Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Antoine Tamestit
BBT Award 2006

Antoine Tamestit - Biography

Antoine Tamestit was supported by BBT between 2006 and 2010. For an up-to-date biography visit

Antoine Tamestit is recognised internationally as one of the great violists, as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He has been described as possessing “a flawless technique, and combines effortless musicality with an easy communicative power” (Bachtrack). As well as receiving support from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust he was the recipient of several coveted prizes including the first prize at the ARD International Music Competition and the William Primrose Competition.

As soloist, Tamestit has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich and many more.

Tamestit is a founding member of Trio Zimmermann with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera. Together they have recorded a number of acclaimed CDs for BIS Records and played in Europe’s most famous concert halls and series.

Antoine Tamestit’s recording for Harmonia Mundi include the Widmann Viola Concerto with Daniel Harding and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and Bel Canto: The Voice of the Viola, with Cédric Tiberghien. Tamestit’s discography also includes Berlioz’s Harold en Italie for LSO Live, and works by Bach and Hindemith for Naïve.

Tamestit’s world premiere performances and recordings include Thierry Escaich’s La Nuit Des Chants, Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto, the Concerto for Two Violas by Bruno Mantovani written for Tabea Zimmermann and Tamestit, Olga Neuwirth’s Remnants of Songs (which was co-commissioned with the Borletti-Buitoni Trust) and Weariness Heals Wounds, and Gérard Tamestit’s Sakura.

Antoine Tamestit plays on a viola made by Stradivarius in 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation.

Last updated October 2018

In the life of a young artist, the freedom and space for artistic inspiration and development are essential. The Borletti-Buitoni Trust’s committee and staff is full of incredible personalities whose main goal is precisely to give this. They offer not only the financial support to help build ones dreams, but also the advice, encouragement and practical means to realise them. Their help, although financially very important and meaningful, seems therefore priceless to me. It is a treasure for any artist. It gives us a rare opportunity to focus only on the artistic level of our goals, which therefore helps heighten our ideals. Personally, it gave me the freedom of choice for my future recordings, and the possibility, as a viola player, to imagine the best possible and artistic way to create a series of recordings of my instrument, with repertoire that touches me the most, and in a way that will reach the widest audience. A Thank You is not enough. I can only really thank you by working harder, realizing more dreams, and always keep on trying to reach my artistic ideals. Please never stop doing what you do; you are essential in our lives.

Photographs by Julien Mignot / Alescha Birkenholz