“ …The young Erik Schumann also had an important share in this success. With his fine sensibility for contrasts as well as similarities between different composers, he accordingly adapted his articulation to sound emphatic, yearning, intricately woven or incandescent, at times leaving wide berth for melodic cantilena, at others permitting himself an unabashed glissando…”
Hans-Christian von Dadelsen in Südkurier, February 8, 2008
”With masterful zeal, sure-footed brilliance and with the full sound of his highly valuable instrument, he enthralled his audience with turbulent scales and suggestive cantilenas…”
Hans Rühl in the Rheinische Post, December 1, 2007
”The soloist thrilled the audience with deft artistry as well as extended melodic phrases – even the birdsong was not merely a tone painting of nature, but displayed true solo wizardry in the highest registers. Schumann’s birds warbled perfectly in tune with Vivaldi’s score…”
Helmut Weidhase in Südkurier, November 28, 2007
”Then the listeners become mesmerized as Erik Schumann starts to shine. With a violin sound that is both substantial, graceful and sophisticated, this marvelous soloist proved his great talent in the Beethoven concerto and was much applauded. Only 25 years old, he effortlessly combines the laid-back self-assurance of youth with mature earnestness, knowing very well that he has no need to show off. The kettledrum’s gentle, emphatic pulse at the beginning is judiciously taken up and transformed by Erik Schumann for the entire rest of the work. With his firm yet flexible hand, the soloist bathes that initial motif with torrents of heartfelt melodiousness – tender at times, then at others with sudden, wrenching pain. In the second movement he inspiringly withdraws into the inner realm of fantasy before nimbly, valiantly staging the finale as an adroit, witty humoresque, all the while coaxing a sound from his almost 300-year-old Stradivarius that is lighter than air, yet produced with vigorous bowing pressure.
In the cadenzas, then in encores by Kreisler and Bach, Schumann proves himself a master of chords and polyphony on the violin. You can sense the rebel in him, yet he has already attained the tranquil composure that comes with maturity. Erik Schumann stands as solid as a rock, and that is why he is able to master the music with such seeming effortlessness.”
Michael Thumser in Frankenpost, Septermber 24, 2007
Daring to tread a realm of undiscovered sonorities
”Listening to music, we sometimes close our eyes as if by reflex, dreamily isolating ourselves from our surroundings as we let the harmonies lead us into undiscovered territories. However, such a reverie is not possible in Sergey Prokofiev’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in F Minor, op.80: this particular work does not make it easy for the listener. Whatever one is led to expect does not occur: whenever there is a brief inkling of recognition, the next jolting surprise is already lurking around the corner. With this piece, violinist Erik Schumann and his partner at the piano Henri Sigfridsson offered one of the season’s true highlights with their Meisterkonzert recital in the Lutherhaus in Osnabrück.
Tensely, anxiously focusing on the piano’s lower registers, the first measures of the Andante in Prokofiev’s 1st Violin Sonata give us a foretaste of what is to come. The piano keys set the stage for a dream in which the violin, as main character, will embark on a series of exciting journeys. The first movement almost frighteningly ends on the brink of a sudden void. It clears the way, in turn, for an Allegro brusco in which the notes almost threaten to explode. The violin expresses all imaginable passion and suffering with a harsh succession of downbows – sonorous outbursts that ‘feel’ so real that you think you can actually see them, touch them.
Born in 1982 in Cologne, violinist Erik Schumann has already ascended to the podiums of the most renowned international venues. His unique sound exhibits such a multilayered variety of colors and moods that one could almost go on listening forever. Pianist Henri Sigfridsson, born in 1974 and winner of a number of prizes and awards, completes this duo with true radiance. Although any distance of communication between them seems to be utterly abolished, each of them still preserves his own individuality.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sonata in G Major KV379 served as a light, accessible opener. Its Andante cantabile does not transport the listener into other worlds, but merely to green pastures where the first step might still lead into the unknown, yet finally concludes in a happy end.
Robert Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 in A Minor op.105 speaks an entirely different language altogether. The anxious, agitated first chords already make clear that here we will not be dealing with security, but with its very opposite – that is, with contrasting emotions. Any remnant of triviality is subsequently dispelled with a series of highs and lows ranging from manifest anger to tranquil reflection. Having reached the work’s dynamic crowning point, the music then descends in a torrent that leads to a strikingly powerful conclusion – a valve through which all the sonata’s previously pent up energy is released and resolved.”
Henk, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, March 7, 2007
The soloist Erik Schumann shined at the violin concert. The 24 year old musician from Germany can express his feelings naturally and explicitly. Does he owe this to his good teacher Zakhar Bron? He obviously presents the beauty of tone in the tried and tested fashion, but the special thing about him is his refreshing style, as if he is soaring. One does not experience such a performance all too often.
Turo Yuki, Ongaku no tomo,October 31, 2006
… the soloist Erik Schumann showed himself in best form, and also the orchestra contributed to the excitement. Erik Schumann was convincing through his powerful and sensitive interpretation and through his masterful and effortless cooperation with the orchestra in perfect ensemble playing as well as in virtuoso solo-passages.
ÖA, October 25, 2006
…The soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto Nr. 4 in D major (K. 218)was Erik Schumann. The award-winning violinist performed the first movement with smooth and gleaming tone, completely integrated in the musical substance. The Andante Cantabile became a sensitive and soaring aria, and a fine and elegant tone served to support and clarify the dance-like character of the last movement. The cadenzas were remarkable for their beautiful structures. There will be a lot to hear from this talented man.
Richard Hörnicke, Wiesbaden Courier, October 24, 2006
…The soloist and orchestra presented themselves in a flowing dialogue with exact agreement in articulation and phrasing. The multiple award-winning violinist Erik Schumann, who won his first prize at 12 years of age in the competition “Jugend Musiziert”, combined technical perfection with intellectual sophistication in his performance. One could hardly wish for a better advocate for the entertainment value of Bartok’s music. A completely successful interpretation; a respectful and creative reading of the Hungarian master’s score.
Evening Post, October 24, 2006
…Erik Schumann was able to convey the excitement of Bartok’s use of stylistic elements in this work: from powerfully expressive cantilena to wild and furious rhythms to devilishly difficult runs. Not to forget the double-stops with their fiendish intervals and the cadenza, which he played masterfully.
Rhein Newspaper, October 23, 2006
Nordic Evening with Southern Flair
The young man (still in his mid-twenties) made very clear with his flattering tone in the Andantino why Prokoffief, after the premiere of his first Violin Concerto in 1923, was accused of a reactionary Mendelssohn-hommage when his intention was in fact to create something quite new. After the required romantic programme, Schumann played the modern electives with full-blooded temperament: with rich colours and ready for every technical hurdle, whether in the hail-storm of notes in the first movement or the circus-ride of the grotesque scherzo.
Schumann, with his convincing take-charge attitude, found just right approach to this “warhorse”, throwing himself with vehemence into the fray, and not afraid of the grand gesture. And when the heavy brass joins in for the finale, Schumann still has enough reserve to soar with obvious enjoyment over the orchestra. A convincing debut.
Uwe Mitsching , Nürnberger Nachrichten, April 10th, 2006
“Prokofiev’s first Violin Concerto became a breathtaking rolling-coaster ride in the hands of Erik Schumann and the Nürnberger Symphoniker. This work was heard here last November with the impressive young Baba Skride and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, but this 24-year-old German violinist proved himself worthy of every comparison. Schumann conquers the monstrous difficulties of this piece with a deep melodic and emotional understanding. He plays a Guarnieri violin with seductively beautiful sound, which only serves to underline the warmth and brilliance of his interpretation.
Schumann’s breathtaking mastery of horrendous technical difficulties and ever- increasing complexity of his sound lead to an intoxicating culmination in the finale of the last movement. His rhythmic precision and playfulness, but especially his astounding musical maturity, made this an exciting performance of this manyfacetted concerto. His encore (Bach) only served as confirmation that this is a violinist we would like to hear often.”
Sabine Kreimendahl, Nürnberger Zeitung, April 10th, 2006
Masterly young musicians for the 21st century
“The 23 year old violinist Erik Schumann showed his stupendous technique and fascinated the audience by playing popular virtuoso violin “delicacies”, such as Kreisler’s Miniaturen or the even more capricious Carmen-Fantasie by Pablo de Sarasate. Playing with a great tone, he presented himself as a modern Devil’s Violinist and obviously got a lot of pleasure from the charming sounds of these pieces, which, apart from virtuosity, demand colour, melodic intensity, and risks. He had a sensitive partner at the piano in Oleg Polianski.”
Sonja Müller-Eisold, “Westfälische Rundschau”, December 13th, 2005
Highly talented young Violinist in the Stadthalle
„ The 23- years old Violinist Erik Schumann was the star of the concert yesterday. He presented himself as a great violinist with a great career.
He fascinated the public not only with his interpretation of the famous French romantic composer, but also his Fritz Kreisler an his Johan Sebastian Bach were excellent. Besides a perfect technical skill the young soloist shew an exciting musical maturity and a deep expressivity, very rare at his age.”
Hartmut Sassenhausen,“Westdeutsche Zeitung”, November 7th, 2005
The gourmet’s stew with variations
“Due to this fiery playing, the orchestra’s mellowness and breadth in Max Bruch’s “evergreen” Concerto for violin in G minor was all the more impressive. Eschenbach was like a chamber music partner and constantly attentive to the young soloist Erik Schumann from Cologne. He convinced with the obligatory pathos as well as the languishing “catchy tunes” of this work. Schumann’s great tone convinced in all registers and, like Eschenbach, he had no fear of spontaneous dynamic thrusts.”
Helmut Peters,“Die Welt”, June 22th, 2005
With a hot-tempered quality
“There was a lot more passion in Bruch’s G minor Violin Concerto: The violinist, Erik Schumann, only 23 years old, filled the popular piece with a cultivated, fine and, at the same time, sensual, brilliant tone and, together with his mentor Eschenbach, spurred the orchestra on with his fabulous Guarnieri. Really great!”
“Hamburger Abendblatt”, June 20th, 2005
Schumann soar in Ravinia Young Artists series
German violinist Erik Schumann is no stranger to Ravinia, having participated in master classes at the Stearns Institute and receiving its Rising Stars distinction in 2002. The most striking of his considerable attributes on display in Dvorak’s Concerto in A Minor was the utter naturalness of his musicality and the calm confidence he exudes on stage.
Schumann possesses a sweet, creamy tone that can take on a brilliant edge or soften into a shimmering halo of sound. Multiple stops were a breeze for the young virtuoso, and passagework was etched with a wondrous clarity.
From the Slavic melancholy of the first movement to the breezy high wire opening of the finale, the violinist never failed to plumb the core of this underplayed concerto. Schumann is hugely talented artist, more than deserving of the kudos that will soon come his way.
Michael Cameron,“The Chicago Tribune”, July 21th, 2004
Audience enthusiastic about violinist Erik Schumann
“The young violinist Erik Schumann was soloist in Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor op.26. Still studying at the Conservatory in Cologne, Schumann is such a talented virtuoso that, even playing in international concert halls, he is totally convincing and able to prove his value. He played the lyrical parts of the Allegro moderato with a wonderful cantabile and grand expressiveness, giving a noble tone to his marvellous instrument… He was equally convincingly in the virtuous, brilliant Allegro energico finale, which is full of double-stopping and spiccati. As a reward for the audience’s enthusiasm, Erik Schumann played Fritz Kreisler’s Recitative and Scherzo as an encore, fascinating the audience with his aura and managing the most virtuosic difficulties.”
“Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung”, March 16th, 2004
The Düsseldorfer Symphoniker’s New Year concert
Up and away to the South!
“Erik Schumann, the young Cologne violinist and last year’s North Rhine-Westphalia Scholarship winner, was the soloist in Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons in Buenos Aires. Schumann belongs to that kind of young musician which doesn’t seem to know any technical problems. One will hear of him again.”
“Rheinische Post”, January 2nd, 2004
With Heart and Understanding
Not to hear Erik Schuman would be a missed opportunity. Because, this young artist plays the Beethoven Violin Concerto with absolute sovereignty, with heart and understanding and in both of the first two movements also a bit more sensuality and sensitivity than Frank-Peter Zimmermann.
Eckhard Britsch, “Neue Westfälische Bielefeld”, April 22th, 2002
Fair symphony braves foul weather
I won’t bother calling violinist Erik Schumann a prodigy. He is 19 years old and has obviously played the violin for a long time. But he had none of the monotony of many youthful gifted fiddle players. You have heard it – all technique with very little thought or expression behind it. His performance of Mendelssohn ‘ s Violin Concerto in E Minor op. 64 had depth of feeling and revealed a keen intelligence along with a fine tone an technique”
David Williams, “The Charlestone Gazette”, January 21th, 2002
Carried Along by a Fantastic Mood for Playing
In the following performance, the Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 77, also from Brahms, was completely thrilling. Above all the young soloist Erik Schumann presented himself in such a fantastic mood for playing, that the audience rightfully gave him a standing ovation. Schumann made the perfect partner for the orchestra which played with the requisite symphonic weight. Full of passion and with his immaculate technique, he mastered the most difficult solo passages. Even as the soloist did not show any weakness – the instrument only held up under the pressure until the middle of the third movement. Then one of his violin strings broke – and he was forced to exchange his instrument with that of one of the members of the orchestra. The artist did not allow himself to become agitated by this and continued on with his part with complete sovereignty.
Uwe Müller, “Westdeutsche Zeitung”, October 5th, 2001
The 18 year old Cologne native, Erik Schumann, is not, as one might assume given his young age, a sporty showoff, who first needs to learn depth. Just the opposite, he especially knows above all how to bring out the inner tension of this emotionally alternating wash, particularly drawing the lyrical portions into its spell. With his Guarnieri, he possesses a silky soft tone, a smartly employed marvelous technique, which he places in service with its entire gesture in this delicate work by Brahms, of which God only knows how many top-notch recordings already exist.
Manfred Engelhardt, “Abendzeitung”, May 17th, 2000
A Lively Atmosphere, Brave and Cleanly Articulated Mozart
A fabulous young German violinist, who can already present numerous international references was responsible for this: the 18 year old Erik Schumann, born in Cologne and currently studying there with Zakhar Bron. Along his virtuostic path he drew tones that were pure and clear as glass into the two voiced solo cadenzas (and the Bach Encore). His bowing technique combines brilliance and warmth. The vibrato demonstrates glowing inner fire and the highly expressive adagio theme came across the footlights like a gentle godly spark.
“Neue Rhein/Ruhr Zeitung”, February 7th, 2000