Thomas Zehetmair’s ability to skillfully blend his musical interests is unparalleled. He enjoys widespread international acclaim not only as a violinist, but also a conductor and chamber musician, making him one of the most prominent artistic personalities of today. Since the 2016/17 season he is Principal Conductor of the Musikkollegium Winterthur. Founded in 1629, the Musikkollegium Winterthur has one of the richest musical traditions in Europe. This season, a special challenge will be recording all four Brahms symphonies. At the end of the season they will be presented in one cycle together with Brahms’ solo concertos. Starting in 2019/2020, Zehetmair will take over the position as chief conductor at the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester.
Thomas Zehetmair has recorded the largest works of repertoire for the violin; many of his releases have earned multiple awards. These recordings include, among others, B. A. Zimmermann’s violin concerto with the WDR Sinfonieorchester under Heinz Holliger (“Diapason d’Or de l’Année“ 2009), 24 Paganini Caprices (Best List of the “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“ 2009, Midem Classic Award 2010), a recording of Elgar’s violin concerto with the Hallé Orchestra Manchester under Sir Mark Elder (Gramophone Award 2010) and Mozart’s violin concertos with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century under Frans Brüggen, acclaimed as a reference recording. In addition, the recording "Manto and Madrigals" with his duo-partner Ruth Killius appeared in 2011 at ECM, where contemporary works for violin and viola can be heard.
Taking the helm of the Royal Northern Sinfonia as Principal Conductor in 2002, he sculpted it into one of England’s leading orchestras during his term ending in 2014. As Conductor Laureate he will stay closely connected to the orchestra in the future. A number of recordings document his exceedingly prolific work with the orchestra. Between 2012 and 2015 he held the position of Principal Conductor of the Orchester de Chambre de Paris. An album published by ECM with works by Schumann documents the artistic collaboration.
Thomas Zehetmair is both a sought-after soloist and conductor among leading international orchestras worldwide. He is Artistic Partner at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the USA. Furthermore he is the founding member of the Zehetmair Quartett, with which he was awarded the Paul Hindemith Prize by the City of Hanau in November 2014 in recognition of outstanding musical achievement.
For his far-reaching artistic contributions, Thomas Zehetmair was awarded, among others, the certificate of honour by the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik as well as the Karl Böhm Interpretation Prize by the federated state of Styria. Thomas Zehetmair is an honorary doctor at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar and Newcastle University.