“The cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is an artist a category on its own”
Artistic Director: Haydn-Philharmonie Artistic Director: Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival
German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is one of the most sought after and versatile artists today. As a soloist, conductor and artistic director, he performs repertoire spanning from early music to the contemporary, playing on period and modern instruments.
In2019/20 he will be Artist in Focus at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and Artist in Residence at the SWR Symphonieorchester. He will tour with the SWR Symphonieorchester and Teodor Currentzis as well as with B’Rock and René Jacobs, the European Union Youth Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko, and debuts with Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra and Ed Gardner, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with Robin Ticciati, and Il Giardino Armonico with Giovanni Antonini.
As a cellist he has performed with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Roger Norrington, Lahav Shani, Christoph Eschenbach and François-Xavier Roth. Recent highlights include concerto debuts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and recital debuts at BOZAR Brussels, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris and Koerner Hall, Toronto and a tour through Australia. Nicolas gave the highly acclaimed Finnish Premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto under the baton of the composer at the Helsinki Festival and was Artist in Spotlight at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Nicolas has been following Ádám Fischer as the chief conductor of the Haydn-Philharmonie and debuted this season as a conductor with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Zurich, Aurora, Scottish Chamber Orchestras and the Academy of Ancient Music, and will conduct the Orquesta Nacional de España next season.
Gidon Kremer had chosen Nicolas to be his successor of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival. His close chamber music partners are Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Pekka Kuusisto, Quatuor Ébène, Jörg Widmann, Fazil Say, Jonathan Cohen and Jean Rondeau.
In 2018 Nicolas received the Musikpreis der Stadt Duisburg. He received the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award 2017 for his recording of CPE Bach Bach Concertos on Hyperion with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohenm and his latest Recital Recording with Fazil Say on Warner Classics received the Edison Klassiek 2017.
“Altstaedt’s crisp, penetrating sound was arresting in the first movement of Debussy’s 1915 Cello Sonata … yet he brought a deftness of touch that lent his lines a graceful lyricism over the march of Madžar’s piano.”
(Limelight Magazine, Angus McPherson, September 2017, 4.5 stars)
“Nicolas Altstaedt is one of that elite group: here you would think he was a Baroque full-timer, his approach is so indefinably delicate, the phrasing of CPE Bach’s seductive lines limpid, the recitative hyper-articulate. The tawny warmth of his tone is perfectly attuned to the composer’s sound world; slow movements have an inward grace, while the fast are marked by vivid detail and natural effervescence.”
(Classical Music, August 2017)
“Altstaedt’s feathery touches and hushed wisps that opened the concert were delicately placed and continued throughout these two [Beethoven Op.5 sonatas], with deftness in the upper registers alternating with forceful pounding of both cello and piano in the lower, and both finales taken at a healthy brisk pace with authority and plenty of rippling fluidity.”
(Bachtrack, Mark Thomas, June 2017)
“Nicolas Altstaedt is an ideal protagonist; no sentimental phrasing impedes the music’s dynamic thrust and the angry opening of [CPE Bach’s] A-minor Concerto is gripping… Emotions are at their darkest in the Finale – displayed dramatically by Altstaedt whose presentation of the rapid staccato passages involves virtuosic skill.”
(Classical Source, Antony Hodgson, Nov 2016, 5 stars)
“Muscular playing, klezmerish swing. The two composers’ cello concertos make an impressive vehicle for rising cellist Nicolas Altstaedt”
(The Guardian April 2016)
“The compelling French-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt gave a performance of this compact 10-minute piece that thoroughly conveyed its audacious, even radical elements. This was his New York recital debut. It’s about time.”
(New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, February 2016)
“Altstaedt displayed a consistently gorgeous tone and warmth of phrasing, particularly effective in the ghostly high line in the second movement [of Dutilleux’s Tout un monde lointain]”
(Bachtrack, Simon Holden, April 2015)
“An absolute revelation. Nicolas Altstaedt, one of the cello realm’s most brilliant young princes.”
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