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Cello soloist Alban Gerhardt leads a master class featuring works of Schumann and Brahms. Carrie Bean and Jordan Allen perform.
Over the past decade, Alban Gerhardt has established himself among the greatest cellists of our time. His sound is unmistakable and his interpretations of the repertoire are distinguished in their originality. The cello starts to sing under his hands, standard works are newly discovered and unknown pieces are brought to life again. Gerhardt fascinates audiences with the combination of an unerring musical instinct, intense emotionality and a natural, arresting stage presence. Of particular concern for him is his desire to help audiences break with old listening and concert habits and to open classical music to younger audiences.
Since his early success at competitions and his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov, Gerhardt has performed with more than 250 different orchestras worldwide under conductors such as Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Neville Marriner, Marek Janowski, Sir Colin Davis, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Fabio Luisi, Kent Nagano, Sakari Oramo, Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, Christian Thielemann, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Zinman, Vladimir Jurowski and Andris Nelsons.
Recent engagements include the Royal Concertgebouw Orkest, Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Tonhalle Zurich, Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Netherlands Philharmonic, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Gürzenich Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Philharmonia Zurich, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. In the USA he performs with such orchestras as the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, and from 2012- 15 he will be artist in residence at the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.
Alban Gerhardt‘s repertoire includes more than 70 different cello concerti and he relishes rescuing lesser-known works from undeserved obscurity. His collaborations with composers such as Thomas Larcher, Peteris Vasks, Brett Dean, Jörg Widmann, Osvaldo Golijov, Mathias Hinke and Matthias Pintscher demonstrate his commitment to enlarging the cello repertoire and in 2009 he gave the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto which was composed for him. Commissioned by the BBC and premiered at the Proms (his 6th appearance at the Proms) he has since performed the Concerto in The Netherlands (Amsterdam Cello Biennale), Germany (Bayerische Staatsorchester/Nagano, Gurzenich/Stenz), Far East (Seoul Philharmonic), Norway (Oslo Philharmonic), Sweden (Royal Philharmonic) and the USA (Boston Symphony), whilst future performances include the Berlin premier with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung with whom he will record the concerto for Deutsche Grammophone with Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
As well as his intensive solo career, chamber music plays an important role in Gerhardt’s life; he is a frequent performer at the Edinburgh Festival, Bad Kissinger Sommer as well as the Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Suntory Hall Tokyo and the Chatelet in Paris. Gerhardt’s regular chamber partners include Steven Osborne, Cecile Licad, Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Lisa Batiashvili, Arabella Steinbacher, Gergana Gergova and Emmanuel Pahud.
Gerhardt is a highly acclaimed recording artist and has won three ECHO Classic Awards most recently for his all- Reger double CD (2009). He records exclusively with Hyperion spearheading their “Romantic Cello Concertos” series. Recent releases include Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante and Concerto op. 58 (Bergen Philharmonic/Litton), Fauré Sonatas and a CD of “Casals Encores” (Cécile Licad) which was selected as BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Chamber Choice’ in August 2011, and a double-cd of the complete works for cello by Benjamin Britten to mark the composer’s centenary in 2013 for which he was shortlisted for a Gramophone award.
Gerhardt plays a unique instrument from the renowned maker Matteo Gofriller. He writes about his travelling and performing experiences in his blog.