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Pieter Wispelwey - cello

Pieter Wispelwey - cello

Pieter Wispelwey is among the first of a generation of performers who are equally at ease on the modern or the period cello. His acute stylistic awareness, combined with a truly original interpretation and a phenomenal technical mastery, has won the hearts of critics and public alike in repertoire ranging from JS Bach to Schnittke, Elliott Carter and works composed for him.

Born in Haarlem, Netherlands, Wispelwey’s sophisticated musical personality is rooted in the training he received: from early years with Dicky Boeke and Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam to Paul Katz in the USA and William Pleeth in Great Britain.  In 1992 he became the first cellist ever to receive the Netherlands Music Prize, which is awarded to the most promising young musician in the Netherlands.

Highlights among future concerto performances include a major tour in Australia, focusing on the cello concertos dedicated to Rostropovich (Sydney Symphony, Queensland Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, and Canberra International Festival), as well as engagements with the National Symphony of Ireland, Warsaw Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Beethovenorchester Bonn, Liege Philharmonic, Musikkollegium Winterthur and Sao Paulo Symphony.

Recent and future recital highlights include Vienna (Konzerthaus), Paris (Louvre), London (LSO St Luke’s, Wigmore Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw, Prinsengracht), Brussels (Flagey), Boston (Celebrity Series), San Francisco, Princeton, Dortmund (Konzerthaus), Essen (Philharmonie), Tokyo (Toppan Hall, Bunka Kaikan), Beijing (National Performing Arts Centre), and the Seoul Arts Center.

Pieter Wispelwey recently formed a string quartet, Quartet-Lab, with Patricia Kopatchinskaia, Pekka Kuusisto and Lilli Maijala.Quartet-Lab’s debut project was at the Konzerthaus Dortmund in September 2012, and extensive touring is being planned in 2013 and 2014, including Wigmore Hall in London, Konzethaus Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Schloss Elmau, Helsinki Festival and Beethovenfest Bonn.

Pieter Wispelwey celebrated his 50th birthday last year by embarking on a project showcasing the Bach Cello Suites. He recorded the complete Suites for the third time, released in September 2012, on the label ‘Evil Penguin Classics’. The box set also includes a DVD featuring illustrated debates on the interpretation of the Bach Suites with eminent Bach scholars.

Wispelwey’s career spans five continents and he has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, St Paul’s Chamber Orchestra, NHK Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon, Tokyo Philharmonic, Sapporo Symphony, Sydney Symphony, London Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, Danish National Radio Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg, collaborating with conductors including Ivan Fischer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jeffrey Tate, Kent Nagano, Sir Neville Marriner, Philippe Herreweghe, Vassily Sinaisky, Vladimir Jurowski, Paavo Berglund, Louis Langrée, Marc Minkowski, Ton Koopman, Libor Pesek and Sir Roger Norrington.

With regular recital appearances in London (Wigmore Hall), Paris (Châtelet, Louvre), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw), Brussels (Bozar), Berlin (Konzerthaus), Milan (Societta del Quartetto), Buenos Aires (Teatro Colon), Sydney (The Utzon Room), Los Angeles (Walt Disney Hall) and New York (Lincoln Center), Wispelwey has established a reputation as one of the most charismatic recitalists on the circuit

Pieter Wispelwey’s impressive discography of over 20 albums, available on Channel Classic, Onyx and Evil Penguin Classics, has attracted major international awards. Recent releases include Walton’s Cello Concerto (Sydney Symphony/Jeffrey Tate), Prokofiev’s Symphonie Concertante (Rotterdam Philharmonic/Vassily Sinaisky), Britten Cello Symphony (Flanders Symphony / Seikyo Kim) – all recorded live – as well as a unique set of works by Schubert for cello and piano (Fantasy D934, Grand Duo D574, Arpeggione Sonata), recorded on period instruments. The latest release – Pieter’s third recording of the Bach Cello Suite for Evil Penguin Classics, was released in September 2013 to unanimous critical acclaim. His  next release (Spring 2013 on Onyx) will feature Lalo’s Cello Concerto and Saint-Saens’s Cello Concerto No.2.

Pieter Wispelwey plays on a 1760 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini cello and a 1710 Rombouts baroque cello.

Pieter Wispelwey performs with the Australian String Quartet for its Margaret River Weekend of Music (21-23 April 2017) and Dunkeld Festival of Music (28-30 April, 30 April - 2 May).

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