Jenny Abel, who was born in the German coastal town of Husum in the same house as the poet and novelist Theodor Storm, made her debut at the age of six and studied under Max Rostal and Henryk Szeryng. She was an early protegee of the conductors Hans Rosbaud, Rudolf Kempe and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt. She performed her first concerts in Europe, later in the USA and Canada, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In China she was the first soloist from the Federal Republic of Germany to play with the legendary orchestra of the Central Philharmonic Society of Beijing. Her visit there was seen as a continuation of a tradition established by such great guest violinists as David Oistrakh and Isaac Stern ("From Mao to Mozart").

Jenny Abel has performed at international festivals such as Athens, Edinburgh, Lucerne and Schleswig-Holstein, to name but a few. At Hans Werner Henzes "Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte" in Montepulciano she was the principal representative of her instrument for several years in succession. As a gift for her, Henze wrote his splendid work "Tirsi, Mopso, Aristeo" for solo violin. After the premiere in Montepulciano Jenny Abel performed this work throughout the world.

Jenny Abel's records and later CDs - including world recording premieres of the complete works of Schumann, Brahms, Bartók and Vila-Lobos - have won many prizes, particularly in Great Britain, France and Germany.

Jenny Abel performs as a soloist with large orchestras and great conductors, and gives soirees for solo violin, and accompanied by piano and harp. Her chamber music partners once included Wilhelm Kempff, Paul Badura-Skoda, Leonard Hokanson and are now Roberto Szidon on the piano and Alice Giles on the harp.

Jenny Abel has given master classes at the California State University at Los Angeles, the Royal Academy in Dublin and at the "Internationale Mosel Festwochen".

The German Foreign Office has sent Jenny Abel to special concerts as a musical ambassador. For instance, immediately after the end of the war in Bosnia she gave the official peace concert of the nations in Sarajevo, performing concertos by Bach and Beethoven together with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra. She returned there later to play before an audience of 7000 at the Golden Rose of Peace festival.

In 1998 Jenny Abel was awarded the "Pro Musica" prize of the association of music and theater critics of Romania. Earlier prizewinners include Sergiu Celibidache and Mariana Niculescu.

In addition to the great works of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries Jenny Abel also performs the works of less well-known composers, from the Bach contemporary Pisandel to modern-day composers. She has on repeated occasions premiered works dedicated to her.

Oskar Kokoschka portrayed the young artist in his suite "Jenny Abel spielt Bartók and Bach, I - VII" (Jenny Abel plays Bartók and Bach, I - VII), which is now the property of the Museum Albertina in Vienna.


Foto credit: DÖLGER, Igelbachstr. 17, Gernsbach, Germany