At the age of three, Tabea Zimmermann initially only started playing the viola because the piano, violin and cello were already “taken” by her older siblings. This chance encounter with the instrument soon developed into a life partnership. Since her debut in 1992, the violist has been a regular guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Although the viola has always been indispensable as the core of the sound in orchestral and chamber music, it has only been given solo roles by major composers in exceptional cases. This prompted Tabea Zimmermann not only to tackle the classics of the concert repertoire for her instrument, but also to embark on voyages of discovery into the unknown. Tabea Zimmermann has inspired several leading contemporary composers to write new works: She has premiered works dedicated to her by György Ligeti, Wolfgang Rihm, Jörg Widmann, Matthias Pintscher and Brett Dean. Her tireless commitment to the music of Paul Hindemith is also outstanding, culminating in the recording of all of the composer’s viola works in 2013, Hindemith’s anniversary year. The internationally sought-after violist devotes herself to chamber music with the same passion as to the solo repertoire. Tabea Zimmermann also took on teaching responsibilities early on: having previously held lectureships in Saarbrücken and Frankfurt am Main, she has been a professor at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin since 2002. Numerous residencies have taken the musician to Weimar, Hamburg and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and in the 2020/21 season she was Artist in Residence with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Although the season was overshadowed by the impact of the Corona pandemic, both Zimmermann’s performance of Hindemith’s [Der Schwanendreher] and her concert with the Karajan Academy were recorded for the Digital Concert Hall.