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Kolja Lessing

Country of origin: Germany
Birthday: October 15, 1961

About Kolja Lessing

Kolja Lessing is a violinist, pianist, and composer. He received his musical training
first from his mother and later from Hansheinz Schneeberger in Basel.
Important artistic influences have been Berthold Goldschmidt, Ignace Strasfogel,
and Zoltán Székely. Lessing has performed with leading orchestras under conductors
such as Yakov Kreizberg, Nello Santi, and Lothar Zagrosek. In 1999, he was 22
given the Johann Wenzel Stamitz Special Prize in recognition of his promotion of
works by composers persecuted by the Nazis. He received the German Music
Critics’ Award in 2008, and the city of Stuttgart’s Otto Hirsch Award in 2015.

Lessing has premiered numerous violin works written for him by composers such
as Haim Alexander, Tzvi Avni, Abel Ehrlich, Jacqueline Fontyn, Berthold Gold -
schmidt, Ursula Mamlok, Dimitri Terzakis, and Hans Vogt. He regularly teaches
master classes in Europe and Canada. Lessing has been a professor for violin and
chamber music at the universities of music in Würzburg and Leipzig (HMT
University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” and, since 2000,
at the State University of Music and the Performing Arts in Stuttgart.