14 July 2023

P.R. Jenkins

Karajan artists: Christian Ferras – a tragic hero of the violin

“Karajan’s favoured violinists were Christian Ferras and then Anne-Sophie Mutter, both players with a relatively small but exquisitely poised manner.”


The great French musician Christian Ferras was Karajan’s favourite violinist during the 1960s and early 1970s. Ferras was born in Le Touquet in 1933 and met Karajan for the first time in 1956. Up to 1971 they performed and recorded the great concertos by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Berg(!) together. Karajan said about him:

“His genius is anticipating what the other musician is playing.”

After many years of problems with alcohol and depressions, Ferras committed suicide in Paris at the age of 49.

“He had an instinctive talent for conveying emotions to other people through his playing.”

Karajan about Ferras

This photo was taken during the recording sessions for Beethoven’s violin concerto in Berlin in 1967 (Karajan’s and Ferras’ last recording).


We’ve prepared playlists with Karajan and Christian Ferras. Listen to them here.

Stay Informed