Thomas Albertus Irnberger
• Born 1985
By his mid-twenties, Thomas Albertus Irnberger was already recognized as one of Austria's foremost violinists. While he has expressed a passion for the violin works of J.S. Bach and has often programmed them in concert, he is best known on recordings for his interpretations of the sonatas and concertos of Mozart, and for various works by Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. His choice of repertory tends to be conservative, but he does play music from the early 20th century, including works by Elgar, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Bartók, Hindemith, and others, and has performed contemporary music as well. Irnberger has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber player across Europe, in Israel, and elsewhere. He has amassed a sizable discography, most of it available from the Gramola label.
Thomas Albertus Irnberger was born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1985. He studied violin from age seven and took up the piano the following year. At nine he was accepted at the Mozarteum University as a gifted student. Irnberger debuted at 15 in Brussels with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.
Irnberger made his first recording at 17, a two-CD collection on Pan Classics Records featuring works by Paganini, Debussy, Hindemith, Enescu, Elgar, Fauré, and Kreisler, with piano accompaniment by Lisa Smirnova. Irnberger entered a string of competitions in his youth, both in Austria and abroad, ultimately garnering 16 first prizes.
He continued his education at the Anton Bruckner University, earning an advanced degree. His most important teacher there was Josef Sabaini. Irnberger had further studies in Paris with Ivry Gitlis.
In 2006 the Gramola label engaged Irnberger to record the complete Mozart works for violin and piano, with veteran pianist Jörg Demus, on original instruments. The following year, for the same label, Irnberger and Demus launched a series of Schubert violin and chamber works.
In 2009 Irnberger made his debut as a singer in a program of Mozart arias at the Salzburg Fortress Concerts. He has remained particularly active in the recording studio, notably in his collaborations with Demus and also with the iconic pianist Paul Badura-Skoda.
Demus, also a composer, was so impressed by Irnberger's talents that he dedicated his Sonate sylvestre, for violin and piano, to the young violinist. Irnberger and Demus went on to record the work for Gramola, which issued the CD in 2011, with sonatas by Debussy and Franck.