In his ceaseless search for musical encounters, Antoine Tamestit nourishes a passion for chamber music which has taken him from Lockenhaus to Verbier, Nantes, Kronberg, Lucerne, Schwarzenberg, and Jerusalem. His multiple collaborations with such musicians as the soprano Sandrine Piau in Schubert, the Hagen Quartet in Mozart and the pianist Nicholas Angelich in Brahms, to name but a few, have become his daily inspiration. He has explored the fascinating repertoire of the duo sonata with Markus Hadulla for more than ten years now, and in 2008 he finally realised his dream of a string trio by founding the Trio Zimmermann with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera. He also likes to champion the unique concerto repertoire for viola, from Mozart to Schnittke by way of Hindemith, Bartók and Berlioz, whom he rediscovered with Marc Minkowski. He delights in appearing with the great orchestras of Leipzig, Munich, Berlin, Paris, and Tokyo, under such conductors as Marek Janowski, Louis Langrée, Paavo Järvi, and Myung-Whun Chung, not to mention the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Riccardo Muti.
Having premiered new compositions by his father Gérard Tamestit from very early in his career, he has developed an insatiable curiosity about new music. With Tabea Zimmermann he has recorded George Benjamin’s Viola, Viola and Mantovani’s Double Concerto; he has given the first performances in several capital cities of Olga Neuwirth’s Remnants of Songs and works by Betsy Jolas, and has commissioned a forthcoming concerto from Jörg Widmann. In his teaching at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, he shares with his students a vision of an instrument with an infinite sound-palette.
Since 2008 he has found his voice with one of the very few Stradivarius violas, the ‘Mahler’, made in 1672, which is generously loaned to him by the Habisreutinger Foundation.