07-01-1978 - current
The Dutch violinist Janine Jansen performs internationally as a soloist and in chamber music. Her musical partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Itamar Golan, Julian Rachlin, Martin Fröst and Torleif Thedéen. Jansen is the artistic director of the International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht and is under an exclusive contract with ...
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Concerts & Festivals
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Biography Janine Jansen
The Dutch violinist Janine Jansen performs internationally as a soloist and in chamber music. Her musical partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Itamar Golan, Julian Rachlin, Martin Fröst and Torleif Thedéen. Jansen is the artistic director of the International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht and is under an exclusive contract with Decca.
Janine Jansen is born to a musical family in Soest. Her father is a harpsichordist who succeeds Maarten Kooij, his father-in-law, as organist at the Utrecht Cathedral. Her mother, Christine, is a singer, and her older brothers David and Maarten play, respectively, the harpsichord and cello.
Her first musical love is the cello, but her parents dislike the idea of having another cellist in the home so they bring Janine Jansen to violin pedagogue Coosje Wijzenbeek. One violin lesson there changes her mind. Jansen later says it was “love at first sight”.
Jansen attends a concert given by the violinist Isabelle van Keulen and is thrilled not only by Van Keulen’s playing but also her lovely dress and long blond hair. She decides that she wants to become a professional violinist.
Jansen wins first prize at the Iordens Violin Days, a biennial competition for young performers.
1993 - 1995
At age 15, Janine Jansen becomes the youngest finalist ever at the Oscar Back National Violin Competition, competing against Wouter Vossen and Sonja van Beek. She finishes third, but the jury predicts that she will have a great future. The following year, she wins first place at the Hennessy-Mozart Competition in Paris. She continues her studies at the Utrecht Conservatory with Philipp Hirschhorn and Charles-Andre Linale.
Jansen makes her soloist debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam – she returns for at least one performance a year. She wins first prize at the Concours International de Musique de Chimay.
Janine Jansen completes her studies at the Utrecht Conservatory and is awarded the performer’s diploma with the highest distinction. She receives the Philip Morris Arts Prize, a monetary award to be used to further her career. The jury praises her “mature musicality with which she performs each varied programme with great sensitivity to style and and persuasive intensity”.
Jansen performs for the first time with the Kirov Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. The programme includes Tchaikovsky’s 'Violin Concerto'. She makes her debut in Japan with this orchestra.
Janine Jansen receives Stradivarius’ 1727 'Barrer' violin on loan through the Elise Mathilde Fund, with the help of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
The BBC selects Jansen as one of its New Generation Artists. With her debut at the Royal Festival Hall in London in November, where she is accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, she wins international attention. “In retrospect, that was my golden moment,” she later says. “I didn’t know at the time that there were people from the record company in the hall.” She makes her first appearance at Julian Rachlin and Friends, a chamber music festival in Dubrovnik organized by her former partner that puts the Croatian city on the map. She returns each year.
Jansen is awarded the Netherlands Music Prize. She signs an exclusive contract with Decca. Her debut CD, a collection of encores by Tchaikovsky, Camille Saint-Saëns and Dimitry Shostakovich, John Williams’ theme for the film 'Schindler’s List', and 'The Lark Ascending' by Ralph Vaughan-Williams, is a great success and wins an Edison Public’s Prize. She plays the violin part in a performance with Trijntje Oosterhuis and Carel Kraayenhof of the single 'Nu dat jij er bent' [Now that you’re here], a song written by John Ewbank for the birth of Princess Amalia. The song is in the Netherlands Top 40 for eight weeks. In December, the first Utrecht International Chamber Music Week is held at the Vredenburg Music Centre. Jansen, the artistic director, models it after the Dubrovnik chamber music festival. “I very much wanted to” she says of her choice for a chamber music festival. “Mostly because of the chamber music. Most chamber music festivals are held in the summer, but for me, the intimacy of chamber music fits perfectly with the last days of the year. I have much more of a private and family life then than I do in the rest of the year, simply because I have my family and friends around me.”
At her own request, Jansen performs Vivaldi’s 'The Four Seasons' with an small ensemble of seven, including her brother Maarten as cellist and father, Jan, on keyboard instruments. In part thanks to her father, she is well acquainted with Baroque gestures and is able to present the familiar four concertos in a new light. It is one of the first classical recordings made available for downloading via iTunes, and is particularly successful in the United States, bringing her the nickname 'Queen of Downloads'.
For the second time in a row, Janine wins the Edison Public’s Prize, with her recording of Vivaldi’s 'The Four Seasons' being voted the best album of the year.
The CD of J.S. Bach’s 'Inventions' and 'Second Violin Partita' is released and becomes in the United States the most downloaded CD on iTunes. “I never expected that,” Jansen says. “Vivaldi’s 'Four Seasons', yes, but Bach? ... That means that things are still shifting, that people take the time to listen to this music.” In Germany, she receives the NDR Musikpreis.
During a performance in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw on October 27, Janine Jansen is awarded the VSCD Classical Music Prize in the individual achievement category – other nominees for the award include Pierre Boulez, Ed Spanjaard and Mariss Jansons. The jury calls her the “true ambassador of the genre”. Because of her great success with iTunes, she records a live performance that includes Bach’s 'Trio Sonata in G' especially for the iTunes Music Store. Her CD of Tchaikovsky’s 'Violin Concerto' with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is released. Her Bach CD wins her another Edison Public’s Prize, and for her live performances in England, she receives the RPS Instrumentalist Award.
In January and February, Janine Jansen tours Spain and the United States with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Mariss Jansons, performing Sibelius’ 'Violin Concerto'. She wins the 2010 Edison Classical award in the concerto category for her recordings of Beethoven’s and Britten’s violin concertos. Her heavy schedule takes its toll and because of exhaustion, she cancels all of her engagements in July and August – including a tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and a guest appearance at a Symphonica Rosso concert given by Sting. On September 24, Paul Cohen’s documentary 'Janine' is premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival together with the presentation of her 'Beau Soir' CD. In November, she returns to performing with a concert in Arnhem.
Discography Janine Jansen
|Type and year||CD, 2003|
|Label||Decca, 475 0112|
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
|Type and year||CD, 2004|
|Label||Decca, 475 6188|
Mendelssohn & Bruch - Concertos & Romance
|Type and year||CD, 2006|
|Label||Decca, 475 7692|
Bach - Inventions & Partita
|Type and year||CD, 2007|
|Label||Decca, 475 9968|
|Type and year||CD, 2008|
|Label||Decca, 478 0651|
Beethoven & Britten - Violin Concertos
|Type and year||CD, 2009|
|Label||Decca, 478 1530|
|Type and year||CD, 2010|
|Label||Decca, 478 2256|
|Type and year||CD, 2012|
|Label||Decca, 478 3546|
|Type and year||CD, 2013|
|Type and year||CD, 2014|
|Label||BIS, CD 2063|
Trijntje Oosterhuis - Nu Dat Jij Er Bent
|Type and year||CDS, 2003|
|producer||Rob van Donselaar|
27-12-2003, Top 40, 8 weeks, number 14
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.