For almost every violist orchestral playing is an important and integral part of their professional life.
After leaving her position as first-solo-viola of the Hamburg Philharmonic orchestra to become full-time professor at the University of Music in Stuttgart, Andra has continued playing in various renowned orchestras as guest principal viola.
Andra Darzins considers orchestral playing as a musical enrichment to her other activities and to be important for her teaching. Various students coming from her class have found their way into top orchestras and/or leading orchestral positions.
Her own „orchestral-career“ began, when she, as a twelve-year old , began to play in the Adelaide Conservatorium orchestra. There was a scarcity of good violists, so she and an elderly retired violist called Hans, strengthened the numbers of the viola section. The oldest and youngest members of the orchestra were a good team on one desk. Hans had decades of orchestral experience and always knew when to play. Andra tried to play as many right notes a spossible and left the counting in between to her desk partner! Andra Darzins still remembers today how electrified she was when the orchestra performed Schumanns piano concerto and in the orchestral introduction, almost next to her she heard the most godly oboe solo! The next week after that Saturday rehearsal she announced to the director of the special music highschool that she was attending, that she (besides viola and piano) also wanted to play the oboe. The director agreed so she played the oboe for 3 years, eventually as first oboe in the highschool wind-band. But eventually ,three instruments became too time consuming and her preference lay with the viola.
She gained further experience as a teenager, playing on the first desk of the Australian Youth Orchestra (playing next to Brett Dean who went on to become a member of the Berlin Philharmonic and composer) This orchestra toured in Australia and to Europe , playing in the Royal Albert Hall at the Proms.
While studying in Berlin from 1985-89 she played regularly as a substitute player in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. This was an honour, a remarkable experience and the best orchestral training one can imagine. Within this orchestra, she played regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic hall with wonderful conductors and soloists ( Karajan, Levine, Haitink, Mehta, Ozawa, Muti to name a few) She participated in concerts tours within Europe ( under Karajan), in the USA (under Levine) and in Japan (under Ozawa) and participated various times in the Salzburger festspiele (Karajan)
After finishing her studies in berlin Andra hat various permanent positions as a leading player in major german orchestras.
1989-91 she was a leading player (Vorspieler) in the radio-Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart.
1991-93 she was deputy principal viola in the Deutsches-Symphony Orchestra in Berlin. (under Vladimir Ashkenazy)
1993-2004 she was principal solo-viola in the Hamburg Philharmonic orchestra. (chief conductors Gerd Albrecht and Ingo Metzmacher) She was given the opportunity to perform as a soloist repeatedly with this orchestra, performing concertos from Bartok, Hindemith, Alfred Schnittke, Janni Christou, Michael Tippett and Mozart)
She has played as guest principal viola in the following orchestras:
Munich Philharmonic. Concerts in Munich ( with Maazel. Gergiev, Ivan Fischer and others) and in Lucerne. (unforgettable the Asia tour to Japan, Korea and China under Lorin Maazel)
Staatskapelle Berlin (also under Barenboim)
Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio ( with Sir Simon Rattle)
Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, concerts in Hamburg, Lübeck, European tour with Thomas Hengelbrock
Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich (unforgettable Bruckner 4. with Herbert Blomstedt)
Radio-Symphony orchestra Frankfurt (lovely „birthday“ concert with Peter Eötvös)
Australian World Orchestra (with Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Muti and AWO founder Alex Briger)
Andra Darzins has also played as violist in the Ensemble-Modern-Orchestra unter Enno Poppe
Chamber Music: Viola and Piano
Andra Darzins affiliates with a handful of pianists over a long time span. With these partners she has longstanding musical friendships and gives recitals and makes recordings for CDs , radio and for her internet presence. She loves to play both well known and lesser known works, is willing to discover new repertoire and likes to give moderated concerts, in which she shares her knowledge and insights about the works performed with the listeners.
Together withthe Latvian pianist Ventis Zilberts, Andra Darzins has released three CDs. Ventis Zilberts