmonic Orchestra and Johannes Fritzsch and the Sibelius concerto with the Staatsorchester Braunschweig and Alexander Joel.

Alexandra regularly appears at international festivals such as Verbier, Schleswig Holstein, Strasbourg, St Denis, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Deauville, Dubrovnik, Menton, Montpellier, Besancon, Montreux-Vevey, the Martha Argerich Festival in Lugano and the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad.

In the Spring of 2008 Alexandra’s debut recording of the Bruch and Paganini concertos was released on the Claves label, and Le Monde de la Musique described her interpretation as ‘displaying a passionate and lyrical personality’. Her second disc with Claves, a recording of the violin sonatas by Grieg, was released in Spring 2010.

Alexandra joined BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme at the beginning of the 2010-11 season which has seen her working with most of the BBC ensembles. She makes her debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in July 2011. Highlights in her 2011/12 season include the Beethoven concerto with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and Gilbert Varga, the Mendelssohn concerto with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Muhai Tang, a recital at the Auditorium du Louvre and returns to the Verbier and Gstaad festivals.

The violin Alexandra plays on is made by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini in Turin c.1785 and is known as the ‘ex-Kavakos’. The loan of the instrument has kindly been arranged through Florian Leonhard Fine Violins, London.