Intermusica at the Southbank Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Southbank Centre launched its 2018/19 classical season on 30 January 2018, with Intermusica artists and performing throughout the year. Highlights include Marin Alsop continuing her relationship with the Southbank in concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continuing their residency, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos, John Wilson, Kian Soltani and George Li.
Another major highlight of the season is the International Chamber Music Series, which Intermusica co-promotes with the Southbank Centre. This year it opens with a concert from Jordi Savall and his Hesperion XXI and features a concert marking the centenary of author Muriel Spark from the Nash Ensemble, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, the Jerusalem, Artemis and Belcea quartets, and performances of Stockhausen by Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continue as Associate Orchestra with three concerts in the new season. The first, on 16 September 2018, pairs a memorized performance of Beethoven Symphony No.5 with HK Gruber's Frankenstein!! in a concert conceived and directed by Jane Mitchell. Their second, on 20 January 2019, is titled Songs from the Road and features Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, arrangements of folk ballads and the world premiere of Du Yun Where we lost our shadows. Their final concert takes place on 5 June 2019 and features works by Beethoven, Thomas Adès, a Max Richter world premiere and Mozart's Symphony No.41.
Kirill Gerstein renews his partnership with Thomas Adès when he joins the composer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September to perform Adès' concerto for piano and orchestra, In Seven Days.
Geoffrey Paterson returns to the London Sinfonietta on 13 October to conduct them in a performance of Pascal Dusapin Passion, a collaboration with Music Theatre Wales.
Patricia Bardon returns to the role of Baba the Turk in a performance of Stravinsky The Rake's Progress with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 3 November.
Lahav Shani and Francesco Piemontesi join forces for a concert of Brahms and Beethoven with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 November. Shani conducts Weber Oberon Overture, Brahms Symphony No.1 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor', with himself as piano soloist.
Marin Alsop makes her first visit of the season on 11 November, conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a performance of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. She then returns on 16 January to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a contemporary programme with Colin Currie giving the world premiere of Helen Grime's Percussion Concerto.
John Wilson returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 15 November for a concert of Gershwin and Walton. He is joined by Louis Schwizgebel, who performs Gershwin Piano Concerto. Wilson then brings his John Wilson Orchestra to the Southbank Centre on 15 December, leading them in a characteristic programme of music from Hollywood and Broadway. He returns on 18 April to lead the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a special performance of Gilbert & Sullivan Trial by Jury.
Mary Bevan joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Brian Wright for a seasonal performance of Handel's Messiah on 16 December.
Leonidas Kavakos appears at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series on 18 January alongside Yuja Wang, performing a recital of Mozart, Prokofiev, Bartók and Strauss.
Martyn Brabbins joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 20 January 2019 to conduct an English programme of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and the London premiere of Geoffrey Gordon's Prometheus, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra.
Jacques Imbrailo joins the Mozartists and conductor Ian Page on 29 January for the next concert in their Mozart 250 series, which is themed around the year 1769. Imbrailo sings arias by Gluck, Haydn, Arne, Gréty and Paisiello.
Susan Bickley returns to the Southbank Centre to sing Beethoven Symphony No.9 alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Oliver Gooch on 16 March.
Kian Soltani returns on 23 March after his acclaimed debut at Southbank Centre with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. This time he joins Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play Elgar Cello Concerto.
George Li joins Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 27 March to perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, part of a programme that also features Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia and Walton Symphony No.1.
Following a critically acclaimed London conducting debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2017, Carlos Miguel Prieto returns to lead the young musicians in a concert on 12 April. Prieto conducts an exciting programme of Revueltas, Carlos Chávez and Copland.
Francesco Piemontesi returns to the International Piano Series on 2 May, performing a solo recital of works by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninov.
Martin James Bartlett joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 7 May to perform Ravel Piano Concerto in G, part of a programme that also features the world premiere of Cecilia McDowall Da Vinci Requiem.
Kian Soltani releases debut album Home on Deutsche Grammophon
Kian Soltani's debut album, Home, is released by Deutsche Grammophon on 9 February 2018.
Soltani is joined for the album by pianist Aaron Pilsan which features a set of Persian folk songs by contemporary Iranian composer Reza Vali alongside works by Schubert and Schumann. “I’m Austrian,” says the cellist, “but there has always been this other, Persian, side to me as well.”
The album begins with Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata which Soltani describes as showcasing both “incredible depth” as well as being a “considerable technical challenge for cellists” as it was originally written for the Viennese six-stringed instrument. Featuring arrangements for cello and piano of two lieder alongside Fantasiestücke and Adagio and Allegro in A-flat Major, Soltani feels a strong connection to Schumann particularly as the latter was the first piece he played with Pilsan in a professional context.
Contrasting in both style and genre, Soltani completes the album with Persian Folk Songs by Reza Vali and his own composition Persian Fire Dance. He explains that he “wanted [his] listeners to discover something new” when listening to the album and this music takes a glance at his Iranian heritage.
“It’s a unique feeling to know a place precisely…the colours, the air, the fragrance. That’s home. This same basic feeling is evoked by music, by certain composers. Those are the ones I’ve chosen.”
Intermusica at the Barbican Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Barbican Centre revealed its classical music season for 2018/19 on 23 January 2018, and as ever there are many Intermusica artists performing over the season. Highlights include Daniil Trifonov's London Symphony Orchestra Artist Portrait, the visit of Sir Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to perform Mahler Symphony No.6 and Sir John Eliot Gardiner's return to the LSO. See below for full details.
Daniil Trifonov is the subject of the LSO's Artist Portrait next season. The Portrait begins in February 2019 when he performs Ravel Piano Concerto with the orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, and continues in June with a performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 and a solo recital of works by Beethoven and Prokofiev. It culminates on 16 June with a performance of Shostakovich Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet and strings.
On 29 September 2018, Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Holst The Planets, presented by scientist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox.
Sir James MacMillan's All the Hills and Vales Along receives its world premiere from the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Halsey's London Symphony Chorus on 4 November and forms part of the Barbican Centre's series of events commemorating the First World War. Earlier that day, the piece is the focus of an LSO Discovery Day, during which members of the public can attend a morning LSO rehearsal of the MacMillan premiere followed by chamber music and a discussion about creative responses to World War I.
Martyn Brabbins is also involved in the First World War anniversary, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hood's Last Man Standing, part of a programme that also includes Bax November Woods and Vaughan Williams Symphony No.4.
Marin Alsop returns to the Barbican on 4 December to continue the Bernstein at 100 celebrations with a concert performance of the composer's Candide. Leonardo Capalbo stars in the title role.
Leonidas Kavakos makes two appearances at the Barbican during the 2018/19 season. In September he joins Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax in bringing their critically acclaimed Brahms Piano Trios to the Barbican Hall. In December, he renews his relationship with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO when he performs Brahms Violin Concerto.
James Ehnes returns to the Barbican on 18 January 2019, performing Beethoven Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Mary Bevan joins John Butt and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform Bach's B minor Mass on 2 February, singing with her sister Sophie Bevan, tenor Samuel Boden and bass-baritone Edward Grint.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner continues his fruitful collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra in February, conducting two concerts of works by Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Gardiner is joined by soloists Isabelle Faust, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Piotr Anderszewski.
Lahav Shani joins the LSO in February, alongside pianist Simon Trpčeski, for a concert of Weill, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.
Nora Fischer joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Joana Carneiro in concert on 11 May, performing as soprano soloist in a programme of Augusta Read Thomas Radiant Circles, the UK premiere of Golijov Oceana and John Adams Naive and Sentimental Music.
Intermusica brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to the Barbican on 25 May for a concert with their Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano.
Kian Soltani performs at LSO St Luke's in June, as part of the ECHO Rising Stars tour, for which he was nominated by the Wiener Konzerthaus and Wiener Musikverein.
Intermusica artists featured in Best of 2017 critics' picks
At the end of each year we look forward to reading critics’ musical highlights from the last 12 months; we’re delighted to see many of our artists featured in a host of such round-ups.
A standout achievement of the year was Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi 450 tour, which was praised globally. The tour commemorated the 450th anniversary of the composer’s death and visited the Berlin Festival, Philharmonie de Paris, the new National Forum of Music in Wrocław, and the Salzburg, Edinburgh International and Lucerne festivals, as well as Bristol’s Colston Hall, Aix-en-Provence, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana and a historic residency at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the composer's adopted home. Hugh Canning in the Sunday Times praised it as “dazzling”, while it was also chosen as one of the highlights of the year by the Guardian and Alex Ross of the New Yorker, who praised the “deft, vivid” productions that confirmed that “the first great opera composer remains the master of the game.” It was also chosen by the Herald Scotland, The Arts Desk, New York Classical Review and Chicago Classical Review.
Another highlight was the world premiere run of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Hugh Canning picked it as his operatic highlight of the year in the Sunday Times, and it also featured in round-ups in the Evening Standard, The Arts Desk and The Stage.
Hugh Canning also praised David Butt Philip’s “searing” performance in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé.
Nicholas Collon’s Prom with his Aurora Orchestra, in which he conducted Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony from memory, was chosen as one of the Evening Standard’s highlights of the classical year, as was the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester’s visit to London. The orchestra’s performance at the Barbican featured Intermusica artists Leonidas Kavakos and Kirill Gerstein performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, and was part of the orchestra’s 275th anniversary tour, which Intermusica brought to Europe and Asia.
Several Intermusica artists also featured in The Arts Desk’s round-up of the best concerts and opera performances. In the concert round-up, Mark Wigglesworth’s Prom with the BBC Philharmonic was highlighted thanks to a “miraculous” performance of Haydn Symphony No.99. Kian Soltani was highly praised for his performance of Strauss Don Quixote at the Southbank Centre with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, with The Arts Desk writing that it was “quite the most vivid” critic David Nice had heard live. Nice also cited HK Gruber for his performance as conductor and chansonnier in his Frankenstein!! at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s composer festival.
In The Arts Desk’s opera round-up, Martyn Brabbins’ performance of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Last Supper with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra “kicked off the year in thoughtful, complex style”, while David Nice also gave special mention to Wallis Giunta, writing that she was the “young singer of the year in my books” for her performances in L'enfant et les sortileges and Trouble in Tahiti in Opera North's well-received Little Greats series of one-act operas. Giunta was also named 'Breakthrough Artist in UK Opera' in the WhatsOnStage Opera Poll.
Meanwhile, Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s new recording of Bach St Matthew Passion, made with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, was chosen as one of Gramophone’s Critics’ Choice, as was Boris Giltburg’s account of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 with Carlos Miguel Prieto and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Composer and music writer Robert Hugill picked John Wilson’s recording of Walton’s Façade as one of his top recordings of the year. Also featured were Sir James MacMillan’s “powerful” Stabat Mater and Martyn Brabbins’ latest entry in the Romantic Piano Concerto series for Hyperion, this time featuring the piano concertos of Roger Sacheverell Coke.
The Pavel Haas Quartet once again found great critical success with their latest CD, which featured Dvorák Piano and String Quintets and was made with Boris Giltburg and founder and former member Pavel Nikl. The album was chosen as one of the records of the year by the Boston Globe and WQXR.
Verbier Festival announces 2018 programme
Verbier Festival has announced its programme for 2018, with a typically star-studded line-up featuring a host of Intermusica artists. Highlights include a gala concert celebrating 25 years of Verbier, a solo recital from Daniil Trifonov and a Mischa Maisky ‘Carte Blanche’ concert.
George Li joins Valery Gergiev and the Verbier Festival Orchestra for the opening concert of the festival on 19 July at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins.
Sergei Babayan performs with Yuri Bashmet on 20 July at 11:00 at the Église with a programme of J.S. Bach Schnittke and Shostakovich.
On 21 July, Leonidas Kavakos performs his first concert of the festival with Diemut Poppen and Gautier Capuçon at 20:00 at the Église.
Kristóf Baráti and Sergei Babayan join friends for a recital on 22 July at 20:00 at the Église.
On 23 July, Mischa Maisky performs a ‘Carte Blanche’ concert with various musical friends, including son Sascha Maisky and daughter Lily Maisky at 20:00 at the Église.
Kavakos joins the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Christopher Eschenbach and Ying Fang for a programme of Mahler and Berg on 23 July at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins.
Baráti performs with Lucas Debargue at 11:00 at the Église, with music by Debussy, Franck and Brahms.
On 25 July, a gala concert celebrates Verbier Festival’s silver jubilee at the Salle des Combins at 18:00. Performers include Babayan, Kavakos, Renaud Capuçon, Maisky and Daniil Trifonov, among many other stars of the classical world.
Baráti performs another recital at the Église on 27 July at 17:00, with Daniel Lozakovich, Eduard Wulfson and Zarina Shimanskaya.
Capuçon and Kavakos join forces with Yuja Wang and others on 27 July at the Église at 20:00 for a programme of Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
Kian Soltani and Trifonov perform at the Église at 11:00 on 29 July for music by Robert and Clara Schumann, and a piece by Trifonov himself.
Richard Goode returns to the festival at 15:00 on 29 July to perform Mozart with the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra and conductor Alain Altinoglu.
Capuçon joins various fellow musicians for an all-Brahms programme on 29 July at 20:00 at the Église.
Soltani joins a quartet on 20 July at 17:00 at the Église for a concert of Lucas Debargue (also one of the performers) and Brahms.
Babayan performs a solo recital on 31 July at 11:00 at the Église.
Kavakos joins another A-list line up for a programme of Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Fauré and Chausson on 31 July at 20:00 at the Église.
Trifonov performs a solo recital at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins the same day, 31 July, with a programme exploring Chopin.
Soltani joins Aaron Pilsan on 1 August at 11:00 at the Église for a duo recital.
Maisky performs with Iván Fischer and the Verbier Festival Orchestra on 2 August at 19:00 at the Salle des Combins, performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto.
Visit the Verbier Festival website for the full list of concerts for 2018.
Kian Soltani makes debut with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Kian Soltani begins the month in Switzerland where he makes his debut with the Orchestre de la Chambre de Lausanne on 6 December 2017. Soltani joins the ensemble to perform Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme at the Victoria Hall in Geneva under the baton of Clemens Schuldt.
Later in the week, Soltani travels to Munich to make a second debut of the month, this time with with the Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Conducted by Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici, Soltani performs the Haydn Cello Concerto and Popper Hungarian Rhapsody at the Prinzregententheater on 10 December.
Soltani performed the Hungarian Rhapsody at the 2016 Cello Biennale in Amsterdam - watch the performance below.
Kian Soltani reunites with Daniel & Michael Barenboim for a recital Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal
Kian Soltani reunites with Daniel and Michael Barenboim for two concerts at the Pierre Boulez Saal on 18 and 19 November 2017. The trio was first formed in summer 2016, with their debut recital taking place at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. The trio performs a programme of Beethoven Piano Trios No.1 and No.5 paired with a contemporary Piano Trio by Borowski.
The trio recently returned from their tour with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra having performed at the Philharmonie de Paris and Royal Festival Hall. The tour was a great critical success, with Soltani receiving acclaim for his performances of Strauss Don Quixote:
“Kian Soltani was the sublime cello soloist, effortlessly lyrical and profoundly touching in the closing moments... The whole thing was outstanding – the best performance of the work I’ve heard live.”
Guardian, October 2017
"He’s a remarkable cellist, with a piercingly beautiful tone and utterly pure intonation."
Times, October 2017
"Soltani can stand as the vibrant figurehead of everything Barenboim has achieved with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra…in a spirit of fierce collaboration that has survived against the odds. [Soltani] found the depth of poetry in the knight's noble vigil at the centre of the work and the deeply moving death scene at the end… I've never heard a performance either on disc or live of such perfect intonation."
Arts Desk, October 2017
Kian Soltani performs Don Quixote in Paris & London with Daniel Barenboim & the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
Kian Soltani reunites with Daniel Barenboim this month as the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra bring their critically acclaimed tour to Paris and London from 27 October 2017. The first concert of the short tour takes place at the Philharmonie de Paris, followed by two concerts at the Royal Festival Hall on the 28 and 29 October.
Soltani is a regular guest of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and has performed with them throughout this tour. For this leg of the tour, Soltani once again performs Strauss Don Quixote. His previous performances with the orchestra have received high praise:
“One of the most extraordinary cellists you have heard in a long time; Kian Soltani. The version was flawless in all places.”
Clarín, August 2017
"The sheer quality of the solo performances ... was astonishing. The cooperation between the musicians was total and the result was a performance to remember."
Bachtrack, April 2017
Kian Soltani makes his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic alongside Joshua Weilerstein
Kian Soltani makes his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on 5 October 2017, performing under the baton of fellow Intermusica artist Joshua Weilerstein. Soltani performs Elgar Cello Concerto, part of a programme which also sees Weilerstien conduct Messaien Les Offrandes Oubliées and Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. The Oslo Young Philharmonic join the players of the Oslo Philharmonic for the performance of the Berlioz.
Elsewhere this month, Weilerstein conducts the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Khatia Buniatishvili in a programme of Bach, Tchaikovsky and Brahms on 13 October. He also gives concerts with his Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and the Ulster Orchestra.
Soltani ends the month by rejoining Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra as their tour reaches Paris. Soltani once again performs Strauss Don Quixote, this time at the Philharmonie on 27 October. They then continue on to London for two performances at the Royal Festival Hall on 28 and 29 October.
Kian Soltani makes debut with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Kian Soltani makes his debut with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra on 28 September 2017 at the Alte Oper Frankfurt. Soltani performs the Elgar Cello Concerto under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach.
The performance is followed by two further concerts which are part of the Kronberg Academy Festival. Soltani performs as a chamber musician in both performances; in the first as part of a string trio with Marc Bouchkov and Adrien Boisseau playing the Zimmermann String Trio, Beethoven String Trio No.3 in G major and Dohnányi Serenade in C major on 30 September and in the second with his eight fellow cellists from the Kronberg Academy on 1 October.
Kian Soltani joins Daniel Barenboim & the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra for concerts in Argentina & Europe
Kian Soltani rejoins Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra once more this season on 5 August 2017, performing Strauss Don Quixote with them at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Following a repeat performance on 7 August, Soltani and the orchestra then embark on a tour, visiting Santiago on 9 August, and KKL Luzern and Salzburger Festspiele on 17 and 18 August, respectively.
Soltani is a regular guest of Barenboim and the orchestra, receiving high praise for his performances with them:
"The performance is memorable above all thanks to [Soltani], who plays with a beautiful tone and great feeling. Together with Barenboim, conducting without a score, it is difficult to imagine a more satisfying interpretation."
Dagens Nyheter, May 2017
"[Soltani] commanded attention, displaying his mastery for his art through his effortless execution."
Copenhagen Post, May 2017
Kian Soltani signs exclusive recording agreement with Deutsche Grammophon
Intermusica is delighted to announce that Kian Soltani has signed an exclusive recording agreement with Deutsche Grammophon.
The signing is announced on the occasion of his decoration with the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival’s prestigious Leonard Bernstein Award. The 25-year-old Austrian cellist joins the yellow label following his meteoric rise as both concerto soloist and chamber musician. His debut DG album, Home, which he recorded earlier this month with his regular duo partner, Austrian pianist Aaron Pilsan, is set for international release in January 2018. It will feature works for cello and piano by two of Soltani’s favourite composers, Schubert and Schumann, including the former’s 'Arpeggione' Sonata, together with the world premiere recording of Reza Vali’s Seven Persian Folk Songs, written for and dedicated to the young cellist.
“I grew up listening to Deutsche Grammophon recordings,” recalls Kian Soltani. “They were an important part of my musical upbringing, which is why I so appreciate the company’s great history and its tremendous support for young musicians. I was deeply moved and honoured to be invited to record for DG. I look forward to realising our exciting plans to explore a wide variety of music in the future.”
Kian Soltani was born in Bregenz in 1992 to a family of Persian musicians. He began playing cello at an early age and was only twelve when he joined Ivan Monighetti’s class at the prestigious Basel Music Academy. Having launched his solo career in 2011 with debut performances in the Goldener Saal of Vienna’s Musikverein and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems, he attracted worldwide critical attention in the summer of 2015 when he appeared as soloist with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in performances at Berlin’s Waldbühne, the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, the BBC Proms in London and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Future highlights include performances at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, Philharmonie de Paris, Royal Festival Hall London, Kölner Philharmonie, Boulez Saal Berlin, Prinzregententheater Munich, Oslo Konserthus and the Hohenems Schubertiade, as well as performances at the Salzburg, Verbier, Lucerne and Aix-en-Provence Easter Festivals. He participated in the opening week of Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal in March 2017 and has regular engagements at the hall including a solo recital, Persian evening with the Shiraz Ensemble and a cycle of Beethoven Piano Trios together with Daniel and Michael Barenboim. He will again join the West Eastern Divan Orchestra and Barenboim performing Strauss’ Don Quixote on a worldwide tour throughout 2017 and 2018.
“There is a captivating freshness and emotional generosity about Kian Soltani’s music-making,” comments Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “His artistry is breathtaking in its force and energy, but he also cultivates infinitely subtle shades of expression. What is most impressive is Kian’s versatility – he is equally compelling as a soloist in a Romantic concerto, a contemporary solo piece or an elegant chamber work as he is when performing Persian traditional repertoire and music of other cultures. Kian knows how to speak to the world about what he does and how to reach and inspire new listeners. We are thrilled that he has joined the yellow label and want to introduce him to the broadest possible audience.”
Intermusica represents Kian Soltani worldwide, in collaboration with Concerto Winderstein in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Kian Soltani performs at Leonard Bernstein Award Prizewinner's Concert at Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival
Kian Soltani celebrates his 2017 Leonard Bernstein Award with a performance at the Prizewinner's concert at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival on 21 July 2017.
Soltani received the award in February, with Christian Kuhnt, the Intendant of the festival, calling him "one of the greatest hopes among the young instrumentalists of our time."
In the Prizewinner's concert, Soltani performs Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach in the Lübeck Musik- und Kongresshalle. As part of the prize-giving ceremony, Soltani also performs Bernstein Meditation No.3 from Mass. A second concert takes place at the Kiel Schloss the following day.
Kian Soltani performs at the Bergen International Festival
Kian Soltani appears at the Bergen International Festival this month, performing in concert and in recital from 27 May 2017. Soltani is one of the participants in the Festival's Crescendo programme, which pairs rising stars with prominent musicians who mentor them over the course of the festival. The mentors this year are cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Jonathan Biss.
Soltani begins his time at the festival with a performance of Haydn Cello Concerto No.1 with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra on 27 May. He then performs octets by Mendelssohn and Shostakovich alongside Weilerstein and Biss and other Crescendo artists on 28 May, with a second Crescendo concert following on 31 May when Soltani performs in Schoenburg Verklärte Nacht. His final concert at the festival comes on 2 June, when he joins the London Sinfonietta for the world premiere of Norwegian composer Eivind Buene's Sea Change.
Soltani and the London Sinfonietta then give the UK premiere of Sea Change at St John's Smith Square on 6 June.
Kian Soltani performs in recital at Munich's Stars and Rising Stars
Kian Soltani travels to Munich this month to give a recital at the city's Stars and Rising Stars festival at the Technikum im Werksviertel on 23 May 2017.
Soltani joins pianist Martin Stadtfeld and violinist Marc Bouchkov to perform Mendelssohn Piano Trio. He also gives a a performance of Popper Hungarian Rhapsody.
Click here to watch Soltani perform the Hungarian Rhapsody at the 2016 Amsterdam Cello Biënnale.
Kian Soltani performs in concert with the Boulez Ensemble in Berlin & Vienna
Kian Soltani reunites with Daniel Barenboim and the Boulez Ensemble this month to perform Schoenberg Verklarte Nacht in Berlin and Vienna on 6 and 7 May 2017. The concerts take place at Berlin's Boulez Saal and the Wiener Konzerthaus.
Soltani was part of the Boulez Ensemble's first concerts, which inaugurated the Boulez Saal in March 2017. The ensemble features guest artists alongside musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and professors from the Barenboim-Said Akademie. Their concert programmes feature modernist works set in context alongside classical and romantic pieces to produce an exciting juxtaposition of styles.
Soltani returns to the Boulez Saal on 10 May for a concert with the Schiraz Ensemble, performing a programme of traditional Persian music, before travelling with them to Switzerland for performances in Zurich and Rebstein.
Kian Soltani embarks on European tour with Daniel Barenboim & the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
Kian Soltani joins the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra this week as the soloist on their European tour, starting at the Musikhuset in Aarhus on 25 April 2017. During the tour, Soltani performs R. Strauss Don Quixote under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.
Following the concert in Aarhus, Soltani and the orchestra perform at the Musiikkitalo in Helsinki on 27 April, Stockholm’s Konserthuset on 28 April, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on 29 April, the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin on 30 April and the Vienna Musikverein on 1 May.
Soltani has a strong relationship with Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, giving a critically-acclaimed performance with them at the BBC Proms in 2015:
“Of the three solo instruments, the cello has the plum part and principal cellist Kian Soltani seized his opportunity, phrasing the opening solo with exquisite subtlety. His playing throughout was superlative.”
"Violinist Guy Braunstein and cellist Kian Soltani, positioned in front, offered urbane poise, ideally suited to this relaxed, airily melodic work, with the latter’s eloquent playing especially fine."
Soltani also recently joined Barenboim to form the Boulez Ensemble, inaugurating the new Boulez Saal in Berlin in March. The Ensemble reforms in May for concerts in Germany and Austria.
Kian Soltani performs at Kings Place Cello Unwrapped
Kian Soltani gives his second London recital of the month at Kings Place on 31 March 2017, performing at the venue's Cello Unwrapped series with violinist Hugo Ticciati and VOCES8. The recital follows Soltani's recital debut on 28 March, when he joins Steven Isserlis and the Soloists of the Kronberg Academy at Wigmore Hall for the Royal Society of Musicians' annual fundraiser in memory of Jacqueline du Pré.
Soltani, Ticciati and VOCES8 perform a sequence of choral and instrumental music that includes works by Bach, Pärt, Vasks and Tavener.
Soltani's other highlights this season include a tour of Scandinavia and Germany with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and performances with the Boulez Ensemble and at the Bergen International Festival.
Kian Soltani performs at Wigmore Hall in Jacqueline du Pré commemoration
Kian Soltani travels to London this month to perform at Wigmore Hall's 22nd Annual Jacqueline du Pré Charity Concert on 28 March 2017. Soltani joins Steven Isserlis and the Soloists of the Kronberg Academy to perform works by Dvořák, Kodály and Tchaikovsky. The concert is preceded by a showcase, in which the young soloists each give a solo performance. Soltani has chosen to perform Popper Hungarian Rhapsody.
The concert, in honour of cellist Jacqueline du Pré, is organised by the Royal Society of Musicians and aims to raise money to support musicians in need or unable to work, whether short or long-term.
Kian Soltani joins Daniel Barenboim for the Boulez Ensemble's inaugural concerts in Berlin
Kian Soltani travels to Berlin this month to perform as part of the Boulez Ensemble at the newly-opened Boulez Saal from 4 March 2017. The Boulez Ensemble features guest artists alongside musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and professors from the Barenboim-Said Akademie. Their concert programmes feature modernist works set in context alongside classical and romantic pieces to produce an exciting juxtaposition of styles.
For the opening concert, Soltani joins Daniel Barenboim, Karim Said, Anna Prohaska, Jörg Widmann, Yulia Deyneka and Michael Barenboim for a programme of Boulez Initiale, Schubert Der Hirt auf dem Felsen and Mozart Piano Quartet in E-flat Major K. 493.
Soltani gives further concerts with the Ensemble on 9 and 13 March. For the concert on 9 March, the Ensemble are joined by Lisa Batiashvili for a programme of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Tarnopolski. On 13 March, the Ensemble performs Boulez Dérive 2 and Mozart Serenade in B-flat Major K. 370a "Gran Partita".
Kian Soltani awarded Germany’s Leonard Bernstein Award
Kian Soltani was announced on 3 February as the 2017 recipient of Germany’s Leonard Bernstein Award.
The award is given by the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in partnership with the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe Schleswig-Holstein and includes a 10,000 Euro prize, plus performance at this summer’s festival with the festival orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.
Former winners include Lang Lang, Jonathan Biss, Alisa Weilerstein, Martin Grubinger, Cameron Carpenter and many more.
Read more on Die Welt.
Intermusica artists star in the Southbank Centre's 2017/18 Classical Season
Intermusica artists star in the Southbank Centre's 2017/18 classical season, which was announced on 26 January 2017.
Highlights of the new season include Marin Alsop conducting Bernstein Mass with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Kian Soltani performing in memory of Jacqueline du Pré with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. The Intermusica co-promoted International Chamber Music Series features James Ehnes leading Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time, Danielle de Niese performing with the Navarra String Quartet and Colin Currie marking the re-opening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall with a world premiere of a new work by Harrison Birtwistle. Boris Giltburg and George Li give solo recitals as part of the long-running International Piano Series, Nicholas Collon conducts Aurora Orchestra in the finale of Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Ligeti in Wonderland festival, and Kian Soltani makes a second appearance alongside Brett Dean for a performance of Schubert Trout Quintet.
28 October 2017
Kian Soltani & West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, cond. Daniel Barenboim / Strauss Don Quixote
14 November 2017
James Ehnes, Steven Osborne, Alban Gerhardt & Jean Johnson / Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time
28 February 2018
Boris Giltburg / Brahms, Shostakovich & Rachmaninov
20 March 2018
George Li / Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Chopin & Liszt
6 & 7 April 2018
Marin Alsop & the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain / Bernstein Mass
19 April 2018
Colin Currie & Nicholas Hodges / Morton Feldman, Stockhausen & Harrison Birtwistle
27 April 2018
Danielle de Niese & Navarra String Quartet / Albert Roussel, Schubert & Ernest Chausson
13 May 2018
Nicholas Collon & Aurora Orchestra / Ligeti
For more information and to book tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.
Intermusica tours the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to Slovenia & Italy with Kian Soltani
Intermusica brings the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko on tour to Slovenia and Italy this month, beginning with a concert at Maribor's Union Hall on 10 February 2017. They are joined for the tour by Intermusica's Kian Soltani, who performs Elgar Cello Concerto. Other works on the programme for the tour include Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances and Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes.
Following the concert in Maribor, the orchestra visits Udine (11 February), Ljubljana (12 February) and Brescia (13 February).
Kian Soltani debuts with the Basel Symphony Orchestra
Kian Soltani travels to Switzerland to make his debut with the Basel Symphony Orchestra this week in two performances at Musical Theater Basel on 18 and 19 January 2017. Conducted by Simon Gaudenz, Soltani performs Dvořák Cello Concerto in B minor.
"[Soltani played] with an intensity and attention to detail that was riveting to watch ... An authoritative presence on the stage."
Performing Arts Hub, September 2016
Soltani's future engagements this season include a European tour with Vassily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and recitals with the Boulez Ensemble and at King's Place, London.
Kian Soltani performs at the United Nations with Daniel Barenboim
On Saturday, Kian Soltani performed Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major together with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra broadcast live from the United Nations in Geneva. You can now watch his performance online on Medici.tv.
In celebration of Human Rights Day on Saturday 10 December, the orchestra performed for an audience comprised of political, economic, social and cultural leaders from all over the world.
The complete program was televised internationally to an audience of over 300 million viewers and streamed online by Fidelio and Medici.
Praise for Kian Soltani:
"But the absolute high point of the evening was the spectacular performance of Cassadó’s Preludio-Fantasia for solo cello, which was played impossibly beautifully, full of imagination, elegant and musical to the core [by Soltani] ... The versatile and highly-talented Soltani is the big discovery of the 2016 Cello Biënnale; this much feeling for beauty, nobility, passion and virtuosity is unique for a young cellist."
Cultureelpersbureau.nl, October 2016
"[Soltani] was a godsend for this piece. He lives the sounds, and makes them come alive ... in the most wonderful way. When he plays, you get the inescapable feeling that you’re present for something big; something that's unrepeatable, that's only happening in the moment."
Reutlinger General-Anzeiger, February 2016
George Li & Kian Soltani perform at the 8th Verbier Festival at Schloss Elmau
George Li and Kian Soltani travel to Bavaria to perform at the 8th Verbier Festival at Schloss Elmau from 27 November 2016, with both artists giving three performances at the festival.
On 27 November Li performs Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and conductor Christoph Koncz, and the following day he performs a solo recital of works by Haydn, Chopin and Prokofiev.
Soltani gives his first performance of the festival on 29 November with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and Gábor Takács-Nagy, and on 30 November Soltani joins Li and Ye-Eun Choi (violin), Timothy Ridout (viola) and Aaron Pilsan (piano) to perform Mendelssohn Piano Quintet No.2 in F minor. He gives a second chamber recital on 2 December, performing Schubert and Mendelssohn with Ye-Eun Choi and Frank Dupree.
Kian Soltani makes his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Kian Soltani makes his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra this month, performing Elgar Cello Concerto under the baton of Vassily Petrenko at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 24 November 2016.
Soltani also performs the Elgar Cello Concerto in Finland earlier in the month with the Jyväskylä Sinfonietta and conductor Moshe Atzmon. He sees out November with concerts with the Vienna Concert-Verein and recitals at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria.
Kian Soltani performs at the Amsterdam Cello Bienniale at the Concertgebouw
Kian Soltani travels to Amsterdam this month for three performances at the Concertgebouw as part of the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, a celebration of the cello.
On 22 October, he performs Fantasía para Violonchelo y Flamenco. The following evening, he performs together with other cellists, pianists and baritone Henk Neven in a varied programme that features works by Glinka, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Raskatoc and Ali-Zadeh. In his final performance on 24 October, he performs in a staged performance of Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita by the Concertgebouw's Creative Performance Lab with cellist Maya Fridman.
Kian Soltani makes his debut in Japan
Kian Soltani makes his Japanese debut this month with two concerts, starting on 4 October 2016 with Anne-Sophie Mutter’s Mutter Virtuosi. Together they perform pieces by Previn, Mendelssohn and Vivaldi at Tokyo's Suntory Hall.
Soltani is then joined by pianist and long-standing collaborator Aaron Pilsan for a recital at Musashino Swing Hall on 9 October, performing a programme of works by Debussy, Casado and Shostakovich.
Kian Soltani makes Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Kian Soltani made his Australian debut this month, performing Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Lukasz Borowicz on 16 September 2016. The following day, Soltani joined the orchestra and Borowicz to perform Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1.
"[Soltani played] with an intensity and attention to detail that was riveting to watch ... An authoritative presence on the stage."
Performing Arts Hub, September 2016
Click here to listen to his Shostakovich performance on ABC.
Kian Soltani: West Eastern Divan Orchestra tour with Daniel Barenboim
Kian Soltani continues his tour with the West Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim this month as principal cellist; after a series of concerts in Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colón on 27, 29, 30 July and 1 August, they move on to Salzburg’s Mozarteum on 10 August and Großes Festspielhaus on 11 August, the Waldbühne in Berlin on 13 August, the KKL Lucerne on 14 August, before performing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms on 17 August.
Part way through the tour, Soltani will travel to Switzerland to participate in the Gstaad Cello Night, performing at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad on 6 August alongside such other cellists as Sol Gabetta and Ivan Monighetti.
Kian Soltani performs at Mozartfest Würzburg with Simone Rubino
Kian Soltani travels to Germany this month to perform at the Mozartfest Würzburg on 27 June 2016.
Soltani joins Italian percussionist Simone Rubino at the Würzburger Hofbräu for a programme featuring pieces by Bach, Cassado alongside his own works.
Kian Soltani performs in the Bergen International Festival's rising stars concert
Kian Soltani travels to Norway this month to perform at the Bergen International Festival on 31 May 2016.
Soltani performs Haydn Cello Concerto No.1 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Ole Kristian Ruud. The concert at the Grieghallen is part of the festival's Crescendo programme, which offers rising stars the chance to work and perform under the guidance of established international soloists. Soltani and his fellow Crescendo artists, violist Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad and violinist Guro Kleven Hagen, will work with Leif Ove Andsnes and Janine Jansen.
Kian Soltani performs a recital at the Lugano Festival
Kian Soltani appears at the Lugano Festival this month, performing in recital at the LAC Teatrostudio on 23 May 2016 with his long-standing collaborator, pianist Aaron Pilsan.
Soltani and Pilsan perform a programme of Schumann Adagio and Allegro, Op.70, Schnittke Sonata No.1 for Cello and Piano, Shostakovich Cello Sonata in D minor and Soltani's own arrangement of Schubert Songs for Cello & Piano.
They repeat the programme on 26 May at the Kammermusik Festival Tirol, preceded by a pre-concert talk with the duo.
Benjamin Beilman makes debut at Festival de Paques Aix-en-Provence alongside Kian Soltani
Benjamin Beilman returns to France this month, where he makes his debut at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence on 24 March 2016. Beilman joins cellist and fellow Intermusica artist Kian Soltani, violinist Mohamed Hiber, violist Manuel Vioque-Judda and pianist François-Frédéric Guy for a chamber concert at the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume. The programme includes Brahms Piano Quintet No.3 in C minor and Piano Quintet in F minor.
The concert in Aix comes soon after the release of Beilman's debut recording for Warner Classics, Spectrum, which features recordings of Janacek, Stravinsky, Schubert and Kreisler with pianist Yekwoon Sunwoo.
Cellist Kian Soltani joins Intermusica for worldwide management
We are delighted to announce the signing of cellist Kian Soltani for worldwide management.
Austrian-Persian cellist Kian Soltani has joined the top rank of today’s new generation of cello soloists since his first prize victory at the 2013 International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki. He is a member of the renowned 'Anne-Sophie Mutter' foundation and regularly tours as principal cellist of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim.
In summer 2015, Soltani was the soloist on the international West-Eastern Divan Orchestra tour, performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Barenboim as pianist and conductor in Salzburg, Lucerne, London, Berlin and Buenos Aires. Other major appearances include a 'Kian and Friends' weekend at the Schubertiade Festival and engagements with Zürich Tonhalle-Orchestra with Sir Neville Marriner, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Sommets Musicaux Gstaad, Festival de Pâques, Lugano Festival, Bergen International Festival, Vienna Musikverein, Kronberg Cello Festival, Amsterdam Cello Biennale and Helsinki Philharmonic.
Kian Soltani will be managed by Bridget Emmerson, Aimee Chow and Lucy Saunders.
Watch Soltani perform Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody at Amsterdam’s Cello Biennale with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra:
Kian Soltani makes BBC Proms debut with West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim
Soltani made his BBC Proms debut this month at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Soltani appeared as soloist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, performing Beethoven Triple Concerto alongside Daniel Barenboim and Guy Braunstein on violin.
Soltani’s "charismatic" (Guardian) performance received huge critical acclaim from the UK press, with Seen and Heard International hailing him as “undoubtedly the real thing” and the Telegraph praising his "eloquent playing".
Kian Soltani joins Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires
Kian Soltani joins Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich this month for a performance of Schumann Andante and Variations at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.