Violinist Judith Ingolfsson is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, uncompromising musical maturity, and charismatic performance style. Now based in Berlin and enjoying a global career, she performs regularly as soloist, chamber musician, and in recital as the Duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel, founded in 2006. The New York Times has characterized her playing as producing “both fireworks and a singing tone” and Strings Magazine described her tone as “gorgeous, intense, and variable, flawlessly pure and beautiful in every register.”
Ingolfsson made her first appearances on the international music scene as a prize winner of the celebrated Premio Paganini Competition in Genoa and the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York. Winning the gold medal at the prestigious International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in 1998 provided her with the final breakthrough as an internationally sought-after soloist. In 1999, National Public Radio’s Performance Today named her Debut Artist of the Year for her “remarkable intelligence, musicality, and sense of insight.” Ingolfsson has concertized throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe, performing as a soloist with such prestigious orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Tokyo, the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jena Philharmonic, the Philharmonischen Staatsorchester Mainz, the Bollington Festival Orchestra (UK), and the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt-Oder. She had collaborated with conductors such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, Raymond Leppard, Gilbert Varga, Jesús López-Cobos, Rico Saccani, Gerard Schwarz, and Leonard Slatkin. She was also heard as soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in 2000 on its highly acclaimed 15-city North American tour, highlighted by performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Ingolfsson’s recital performances have taken her to many of the world’s leading stages including Konzerthaus Berlin, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Cleveland Museum of Art, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Reyjavík Arts Festival, Pro Arte Musicale of Puerto Rico, La Asociación Nacional de Conciertos de Panamá, Macao Cultural Center, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Center. An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with the Avalon, Miami and Vogler String Quartets, the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, and has appeared as a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two on tour and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. A welcome guest at music festivals, she has been invited to festivals in the U.S., Poland, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands. In 2010 she was artist-in-residence in Villa Esche in Chemnitz.
Ingolfsson’s current discography includes 10 CDs. She was the recipient of the 2001 Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Award for her debut CD on Catalpa Classics. Her recording of Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, available on the BPO Live label, was released in 2007. The CD En Hommage: Simon Laks was released on EDA in 2010. In 2011 Judith Ingolfsson released a highly acclaimed recording of the Ysaye Solo Sonatas on the GENUIN label. In 2016, her recording of the Violin Concerto “The Grasshopper” by Joseph Holbrooke, recorded with the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, was released on the CPO label. Together with the pianist Vladimir Stoupel, she has recorded works of Igor Stravinsky and Dmitri Shostakovich on Audite, a recording that received a 2013 ICMA nomination. In 2016, they released three CDs on the Accentus Label, which are the culmination of their project titled “Concert Centenaire.” This project of Duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel explores French music written from the Belle Époque through the First World War. A special focus was placed on composers whose lives were either heavily impacted or even terminated by this calamitous conflict. The three recordings include works by Louis Vierne, Alberic Magnard, Rudi Stephan, and Gabriel Fauré. In 2017, they released the CD Blues, Blanc, Rouge, which includes the Sonatas of Ravel, Ferroud and Poulenc.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, to an Icelandic father and Swiss mother, Ingolfsson began her violin studies at the age of 3 and gave her first public performance on Icelandic State Television at age 5. At the age of 8 she recorded as soloist with the Iceland Symphony for Icelandic State Radio and a few weeks later performed her orchestral solo debut in Germany. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1980, and, at the age of 14, she was admitted to The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Jascha Brodsky. She went on to earn her master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of David Cerone and Donald Weilerstein.
She is currently professor at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart and co-artistic director and founder of the Festival “Aigues-Vives en Musiques” in France. She performs on a Lorenzo Guadagnini violin, crafted in 1750, and a viola by Yair Hod Fainas. She also uses a Baroque bow made by the modern German maker Bastian Muthesius.