Iskandar playing the violine

About – English

One of the most exciting violinists on the
international Fiddle-circuit

ARTE, September 2019

Widjaja, with his captivatingly handsome stage presence, combines musical linearity and
sentiment of the orientals with power and muscularity of the westerners in his
playing (…). He is able to push the deeply impressed audience into the world of
Beethoven and make them rediscover the work through his personal touch. Solemn,
vast, brilliant, jubilant, (…)he displays the style of a new generation of
violinists with his own personal strength .

Shanghai eastern broadcasting company, November 2018

Labeled both as “Worldclass-Violinist” (Stuttgarter Zeitung) and “Rockstar” (The Jakarta Post), ISKANDAR connects worlds. The “complexity of his style, his musical imagination with the most varied sonic nuances and facets, as well as his flawless technique and great charisma” (C. Eschenbach) mark his fascinating artistic personality with individual profile. The son of arabic-dutch and chinese-indonesian parents refuses compartmentalization.
In his second homeland of Indonesia, he is perceived like a “pop” phenomenon; his media presence resulted in a “trending topic” status (most frequently mentioned term) on Twitter©.

Recent projects include CD releases on SONY Classical with the RSO Vienna, Recital Debuts in Zurich with Fazil Say, as well as Debuts with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.

ISKANDAR started winning international prizes early on. He won the LOTTO promotional prize 2013 of the Rheingau Music Festival, a prize awarded annually to a young soloist of the “next generation” scheme. In addition, he won the gold medal at the 1st International Hindemithh Violin Competition, “Best Bach” and “Best Beethoven Sonata” at the 21st Concorso Violinistico Internazionale Andrea Postacchini, , the First Federal Prize at “Jugend Musiziert” a number of times, the “Julius Junior” in the category “Young Talent” awarded under the patronage of the Mayor of Berlin to outstanding personalities in municipal life, as well as stipends of the “Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben”. Nowadays, he collaborates with first rate classical artists, such as Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Cameron Carpenter, Itamar Golan, Rolando Villazón and Fazil Say.

ISKANDAR’s activities as a soloist have taken him to five continents. Engagements lead to performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Munich Philharmonic, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Deutsche Symphonieorchestra Berlin, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Athens State Orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, the Maggio Musicale Firenze, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Brandenburg State Orchestra, the Collegium Musicum Basel, the Oslo Camerata, the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Shanghai Philharmonic and others, at venues like the Berlin Philharmonic Hall and Konzerthaus, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Tonhalle Zurich, Philharmonie Essen, Konzerthalle Bamberg, Vienna Konzerthaus, Tonhalle Zurich, Casino Basel, Aula Simfonia Jakarta, Hong Kong City Hall, Guangzhou Opera House or the Tel Aviv Opera House. He has concertized repeatedly at such renowned festivals such as the “Kissinger Summer”, Dresdener Musikfestspiele, Moritzburg Festival, Rheingau Festival, Movimentos, AUDI Summer Concerts (DE), styriarte Graz (AT), Valdres Sommersymfoni (NO), Festival de St. Prex (CH), and Keshet Eilon (IL).

In showbiz, ISKANDAR collaborated with the “Hit Man” David Foster or Superstar Anggun. He opened the APEC Conference in Bali in attendance of many Asian Leaders and has played for Chancellor Merkel, Presidents Yudhoyono and Joko Widodo. He has performed on the Davis Cup to millions, as well as on the fashion week in Paris, the EXPO in Milano and the Miss World and Miss Earth contests in Bali and Manila. Furthermore he played John Williams “Across the stars” Suite at “Hollywood in Vienna” with worldwide broadcast. In Pandemic-times he focused on online productions and  reached an audience of over 10 million people with his music videos and streaming-concerts.

Being a man of his time, the musician adds to his profile by brand- and media cooperations. He was the face of Indonesian luxury-coffee brand “JJ Royal”, as brand ambassador and TV commercial model. Furthermore he has worked closely with the Volkswagen Group on diverse culture projects. His concert wardrobe has been sponsored multiple times by Tommy Hilfiger. Brand cooperations also happened with John Hardy Jewelry, CORUM Watches and Grand Seiko Watches. ISKANDAR has been featured on the covers of the „High End“ magazine, the fashion-tv magazine and the Jakarta post and appeared in photo editorials and profiles for cosmopolitan, inStyle, mens folio, the Peak, Indonesia Tatler or the Volkswagen magazine. In addition to the traditional repertoire, he stages the concept-concert “Bach and Zen” in collaboration with a Zen-Master and works as a composer and songwriter. His compositions don’t have a particular genre with influences ranging from film music , baroque, pop to HipHop.

Furthermore, ISKANDAR is musically committed to charitable organisations such as the WWF and Live Music Now e. V. His exclusive charity concert in Bali for the UNICEF supported educational opportunities for children in the Asia-Pacific region. Another charity event, “Musik yang Membebaskan” in collaboration with KOMPAS Gramedia, indonesias largest media conglomerate, sponsored musical instruments and instructions for streetchildren. With the “besharp foundation” he continues to organize Charity Concerts for free Suzuki-Music lessons for destitute schoolchildren.

Born in Berlin, ISKANDAR began playing violin at the age of four, at first with the Suzuki method under Susan Mann. At eleven, he was accepted as an extraordinary student at the College of Music in Berlin, where he studied with Ursula Scholz and Joachim Hantzschk. Furthermore he studied at the Julius Stern Institute Berlin – the pre-college division for the highly musically gifted. After completing secondary school, he studied violin at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Prof. Uwe-Martin Haiberg and Prof. Ilan Gronich, which he completed in 2010. He received valuable artistic impulses from Dora Schwarzberg, Christian Tetzlaff, Shlomo Mintz, Midori, Ana Chumachenko and Ida Haendel.
To date he has released 6 albums with different labels:

  • “Bach ’n’ Blues” (Oehms)

  • “Precious refuge”-works by J.S. Bach (Oehms)

  • “Tango Fuego” Trio Cayao (Oehms)

  • “Schumann: Sonata &Phantasie” DSO Berlin, C.Eschenbach (Oehms)

  • “Mercy” (Neue Meister/EDEL)

  • “1001 nights at the harem” works by Fazil Say (Sony Classical)

For 2020 he plans single releases of his own compositions.
He plays a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume from 1875 and a Stradivarius “Stephens” 1690.

short CV download under MEDIA-->Press kit