* 09 July 1936, American, Conductor & violinist
A special permission lets me attend a rehearsal of the Tonhalle Orchester in Zurich. The typical sounds of an orchestra warming up suddenly fall silent as David Zinman enters the stage. Everyone listens attentively to his introductory words and corrections, before they all together bring to life the symphonic poem Op. 5 ‘Pelleas und Melisande’ by Arnold Schoenberg.
David Zinman was born in 1936 in New York City. After early violin studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, Zinman studied theory and composition at the University of Minnesota. He started out 1961 as an assistant, then second and finally principal conductor at various orchestras in the US and Europe.
Zinman became music director of the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich in 1995. His innovative programming with that orchestra included a series of late-night concerts, "Tonhalle Late", which combined classical music and a nightclub setting. He conducted the Tonhalle Orchestra in its first-ever appearance at “The Proms” (Royal Albert Hall, London) in 2003. He concluded his Tonhalle music directorship in 2014.
Zinman continues to conduct the renowned American orchestras of Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York. In Europe, he regularly performs with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and others. His latest award was the ECHO Klassik for ‘Conductor of the Year’, received in 2015. He and his wife reside in New Jersey, United States, and Zurich.