Janine Jansen, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest violinists of our time, will release her new album, 12 Stradivari, on 10 September 2021. For the first time ever 12 of the finest violins, made by the greatest violin maker of all time, Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), travelled across the world for a groundbreaking new project with the superstar violinist.
12 Stradivari captures the individual characters of each instrument
Janine Jansen’s resulting new album, 12 Stradivari, captures the individual characters of each instrument, in specially curated repertoire to showcase their unique qualities. She is accompanied by Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House, at the piano.
Stradivari’s instruments can reach prices well over $20 million and some of the foundations and museums who own them let them out only on rare occasions. Some of these 12 Stradivari had not been played for many decades and others belonged to legendary virtuosi including Fritz Kreisler, Nathan Milstein, Ida Haendel and Oscar Shumsky.
The project was devised by Steven Smith, Managing Director of the world’s pre-eminent violin dealers, J&A Beare, who has worked with Stradivari instruments throughout his career. He wanted to bring 12 of the finest violins together and record their sounds in one unique record, and approached Janine Jansen for the extraordinary challenge. Steven Smith knew where in the world the 12 violins for this project were and in spite of the numerous logistic challenges, when travelling was at its most difficult, he arranged a two-week period when all the violins could be flown to London.
“A once in a lifetime opportunity!”
Janine Jansen explained, “When Steven Smith approached me about this project, I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity! It was my chance to experience the magic of these famous instruments and to explore the differences between them, especially bearing in mind that some of them have not been played in many years. I was very fortunate to be able to share this experience with my wonderful collaborator Sir Antonio Pappano.”
The story of this unique project is captured in the documentary Janine Jansen: Falling for Stradivari, directed by BAFTA-winning Gerry Fox, released in September. The film follows Janine Jansen’s experience as she embarks on her journey to record an album on 12 of the world’s greatest Stradivari violins, accompanied by Sir Antonio Pappano. Janine Jansen fell ill with Covid after only a few days of filming but recovered and recorded her extraordinary new album 12 Stradivari.
Virtuoso violinist Janine Jansen works regularly with the world’s most eminent orchestras and conductors. The New York Times noted, “Among the world’s star soloists, she’s as keen a listener, as adept and intimate a chamber partner, as it gets.” She has won numerous prizes, including the Herbert-von-Karajan Preis 2020, the Vermeer Prize 2018 awarded by the Dutch government, five Edison Klassiek Awards, NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement, the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award for performances in the UK, and the Concertgebouw Prize.
Janine Jansen’s new album 12 Stradivari will be released on 10 September 2021 and can be pre-ordered here.