Charlie Siem is one of today’s foremost young violinists. Born in London to a Norwegian father and British mother, he began to play the violin at the age of three after hearing a broadcast of Yehudi Menuhin playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Siem was educated at Eton College, before reading Music as an undergraduate at Cambridge University. From 1998 to 2004 he studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky in London at the Royal College of Music, and from 2004 he has been mentored by Shlomo Mintz.
Siem has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Yuri Simonov, Sir Roger Norrington, Edward Gardner, and Libor Pesěk.
Recent and forthcoming performances include a Norwegian recital tour with Itamar Golan, and concerto appearances with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and Camerata Salzburg. Siem has just made his Hong Kong debut with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong (CCOHK), opening their 2015/2016 season with a critically acclaimed performance under Ken-David Masur. His festival appearances to date include Spoleto, St. Moritz, Gstaad, Bergen, Tine@Munch and the Windsor Festival.
Currently signed to Sony Classical, Siem has a varied discography, and has made a number of recordings, including with the London Symphony Orchestra (Warner Classics, 2011) and Münchner Rundfunkorchester (Sony Classical, 2014).
A great believer in giving to worthwhile causes, Siem is an ambassador of The Prince’s Trust. He is also a Visiting Professor at Leeds College of Music, making him the youngest professor in the United Kingdom. He gives masterclasses around the world – most recently at the Royal College of Music, London.
Passionate about bringing classical music to new audiences around the world, in addition to his classical performance career Siem has revived the age-old violinistic tradition of composing virtuosic variations of popular themes, which he has done alongside artists including Bryan Adams, Jamie Cullum and The Who. In 2014 he wrote his first composition – Canopy, for solo violin and string orchestra – which was commissioned by US television station CBS Watch!, and recorded with the English Chamber Orchestra. Siem has also had numerous collaborations with fashion brands including Dunhill, Armani, Boss, and Dior.
Charlie Siem plays the 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, known as the ‘D’Egville’.