Nicolas Altstaedt


German/French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is renowned for his creativity and versatility, in his captivating performances of repertoire on both gut and modern strings.

Awarded the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2010, he performed the Schumann concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival. Since then, he has performed worldwide with orchestras such as Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and all the BBC Orchestras working with conductors Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Andrew Marcon amongst others.

As a concerto soloist, highlights in 2016/17 and 2017/18 include performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on tour, the Deutsche Sinfonieorchester Berlin, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in the opening weeks of the Elbphilharmonie, NDR Hanover, MDR Leipzig, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Chamber, the Australian Chamber Orchestra on tour in Europe and English Chamber Orchestra, amongst others. He returns to the BBC Scottish Symphony, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiano, Duisburg Philharmonic as artist-in-residence, SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, Strasbourg Philharmonic and Basel Symphony Orchestra.

In 2012 he was invited by Gidon Kremer to be Artistic Director of the Lockenhaus Festival and in 2014, Adam Fischer asked him to follow in his footsteps as Artistic Director of the Haydn Philharmonie, with whom he regularly performs at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Esterhazy Festival and will tour both China and Japan in the next seasons.

In recital, Nicolas performs solo and with partners, Fazil Say and Alexander Lonquich. He will tour both Europe and the US in 2016/17 season and will visit Istanbul, London Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and New York amongst others. In Autumn 17, Nicolas will tour Australia extensively as part of a Musica Viva tour.

As a chamber musician, Nicolas regularly plays with Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Pekka Kuusisto, Jonathan Cohen and the Quatuor Ébène performing regularly at Festivals including Salzburg Mozart and Summer festivals, Verbier, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Gstaad, Musikfest Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Utrecht and Stavanger.

Nicolas premieres new music and performs with composers like Thomas Ades, Jörg Widmann, Matthias Pintscher, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and Fazil Say. He has commissioned the pianist/composer Hauschka as part of this season as Artistic Director of ‘Viva Cello’ Festival in Liestal in 2016 inspired by a film script by Frederico Fellini.

To date his recordings of cello concerti by Joseph Haydn, Robert Schumann and György Ligeti have been released worldwide. Future releases include a C P E Bach recording with Arcangelo & Jonathan Cohen as well as a recording of Shostakovich and Weinberg concerti with DSO Berlin on Channel Classics, Strauss’s Don Quixote and a recital disc with Fazil Say.

Nicolas was a BBC New Generation Artist 2010-2012 and a recipient of the “Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship” in 2009. He plays a violoncello by Giulio Cesare Gigli, Rome around 1760.

Altstaedt: Shostakovich, Weinberg Cello Concertos CD review – muscular playing, klezmerish swing
The Guardian
Fri, 2016-04-29
According to Shostakovich, he and Mieczysław Weinberg competed to see who could write the most string quartets; Weinberg, who outlived his mentor by two decades, won by two. On this disc, the two composers’ cello concertos (Weinberg’s only one; Shostakovich’s First) make an impressive vehicle for rising cellist Nicolas Altstaedt. This is one of only a few available recordings of the Weinberg, written in 1948 but left unplayed until after Stalin’s death, and Altstaedt’s muscular playing does justice to a distinctive, powerful piece. The long first movement pulses throughout with a heavy, yearning tread that he and conductor Michał Nesterowicz sustain without ever letting it become dirge-like; the third goes with an urgent, sometimes klezmerish swing. It is paired with a committed and atmospheric performance of Shostakovich’s Concerto No 1. The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, clean and sonorous in the concertos, provides some snappy light relief with Lutosławski’s folksy, piquant Little Suite.
Nicolas Altstaedt / Michal Nesterowicz Shostakovich, Weinberg: Cello Concertos
Press Service

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Photo: Marco Borggreve