Principal 2nd Violin
Irina Simona-Renes, born in Bucharest, studied violin at the “George Enescu” Music High School. In the ’90s she moved to Germany, where she continued her studies with professors like Thomas Zehetmair, Christoph Poppen and Antje Weithaas. Simon-Renes has won numerous prizes at national and international (Italy, Germany) competitions for young musicians and received stipends from the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Staatskapelle from 1998 to 2000.
In 2000 she accepted her first position at the Philharmonic State Orchestra in Hamburg as principal second violin. She was first engaged as co-principal second violin by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and became principal with this orchestra from 2003 until 2010. Frequent collaborations with significant conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons and Riccardo Muti on regular tours to Vienna, New York, London, and Tokyo have shaped her musical personality.
Since 2009 she has been a guest principal with orchestras such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Bavarian State Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra as well as a guest leader with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2013 she has regularly played with the prestigious Lucerne Festival Orchestra.
As a soloist, Mrs. Simon-Renes has performed violin concertos by Berg, Bartok, and Beethoven at prestigious venues such as the Philharmonie in Berlin. Past seasons’ highlights included playing Mozart with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the baton of Mariss Jansons.
Ever since she co-founded the Athena Quartet in 1998 chamber music has taken a prominent place in the schedule of Mrs. Simon-Renes. She has participated in numerous festivals such as Salzburg, Luzern, and Rheingau. She has been a regular guest with the Chamber Music Series of the Bavarian Radio.
In 2010 she started her chamber music festival, the International Chamber Music Festival Wassenaar. In 2012 she received the Culture Prize of the City of Wassenaar in recognition of her efforts in music education. In 2014 she was invited by Lisa Batiashvili and Francois Leleux to play at the famous Prinsengracht Concert in Amsterdam.
Irina Simon-Renes plays a violin made by Nicolo Gagliano in 1768.