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 appears by arrangement with Opus 3 Artists.
Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include an early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at eminent competitions such as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).
Known for his often-unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice at an early age. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with distinguished period ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Musica Aeterna and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi and Valery Gergiev.
Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov developed a program that sets excerpts from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (Andreas Staier, harpsichord) in musical dialogue with Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues (Alexander Melnikov, piano). Additionally, the artists recently recorded a unique all-Schubert program of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. An essential part of Melnikov’s work are intensive chamber music collaborations with partners including cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.
Alexander Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won a Gramophone Award. This album, which has become a landmark recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy. Their most recent release features the Brahms sonatas for violin and piano.