Violinist Valerie Steenken becomes the youngest leader in the orchestra’s history

image001 (3)

Valerie Steenken © Pablo Rodrigo

Read more news stories here

Valerie Steenken has been appointed concertmaster of the National Orchestra of Spain at the age of 23. 

Born in Munich in 1999, the violinist studied with Julia Fischer at the University of Music and Theatre in Munich and with Marco Rizzi at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid. Steenken has many years of experience as a concertmaster in various youth orchestras. In 2014, at the age of 15, she became the youngest concertmaster of the Odeon Youth Symphony Orchestra in Munich. In 2016, she also became concertmaster of the Bavarian State Youth Orchestra.

She won first prize at the CullerArts International Violin Competition in Spain in 2022. As a chamber musician, she won the International Gerhard Vogt Chamber Music Competition in Schweinfurt in 2019 and the Reina Sofía School of Music Prize with the Prosegur Albéniz Quartet in 2021. 

Steenken is the recipient of the 2022 Beatrice Milani Scholarship Prize and the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ Scholarship from the Munich Concert Association.

Steenken is the founder of the Odeon Sextet in Munich and will perform with Julia Fischer at the Internationalen Musikfest am Tegernsee and the Festspielen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in summer 2023.

Best of Technique

In The Best of Technique you’ll discover the top playing tips of the world’s leading string players and teachers. It’s packed full of exercises for students, plus examples from the standard repertoire to show you how to integrate the technique into your playing.


The Strad’s Masterclass series brings together the finest string players with some of the greatest string works ever written. Always one of our most popular sections, Masterclass has been an invaluable aid to aspiring soloists, chamber musicians and string teachers since the 1990s.


This year’s calendar celebrates the top instruments played by members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Australian String Quartet and some of the country’s greatest soloists.