Sunday, February 26, 2023

Viktoria Elisabeth Kaunzner

Teaching Languages : English, German

– violin / composition

Viktoria Elisabeth Kaunzner is an internationally performing "violin soloist, composer and director of the highest calibre", according to legendary violinist and intellectual Ivry Gitlis, "a violinist with esprit, beautiful are her compositions" (The Strad London). An enthusiastic mediator between West and East Asian music, "she makes her walking between cultures a theme" (Neue Musikzeitung). Her sound is "like liquid gold" (Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung), "her violin playing is brilliant, her musical ability enormous" (Süddeutsche Zeitung). 

She devotes herself just as seriously to the repertoire for solo violin with orchestra, and at the same time to the finest chamber music. She performs in venues such as the Salle Pleyel Paris, Seoul Arts Center, the Philharmonies in Berlin and Munich, Teatro de la Scala Milano, LAC Lugano, Herkulessaal München, Kulturpalast Dresden and many others. To date, she has performed as a violin soloist and composer in 23 countries on five continents.

The Strad Magazine London published the video of her interpretation of the Beethoven Violin Concerto as a concert recital in three languages including her Beatles improvisation of "Let it be" as an encore.

In 2022 she was awarded three important scholarships by the German Cultural Federal Ministry, the Korean Government and a private foundation, in total 165.000 Euros, to perform unique concert tour “Eurasian Flow” - 6 concerts in 8 days as a total evening soloist-composer with her ensemble “Viktoria & Virtuosi”, 30 excellent young musicians from 15 nations, in the most famous German concert venues. This concert marathon earned internationally highest acclaim as unique historic event as two violin concertos by two lady composers next to three world premiers, including on by composer Elena Kats-Chernin, as well as Viktoria ́s own works, were performed.

At the age of 17, she performed the Munich premiere of Franz Erasmus Spannheimer's Violin Concerto as a soloist at the Prinzregententheater. At the same time, Lord Yehudi Menuhin described her violin playing as "brilliant". Since then, important composers have written works for her. In 2021 - the year of her 30th stage anniversary - she performed the world premiere of the violin concerto "Roman Fleuve" by Violeta Dinescu in Valencia, which was dedicated to her.

In UKOREVV, Universal Korean Organic Ensemble - Viktoria & Virtuosi e. V., an exclusive group of musicians and artists, composition commissions are combined with standard repertoire as a synaesthetic integral under her artistic direction.

From 2010-2018 she worked as the youngest professor at the German School of Music Weimar, Kangnam University in South Korea, the Dependence of the Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt" Weimar. Since then she has been teaching online and analogue at the Victory Academy Berlin for musical excellence®. She has received invitations from renowned faculties, e.g. in Vienna, Dresden, the Juilliard School and the Barenboim-Said Fundaciòn. 

In 2019, The Strad commissioned her to research an article on the top local successes of South Korean violinists in major violin competitions. She has worked as a visiting professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Música (CSM) in Valencia and Zurich University of the Arts, Talent Summer Courses in Brescia, at the Musicalta Académie in Alsace and prestigious Castle Pommersfelden Collegium Musicum. As a teacher, she supports her students in finding their individual inner voice for the development of a personal artistic career.

In an ARD TV thriller she also showed her enormous versatility as a Paganini virtuoso. According to the magazine "Das Orchester", her music is an extension of the music of Ysaÿe and Paganini. American Record Guide lists her recording (Hänssler) with all the solo sonatas by Eugène Ysaÿe and her work Sojuchamäleon for violin and recorder among the top three internationally and writes: "Like many composers who also make music as performers, she has a deeper insight into the music than others". In 2021, twelve duos from eleven nations performed her work "Coffee Mask" for flute and violin, published by Furore, as part of an international music video competition. 

In 2021, she received a composition commission from the Pyramidale Festival Berlin and wrote the "Saiga Antelope" for violin and orchestra. She also composed boarding music for a South Korean airline. To date, she has written over 30 works for solo instruments, chamber music and orchestral music and performed them herself or together with internationally esteemed colleagues.

She has also been concertmaster at the Zermatt Festival of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra Seoul, and in 2009 became solo violinist in the Ensemble Garage für Neue Musik in Cologne. 

Various participations in the Darmstadt Summer Courses document Viktoria's deep insight into the contemporary music scene. At the same time, she is a member of the "Neue Davidsbündler", a circle of instrumental virtuosos who perform their works in concert in analogy to the old performer-composer tradition.

Special musical highlights were exclusive concert invitations for the Jordanian Queen Nur (Goethe Institute) or to Bellevue Palace Berlin for the German President.

She studied with the renowned professors Zakhar Bron at the HfMT Cologne, Krzysztof Meyer, the HfM "Hanns Eisler" Berlin with Stephan Picard, at the CNSMD Paris and with Salvatore Sciarrino (Mozarteum). 

She is also involved in historical performance practice, media composition and completed studies in lyrical writing. She was a scholarship holder of the ZEIT-Stiftung, the Instrument Fund of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, a prize winner of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (Geneva) in 2005 and a cultural prize winner for performing arts donated by the State of Bavaria in 2014.

All her four CDs (Wild Bird, Ja(zz)smine Rice-Violin Mysteries, Les Furies, as well as “EurAsian Gold” (music by Medtner and her own music, performed on the Ex-Midori/ David Guarneri del Gesù violin)) were nominated for the Echo and Opus Klassik prize. SWR released a documentary "Solisten und ihre Geigenbauer" (Soloists and their Violin Makers) in which Hilary Hahn, Daniel Müller-Schott and Viktoria talk about the search for the perfect sound.

Further CD release is planned for 2023, including a 40-minute solo violin work by Brian Martínez, mirroring historically performed Italian Baroque music and her own works interpreted by the Eurasian ensemble UKOREVV.

Viktoria is involved with organisations such as Oceancare, Rhapsody in School and cooperates with the Ashram Ghandi School in Kalimpong, India.

„Saiga Antelope“ - composed by Viktoria Elisabeth Kaunzner
Viktoria & Virtuosi in Berlin Philharmonic Hall