Torleif Thedéen, Cello


Torleif Thedéen is one of the most highly regarded musicians in Scandinavia. He gained international recognition in 1985 by winning three of the worlds most prestigious cello competitions.

Since then he has been giving concerts all over the world. Thedéen regularly plays not only with all the leading orchestras in Scandinavia, but also with some of the world’s major orchestras, - among them the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, and Israel Sinfonietta - under conductors like Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Neeme Järvi, Franz Welser-Möst, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leif Segerstam, and Eri Klas.

Torleif Thedéen is also active as a chamber musician, and as such appears in prestigious concert venues worldwide such as Wigmore Hall in London, the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He often participates in prestigious Music Festivals, among them the Verbier Festival (2007, 2009), Prague Spring Festival, the festival in Schleswig-Holstein, festivals in in Bordeaux, Oslo, Bath, Stavanger and Kuhmo. In 2018 he was awarded the Edison Prize for the recording of Messiaen: Quartet of All Times with Martin Fröst, Lucas Debargue and Janine Jansen on the Sony label.

Since 1986 Thedéen has recorded numerous CD’s for BIS, featuring standard repertoire works as well as contemporary music. His CD with the Shostakovich Cello Concertos won the Cannes Classical Award in 1995, and his recording of J.S. Bach’s Solo Suites for solo cello was highly received when it was released in 2000 (Editor’s choice in BBC Music Magazine, Nov 2001). In 2002 his recording of Dvorak’s cello concerto was released.

In 05/06 he made a very successful debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic (Schumann), he has toured with soloists like Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen to European festivals, and returned to New Zeeland, and Australia in 06/07. He also toured Scandinavia and England with the Musica Vitae chamber orchestra from Sweden in Oct 2006.

In 07/08 Mr Thedéen has toured extensively worldwide with Janine Jansen & Maxim Rysanov, following their recording made by DECCA. He performed with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra in Nov 07.

08/09 he has successfully performed with London Philharmonic Orchestra (Mario Venzago) in London, toured with the BBC Wales SO, and recorded for cpo with NDR Orchestra in Hannover, Germany. He performed in Musikverein in Vienna, as a soloist in Beethovens Tripple Concerto with Wiener Symphoniker (Jan 09), and in France with Orchestre Philharmonique de Bordeaux. In 2009 he was invited back to the Chamber Music Festival in Verbier, Switzerland.

09/10 included a.o. a Gala Concert in Geneva (Beethoven Triple Concerto with Vienna Symphony), as well as returns to the Stockholm Philharmonic (Kamu) and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Saraste), and Helsinki Philharmonic (Storgaards). In 10/11 he performed Dutilleux Cello Concerto with Stuttgart Philh and return to NDR Hannover, and Dortmund. The season also included Brahms Double Concerto with Janine Jansen and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, concerts in Birmingham (CBSO), Finland, Spain, and Chamber Music tour (Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall etc) with fellow soloists Andsnes, Hamelin, Kraggerud, Tomter, Fröst a.o.

In March 2011 he performed Bloch Schelomo with the ORF/RSO Orchestra in Vienna, substituting for Heinrich Schiff on short notice.

In 11/12 there were several concerts with Janine Jansen and Max Rysanov, including London (Wigmore Hall), Salzburg Festival, Istanbul, a.o., and concerts with pianist Roland Pöntinen (Berlin, Stockholm a.o), orchestra concerts in Germany, Scandinavia etc.. He participated in the Martha Argerich Chamber Festival in Lugano in June 2012, and returned to the Verbier Festival in June same year.

14/15 and 15/16 Torleif Thedéen returned to New Zealand and Australia, in addition to several European venues. In 2016 Thedéen was back to Stockholm and Helsinki Phil, performed with Hamburg Symphony a.o. 16/17 he returns to New Zealand and Australia for Chamber Music festivals and orchestra concerts. Chamber Music tours include returns to Verbier, Carnegie Hall, Berlin, London (Wigmore Hall) a.o. In Sept 2017 he plays Elgar in Moscow.

Torleif Thedéen served as Professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen 1992-96. Since 1996 he is Professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stockholm.

He plays the ex-Lynn Harrel cello by David Techler from 1711.

May 2016


Thorleif Thedéen's appearance in Denmark.

Click on the date to get in-depth concert information.

CD-Besprechung - Robert Kahn: Works for Violoncello & Piano
Klassik Heute
Thu, 2019-06-20
... nicht anders als fulminant ist auch die Wiedergabe durch den Cellisten Torleif Thedéen und den Pianisten Oliver Triendl zu bezeichnen. Triendl und Thedéen widmen sich dieser Musik mit rundum begeisterndem Nachdruck, leidenschaftlichem Wohlklang und auf höchstem künstlerischen Niveau. Da bleiben eigentlich keine Wünsche offen, außer einem: mehr davon.
A most valuable friend: Torleif Thedéen guests for the Selby & Friends concert series
Thu, 2014-09-18
"Thedéen‘s impeccable intonation blended comfortably with Selby’s delicate articulation on the keyboard" "As already heard in the Beethoven Sonata, the Swedish cellist excelled in using his vibrato in a far more versatile way than commonly heard. Under his well-controlled fingers, vibrato was elevated from a “condition” to an evocative artistic tool, not unlike volume or rubato, able to colour the melodic line with its calmness or intensity, sheer presence or even its absence". Zoltan Zabo
Swedish Delight
Wed, 2014-09-17
"Thedeen’s beautiful lines, precision and control in attack, intonation and dynamic were a feature. He is a cellist from the top drawer, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, and has an impressive discography and list of collaborations with the likes of violin superstars Julian Rachlin and Janine Jansen". STEVE MOFFATT
Superior and Elegant
Sat, 2009-02-07
Strauss creates ten scenes in the symphonic play where Don Quixote is portrayed by the cello and the down-to-earth squire is played by the more humble viola. Swedish cello professor Torleif Thedéen and the Royal Orchestra's own Gert-Inge Andersson played the parts. A stylish couple where the violist was the more theatrical player, whilst Thedéen maintained Don Quixote's self deceptive mask of nobility until the very end. His performance was superior and elegant, and the night dream about the lovely Dulcinea was a moving highligt. Don Quixote's last breath was brilliant and here Thedéen showed that the 'Knight of the sad figure' was a real hero after all.

This is only a selection of Thorleif Thedéen's recordings.

Antonín Dvorák: Music for cello and orchestra
Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 104 The Water Goblin, symphonic poem, Op. 107 Karneval, concert overture, Op. 92 with Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kees Bakels
Schumann & Elgar: Cello Concertos
Robert Schumann: Concerto in A minor for cello and orchestra, Op. 129 Sir Edward Elgar: Concerto in E minor for cello and orchestra, Op. 85 with Malmö SymfoniOrkester, Lev Markiz
Chopin & Schumann: Works for Cello and Piano
Fryderyk Chopin: Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op.65 Robert Schumann: Adagio and Allegro in A flat major, Op.70 Phantasiestück, Op.73 Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op.102 with Roland Pöntinen, piano
Sofia Gubaidulina: The Deceitful Face of Hope and of Despair
Concerto for flute and large orchestra. Seven Words (Sieben Worte) for cello, bayan (accordion) and strings. with Sharon Bezaly, flute, Mie Miki, accordion, and Göteborgs Symphony Orchestra, Mario Venzago
Johann Sebastian Bach: Six Suites for Solo Cello (2 CD)
CD 1: Suite Nr. 1 G-Dur, BWV 1007 Suite Nr. 2 d-moll, BWV 1008 Suite Nr. 3 C-Dur, BWV 1009 CD 2: Suite Nr. 4 Es-Dur, BWV 1010 Suite Nr. 5 c-moll, BWV 1011 Suite Nr. 6 D-Dur, BWV 1012
Édouard Lalo: Orchestral Works
Concerto in D minor for Cello and Orchestra Symphony in G minor Namouna, music from ballet with Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kees Bakels
Lutoslawski & Penderecki: Concertos
Witold Lutoslawski: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra Krzysztof Penderecki: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 2 with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra Orchestra, Leif Segerstam
Camille Saint-Saëns: Cello Concertos
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 2 in D minor, Op. 119 Symphony in A major with Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Alfred Schnittke: Cello Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra Concerto Grosso No. 2 for Violin, Cello and Orchestra with Oleh Krysa, violin, and Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Lev Markiz
Schoenberg & Webern: Chamber Music
Arnold Schönberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4. Transcription for Piano Trio by Eduard Steuermann Anton von Webern: Two Pieces for Cello and Piano Three Little Pieces for cello and piano, Op.11 Variations for piano, Op. 27 Four Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 7 Arnold Schönberg: Sonnet No. 217 by Petrarch (Fourth movement of Serenade, Op. 24). Transcription for Piano Trio by Felix Greissle with Ulf Wallin, violin, and Roland Pöntinen, piano *** This CD got 10/10/10 in Klassik-Heute in 2005!
Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 107 Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 126 with Malmö Symphony Orchestra, James DePreist
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Photo: Nikolaj Lund

Photo: Nikolaj Lund

Photo: Nikolaj Lund

Photo: Nikolaj Lund

Photo: Nikolaj Lund

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Photo: Tony Sandin

Photo: Tony Sandin

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