José Maria Blumenschein, a native of Freiburg (Germany) born of Brazilian parents, currently serves as first concertmaster of the WDR Radio Symphony Orchestra in Cologne and shares a concertmaster position at the Mahler Chamber Orchestra after serving as associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra for three seasons. During his tenure with WDR, he also took two seasons off to perform as the first concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera and Philharmonic.
As a passionate leader, he regularly performs with orchestras and ensembles such as the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Symphony Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsoper, Dresden Staatskapelle, and NDR Radio Orchestra.
Mr Blumenschein is also a founding member of ‘Kammermusik Köln’, a chamber music series in Cologne founded by members of WDR Radio, Gürzenich Orchestra, and Cologne Conservatory members to be the first all-year chamber music series.
Born in 1985, Mr Blumenschein received his first violin lesson at the age of four in Freiburg, Germany, at the “Pflüger Institute for Highly Gifted Children”. In 1990 he began studies with Vera Kramarowa in Mannheim. In 2001, Mr Blumenschein was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with conductor and violinist Joseph Silverstein and served as Concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
As of 2023, José Maria Blumenschein shares the concertmaster position with Matthew Truscott at the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.