Charlie Siem is one of the UK’s brightest classical stars. Born in London to a Norwegian father and a British mother, Charlie began to play the violin at the prodigious age of three, after hearing a performance by the late Yehudi Menuhin playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Later Charlie studied with Professor Itzhak Rashkovsky and Maestro Shlomo Mintz.
Since then Charlie has appeared with orchestras around the world including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2008 Charlie toured the UK with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra playing Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto to great critical acclaim.
Charlie’s debut CD was released in 2008 and featured violin sonatas by Grieg and Elgar. The recording was widely praised and it was named “Recital CD of the Month” by the Strad magazine and received ☆☆☆☆☆ in the BBC Music Magazine.
Throughout 2009 Charlie’s reputation as one of the brightest new classical artistes grew with concerts around the world and his versatility was further manifested by a unique collaboration with the Royal Ballet performing in London, Japan, Denmark and on tour to Cuba.
2010 was a significant year for Charlie with a tour of Bruch and Dvorak Violin Concertos alongside the Czech National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Libor Pesěk, several dates at the Royal Albert Hall and concerts in New York and Tel Aviv. Autumn 2010 heralded Charlie headlining European Night of the Proms Tour alongside Grace Jones, John Fogerty, Boy George and Cliff Richard. This 40 date tour covered Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Charlie also signed to Warner Classics and Jazz – the home of generations of celebrated artists and ensembles. This new relationship has already produced a critically acclaimed debut album, which includes spectacular virtuoso repertoire from the great violin masters Paganini, Sarasate, Wieniawski and Kreisler. Charlie chose the London Symphony Orchestra to accompany him for his first orchestral offering with Warner. Released in August 2011 his concerto album ‘Bruch Wieniawski Ole Bull’ led Charlie to become No.3 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart following appearances on BBC Breakfast among other venues in London. Classic FM Magazine wrote: ”…one of the most exciting young violin talents around” and Classic FM radio’s John Suchet show made the album CD of the week in August 2011. The CD includes Ole Bull’s Cantabile doloroso e Rondo giocoso – the composer being one of Charlie’s own distant relatives.
2011 also found Charlie as the global face of Alfred Dunhill. In March he performed at the Royal Albert hall with The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend. Charlie returned to the Royal Albert Hall in October to launch his second CD. Later in November he appeared on Night of the Stars at the Royal Festival Hall. Charlie is a great believer in giving back to worthwhile causes and is delighted to be an ambassador of the Princes Trust where he performed at their Rock Gala 2011 in the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2012 Bruce Weber and Charlie collaborated on the Dior Homme movie “Can I Make The Music Fly” Other endorsements come from revered names such as photographer Mario Testino who says: “Charlie Siem brings a freshness into the world of classical music, with his contemporary look mixed with his mastering of the violin, the combination make for an exciting spectacle.”
Charlie’s busy schedule of appearances continues, including tours in Japan, China, Scandinavia and Europe. In 2012 he has continued to collaborate with many diverse artists including Will Young and Chinese Opera Singer Zhang Jun. In June he was appointed Visiting Professor at Leeds College of Music being the youngest Professor in the UK and he later appeared with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Charlie returned to Denmark for a recital concert and to Norway to participate in the Ultima Festival 2012 performing Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 1 together with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. In September he gave his first solo recital accompanied by Itamar Golan in the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London.
Later same year he toured Holland on an extensive recital tour accompanied by Caroline Jaya-Ratnam and recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra to celebrate the birthday of film composer John Williams.
2013 started with a series of concerts in Norway with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Terje Boye Hansen og Rune Bergmann, performing a.o. Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5, Ole Bull Catabile doloroso e rondo giocoso and Carmen Fantasy by Hubay.
Charlie continues to attract audiences, inspire other artists and is respected worldwide for his generosity and belief in classical music and sharing its treasures.
Charlie Siem is kindly loaned the 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, known as the d’Egville.