The Dutch violinist, Janine Jansen, began to study the violin at age 6. Her father is the organist and harpsichordist Jan Jansen and both her brothers are also musicians. Her mother is a classical singer. Janine studied with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Philipp Hirshhorn, and Boris Belkin. She was a previous BBC New Generation Artist and in September 2003 she received the Dutch Music Prize from the Ministry of Culture - the highest distinction an artist can receive in The Netherlands.
Ever since her Concertgebouw debut in 1997, Janine Jansen has been a huge star in her native Holland. Today she is internationally recognised as one of the great violinists - a truly exciting and versatile artist. She appeared as soloist with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in 2001, where she performed the Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto. Her London debut in November 2002, accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, was quickly followed by invitations from some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as NHK Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with such eminent conductors as Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Chailly, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Daniel Harding, Sir Mark Elder, Edo de Waart and Sir Roger Norrington.
Janine Jansen opened the BBC Proms in 2005. When performing live, she is sometimes rather adventurous with her performance, with emphasis on emotional accents more than on precision or adherence to status quo. She has eschewed tradition by recording with only 5 solo strings rather than an orchestra, including her brother as cellist and father playing continuo. In live concerts, she has received standing ovations from enthusiastic audiences, such as in the Berliner Philharmoniker 2006 concert in Berlin's Waldbühne Amphitheater, with a full attendance of 25,000, and in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008 to a sold out audience.
Highlights of the 2009-2010 season include performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. She will tour Spain and the USA with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mariss Jansons. Tours are also planned with the Orchestra of the Hessische Rundfunk, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Janine Jansen has been invited to curate a “Carte Blanche” series at the Concertgebouw throughout the 2009-2010 season, which includes an innovative choreography project with regular chamber partners Martin Fröst and Itamar Golan, and choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter Scholten; an education project with Aleksey Igudesman; concerts with Münchner Philharmoniker; and a play/direct project with Mahler Chamber Orchestra as part of a European tour.
In addition to her concerto performances and projects Janine Jansen is a devoted performer of chamber music. She established and curates the annual International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht, and since 1998 she has been a member of Spectrum Concerts Berlin, an important chamber music series in the Berlin Philharmonie. Her chamber partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Mischa Maisky, Julian Rachlin (her former boyfriend), Torleif Thedéen and Maxim Rysanov.
Janine Jansen has an exclusive recording contract with Decca (Universal Music). As of January 2006, she had recorded two mainstream CD’s (one also a hybrid SACD). The first is a collection of encore pieces, conducted by Barry Wordsworth, the second a chamber ensemble rendition of Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons. In particular, her Vivaldi recording has seen great success in terms of downloading sales. In October 2006, she released her third album. This CD features the Felix Mendelssohn and Bruch Violin Concertos, along with the Bruch Romance for Viola, with conductor Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. In 2007 she released her fourth album, J.S. Bach: Inventions & Partita. In 2008, she recorded a live session for the iTunes music store consisting of J.S. Bach's Trio Sonata in G Major and Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No. 6 In G Major. Each one of her first five albums has been awarded a Platinum Disc for sales in The Netherlands. In 2009 Jansen released her recording of the L.v. Beethoven and Benjamin Britten Violin Concertos. The L.v. Beethoven was recorded with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and the B. Britten with the London Symphony Orchestra. Both orchestras were conducted by Paavo Järvi. Jansen said that recording these concertos together was a long-standing desire of hers, as she sees these two works as among the greatest concertos in the current repertoire.
Janine Jansen has been a member of the chamber music series [Spectrum Concerts Berlin] since 1998. Various CDs with Spectrum have been released on the Naxos label: Ernö Dohnanyi: Serenade for String Trio and the Sextet; Robert Helps: Piano Quartet, Postlude and Nocturne; John Harbison: Four Songs of Solitude, Variations and Twilight Music.
Janine Jansen has received numerous awards including the Edison Classic Public Award three times, an Echo award for her Vivaldi recording in 2006 and her F. Mendelssohn/Bruch album in 2007 as well as the NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement in 2007. In May 2009 she was awarded the RPS Instrumentalist Award 2008 for performances in the UK during that year.
The outstanding instrument being used by Janine Jansen is the violin by Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1727, “Barrere” on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Fund.