Violinist Nathan Giem has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and
concertmaster in halls across Europe, Japan and the United States.
Mr. Giem is based in Budapest, where he serves as concertmaster for the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of János Kovács and Tamás Vásáry. Mr. Giem also leads the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Solti Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, members of the Radio Symphony awarded him the Dohnányi Prize, as Musician of the Year. Recently, Mr. Giem was appointed to the string faculty at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music is the first American to hold this post in the history of the institution.
Previously concertmaster for the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Giem is in demand as a guest leader. In 2017, he led the opening concert of Switzerland’s Engadin Festival with oboe soloist Albrecht Meyer, under the direction of Maestro Jan Schultz. Other ensembles he has led include the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Rossen Milanov, the Los Angeles Camerata Orchestra and the Accademia Gustav Mahler Festival Orchestra in Potenza, Italy, with which he also performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante as violin soloist with violist Wolfram Christ.
Nathan is an enthusiastic chamber musician and participates in many festivals. This summer, he served as artistic faculty at the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival in Alaska, USA, and performed as at the 9th annual Kaposfest in Kaposvár, Hungary, where he collaborated with musicians such as Kristóf Baráti, Zoltán Fejervári, Máté Szűcs, and István Várdai. As first violinist of the Kuttner Quartet, Mr. Giem has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has also performed in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall as a member of the Bloomington, Indiana-based Kolot Ensemble, and has participated in the Open Chamber Music Festival in Prussia Cove, Cornwall, UK. As Music Director for the Violin Society of America’s Annual Oberlin Acoustics Workshop, Nathan collaborates with musicians, scientists, and instrument makers to explore the physics of string instruments in a performance setting.
In his youth, Nathan received musical instruction from Mehli Mehta, father of acclaimed conductor Zubin Mehta. At the age of fourteen, Nathan was accepted as an undergraduate student at Indiana University, where he continued his violin studies with Franco Gulli. Through the years his teachers have included Nelli Shkolnikova, Henryk Kowalski, Federico Agostini, and Alexander Kerr. In addition Nathan has participated in masterclasses and private lessons with Dénes Kovács, Eszter Perenyi, Ruggiero Ricci, Janos Starker, Pinchas Zukerman and members of the Orion Quartet.
In 2005, Nathan was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands in Orchestral Leadership, where he worked under the auspices of Amsterdam’s’ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, as well as Budapest’s Liszt Academy. Mr. Giem holds a Masters Degree and an Artist Diploma from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he also taught violin as an Associate Instructor.
A versatile recording artist, Mr. Giem has featured as violin soloist in several premiere recordings of works by Grammy-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas, including a Nimbus Label recording of Thomas’s Astral Canticle, a concerto for flute, violin and orchestra. Nathan also participated in a recording of Thomas’s works,entitled Of Being Is A Bird, which was recently selected for the BBC’s Music Magazine Chamber Choice Award.
In addition to his performing career, Nathan has an active interest in conducting. He was Music Director for the Illini Strings Orchestra at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he completed his conducting studies under the guidance of Donald Schleicher. Nathan has also served as Director of Orchestras at the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) in Louisville, Kentucky. His hobbies include history, violin making, and the study of languages. Mr. Giem is married to fellow musician and violinist Beatrix Soros and enjoys spending time with their five-year-old daughter, Esther.