Having founded a string quartet at the age of 11, violinist Isabelle Faust's early chamber music experiences imbued in her a fundamental belief that performing is a process of give and take, in which listening is just as important as expressing one's own personality.
Her victory at the 1987 Leopold Mozart Competition at age 15 brought the prospect of a solo career. However, the guiding principles instilled in her as a chamber musician remained strong and Ms. Faust constantly sought dialogue and the exchange of musical ideas. After winning the 1993 Paganini Competition, she moved to France, where she came to international attention with her first recording of sonatas by Bartók, Szymanowski, and Janáček.
In 2003 Ms. Faust released a recording of the Dvořák Violin Concerto. Her 2007 release of the Beethoven violin concerto also reflects her immersion in period performance practice. The list of composers whose works she has premiered extends from Olivier Messiaen to Werner Egk and Jörg Widmann. She is a fervent proponent of music by György Ligeti, Morton Feldman, Luigi Nono, and Giacinto Scelsi, as well as of forgotten works, such as André Jolivet's violin concerto. In 2009 she premiered works dedicated to her by composers Thomas Larcher and Michael Jarrell.
Isabelle Faust can be heard with pianist Alexander Melnikov in recordings for Harmonia Mundi. Their recording of Beethoven sonatas received the ECHO Klassik Award, a Gramophone Award, and a Grammy nomination. Her solo recording of Bach partitas and sonatas received the 2010 Diapason d'or de l'année.
Ms. Faust has appeared with orchestras and conductors including Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, Daniel Harding, Heinz Holliger, Mariss Jansons, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Boston Symphony Orchestra, BBC Orchestra, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She performs on the 1704 "Sleeping Beauty" Stradivarius, on loan from Germany's L-Bank Baden-Württemberg.