Iskandar connects worlds. The son of arabic-dutch and chinese-indonesian parents grew up with high-caliber classical music and has performed as a soloist with internationally most renowned ensembles such as the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester- and Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Munich, Warsaw and Shanghai Philharmonics, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna or the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Simultaneously, he has developed a parallel showbiz career in east Asia, with regular TV appearances, commercial endorsement contracts, brand-ambassador duties and “trending topic” status (most mentioned term) on Twitter.
He entered the Berlin “Hanns Eisler” conservatoire as an extraordinary student at the age of eleven. Awarded many international prizes even as a teenager and while studying, he now collaborates with the great names of classical music such as Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Rolando Villazón, David Foster, Itamar Golan and Fazil Say. He is also often to be seen at mass-media events like Miss World or Miss Earth, the Davis Cup, EXPO in Milan, the Fashion Week in Paris or the world premiere in Vienna’s Konzerthaus of the suite for violin and orchestra “Across the Stars” from Star Wars. This season 2018/19 sees his first headlined Germany solo tour, as well as an Asia tour with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra playing Beethoven Violinconcerto in China, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Iskandar is strongly committed to educational projects for children in the Asian Pacific region, typically in collaboration with UNICEF or the WWF. Supported by KOMPAS Gramedia, Indonesia’s biggest media group, he has organized charity events to finance musical instruments and instruction for street children.
His personality and energy are aptly summed up by the string players’ house magazine The Strad, in the following words: “Iskandar Widjaja, a true force of nature.” He plays the “Stephens” 1690 Stradivari and an 1875 JB Vuillaume.
THE CONCERT OF
Iskandar Widjaja & Christine Utomo
13 & 14 Apr 2019
Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19
(S. Rachmaninoff / arr. Widjaja)
Lento. Allegro moderato
--- Intermission ---
Violin Sonata No.1 in D minor, Op. 75 (C. Saint-Saëns)
Allegro agitato - Adagio
Allegretto moderato - Allegro molto
Introduction et rondo capriccioso, Op. 28 (C. Saint-Saëns)
Tzigane (M. Ravel)
“Christine Utomo, a pianist from Indonesia, brings to the stage a refreshing charm of the tropics. She has so enthralled her audience with her performance that they willingly immersed themselves into her realm of musical wonders. With her breathtaking mastery of the piano and amazing agility, she has truly breathed new life into the classical masterpiece of Rachmaninoff's "second piano concerto in C minor" (Chinese Weibo Weekly Music Broadcast, 2018).
Christine Utomo has performed in various venues and festivals in the US, Europe, and Indonesia in Shanghai Cadillac Concert Hall, "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Concert Hall, Alfred Newman Recital Hall, Klosterkirche Medingen, Ruïnekerk Bergen, Revelin Fort, The Rector’s Palace, Ratusz Staromiejski w Toruniu, Teatro Comunale di Cassalmaggiore, Balai Sarbini Jakarta, among others. Her performances have recently been broadcast live at the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra Weekly Radio Concert and were featured at the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival, International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Holland International Music Sessions, Paderewsi Piano Academy, Parahrayangan Classical Music Festival, Cassalmaggiore Music Festival, Padrewski Piano Academy Festival, among others. She has performed as soloists with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Torun Symphony Radio Orchestra, and the Singapore NAFA Wind Ensemble.
The past season highlights showcased her debut performance with Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra in a sold-out concert in both Shanghai and Medan with Maestro Noorman Widjaja. Other highlights included debut performances with Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra performing Schumann Piano Concerto, Beethoven Piano Concerto no. 2, and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no. 1 in Dubrovnik and Medan; as well as Sumatra Road Show Tour with cellist Tina Guo performing works by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, and Piazolla in various cities on Sumatra island.
As the Artistic Director of Irama Music Studio, she actively develops her musical passion through teaching, performing, learning new contemporary music, sharing, educating and connecting the teachers and the community through series of outreach concerts, lectures, and masterclasses. She is also one of the founders of the non-profit organization “Associazione Musicale Amadeus,” which organizes series of outreach educational concerts in Medan.
She completed her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and the Doctoral of Musical Arts in piano performance at the USC Thornton School of Music, where she studied extensively with Norman Krieger. She has also worked with renowned piano pedagogues such as Bernd Goetze, Andrez Jasinski, Philippe Entremont, Angela Hewitt, and Mikhail Voskressenky.