Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay honoured in his home state for his role as cultural ambassador after ten years leading the London orchestra


German-Hungarian violinist Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay has been awarded the State Music Prize of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, with the state’s culture minister recognising the ambassadorial significance of his international career.

Visontay, born in Schönebeck in 1983, joined the Philharmonia Orchestra as joint concertmaster at the age of just 24 in 2007, having previously led the European Union Youth Orchestra and become Germany’s youngest concertmaster at the Philharmonic Orchestra in Altenburg-Gera.

In the intervening years he has guest-led the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Hamburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra Nacional de Porto, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of his solo career include prizes at the Louis Spohr and Henri Marteau competitions, engagements with a number of German orchestras, and performances of The Lark Ascending with the Philharmonia.

He is also a committed chamber musician, with notable collaborations including the 2013 recording of Rachmaninov piano trios with Mats Lidström and Vladimir Ashkenazy for Decca.