Mario Hossen

Mario Hossen – Photo © Oskar Schmidt

The Paganini-Specialist
par exellence.

Mario Hossen is an Austro-Bulgarian violinist who is considered one of the leading interpreters of the music of Nicolo Paganini. An internationally acclaimed soloist, Mario Hossen has performed with renowned orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Orchestra della Scala di Milano, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Mario Hossen, known for his incredible virtuosity and charismatic stage presence, performs a repertoire ranging from Renaissance and Classical to contemporary works and jazz. Along with music by leading composers of the last century, he plays and promotes the works of the great Bulgarian composers Pancho Vladigerov, Marin Goleminov and Peter Christoskov.

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Hossen was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. His mother Nelly Batchvarova was an opera singer and his father was a lawyer and diplomat. His ancestry is a mixture of four nationalities. He has lived in Vienna since 1991 and was granted Austrian citizenship in the special interest of the Republic in 1995. Mario Hossen is the recipient of numerous awards, including that of the city of Sofia as Musician of the Year. He is the artistic director of the oldest Bulgarian music festival, the “Varna Summer International Music Festival” (founded in 1926), which was awarded by the European Festival Association (EFA), and was the winner of the European Audience Award in 2020.

The violinist received his training in Sofia, Vienna and Paris. He made his debut as a soloist with orchestra at the age of eight. At 3 he asked for a violin, at 5 he started playing the piano, at 6 he began his violin studies in Plovdiv with his first teacher Atanas Batchvarov. Soon he entered the Academy of Music (class of Darina Dankova). He studied with Michael Frischenschlager (former pupil of Yehudi Menuhin) at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and with the established French violinist Gérard Poulet (pupil of Henryk Szeryng) in Paris. At 17, Hossen Paganini played all 24 capricci and violin concertos with the major Bulgarian orchestras. Since then he has given concerts in the most important halls of more than 35 countries.

He has an extensive repertoire, and composers such as Rainer Bischof, Tomas Marco, Francois-Pierre Descamps, Walter Baer, Alessandro Solbiatti and Georgi Arnaoudov have dedicated pieces to him. Hossen has also participated in a number of non-classical productions with jazz, tango and rock groups.

Hossen’s musicological and artistic efforts focus, among other things, on source research on Niccolò Paganini. The complete works of Paganini for solo violin and for violin with orchestra edited by Mario Hossen are available as a historical-critical edition from Doblinger’s “Diletto Musicale” series.

Several CDs, including the world premieres of some of Paganini’s most famous works in their original versions, have been produced by the leading Italian CD label “Dynamic” Genova. The 19 feature albums for Doron Music Switzerland and Dynamic have all received international recognition and are distributed by Naxos in more than 70 countries worldwide. In 2019 Mario Hossen accepted their proposal to record all of Paganini’s quartets and chamber works and founded the “Paganini Ensemble Wien”.

His most recent recordings include Beethoven’s complete violin sonatas, the violin concertos Paganini I and Bruch II, and the sonatas for violin and harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, recorded with Piero Barbareschi.

Mario Hossen has a long-standing chamber music partnership with the pianist Adrian Oetiker. In the 2021/22 season, joint concerts with all Brahms violin sonatas are scheduled in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and at the Vienna Konzerthaus. Further highlights are concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the concert cycles in Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, Sofia and Varna with the Paganini Ensemble Wien.

As conducting soloist he lead the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in the concert series “Concert Spirituel” in Vienna.

Mario Hossen plays on the G.B. Guadagnini violin (1749), which is made available to him by the Austrian National Bank. He plays all concerts exclusively with his preferred “Thomastik-Infeld” Titanium Solo strings.

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