To Roman Totenberg
Henryk Wieniawski - Johann Sebastian Bach - Béla Bartók - César Franck - Karol Szymanowski

To Roman Totenberg

Nathan Meltzer

Label: Champs Hill
Format: CD
Barcode: 5060212591685
Catalog number: CHRCD 161
Releasedate: 05-02-21

- Recorded on the famously stolen ‘Ames, Totenberg’ Stradivarius violin.

Rising star violinist Nathan Meltzer releases his debut recording: an homage to Roman Totenberg recorded on the famous ‘Ames, Totenberg’ Stradivarius violin (1734).

The Ames Totenberg violin was famously stolen from Professor Totenberg in 1980 and recovered by the FBI some 35 years later from a California basement.Totenberg’s daughters arranged for the instrument to be restored and sold to an anonymous buyer. Nathan Meltzer became its proud custodian in October 2018, beginning a new chapter in its history.

For his debut album, made together with pianist Rohan De Silva, Meltzer has recorded a selection of Professor Totenberg's favourite pieces, including the Wieniawski Polonaise and Szymanowski Arethusa, which Totenberg performed for President Roosevelts at a White House recital in 1936.

“For my first album, I wanted to give an admiring nod to the great teacher and virtuoso violinist Roman Totenberg, whose memory I hope to honour as the current guardian of his beloved violin. It has been amazing to play the Ames,Totenberg Stradivarius, and not just because a lot of people want to hear it again. After all those years locked in the basement, the instrument is opening up and finding its voice – in a way, evolving.

Likewise, with this recording, I wanted to illustrate the generational evolution of music and the people who perform it, striking a balance between my own sensibilities and the heritage of this wonderful instrument. The mix of composers includes Szymanowski and Wieniawski, who Roman Totenberg championed and performed frequently; Bartók, who he played brilliantly and I hold close to my heart; and Bach and Franck, whose sonatas are staples of the repertory and move me deeply.”

"wonderful playing, supremely polished, ... a stunning album"

Gramophone Magazine, Editor's Choice

There are rare, perfect moments in chamber music where minds meld and hearts coalesce in beautiful synergy. Violinist Nathan Meltzer and pianist Evren Ozel ... attended to every contour of the music with care, crafting a longform melodic idea that flowed effortlessly from phrase to phrase and movement to movement. It was a privilege to witness.


Recipient of the 2020 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and youngest ever to win the Windsor Festival International String Competition, Nathan has been a soloist with the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and the Aalborg, Berlin, Concepción, Evansville, Indianapolis, Medellín, and Pittsburgh orchestras, among others, performing in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, the UK, and across the US.


As a recitalist and chamber musician, Nathan has performed at ChamberFest Cleveland, Giardini La Mortella, the Heidelberger Frühling, the Krzyżowa Festival, the Moritzburg Festival, the Musical de l’Orne, the Perlman Chamber Workshop, and the Verbier Festival Academy. He has been a concert artist with Omega Ensemble since 2016.

Nathan’s 2020-21 season includes the release of his debut CD with Rohan De Silva, appearances with the Adelphi and Hull Philharmonic orchestras, and the launch of Opus Illuminate, an online concert series dedicated to the works of composers from underrepresented communities.


Nathan studies with Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin at Juilliard. He performs on the “Ames, Totenberg” Antonio Stradivari violin, Cremona 1734, generously on long-term loan from Rare Violins In Consortium, Artists and Benefactors Collaborative.