Praised for the “warm songfulness of his playing” (The Telegraph) at the 2016 BBC Proms, Alban Gerhardt has, for twenty-five years, made a unique impact on audiences worldwide with his intense musicality, compelling stage presence and insatiable artistic curiosity. His gift for shedding fresh light on familiar scores, along with his appetite for investigating new repertoire from centuries past and present, truly set him apart from his peers.
Forthcoming highlights include concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, Swedish Radio Symphony, Philharmonia and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras. Gerhardt will also perform in Hong Kong, Melbourne, Perth, and at King’s Place in London for its ‘Cello Unwrapped’ project.
Gerhardt is passionate about sharing his discoveries with audiences far beyond the traditional concert hall: outreach projects undertaken in Europe and the US have involved performances and workshops, not only in schools and hospitals, but also pioneering sessions in public spaces and young offender institutions. His collaboration with Deutsche Bahn, involving live performances on the main commuter routes in Germany, vividly demonstrates his commitment to challenging traditional expectations of classical music.
Following early competition success, Gerhardt’s international career was launched by his debut with Berliner Philharmoniker and Semyon Bychkov in 1991. Notable orchestra collaborations since include Royal Concertgebouw, London Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, The Cleveland, The Philadelphia and Chicago Symphony orchestras and Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich; under conductors such as Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christian Thielemann, Christoph Eschenbach, Myung-Whun Chung, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Kirill Petrenko and Andris Nelsons. He is also a keen chamber musician; his regular performance partners include Steven Osborne, Baiba Skride and Brett Dean.
Gerhardt has collaborated with composers including Thomas Larcher, Brett Dean, Jörg Widmann, and Matthias Pintscher; and in almost every case he commits to memorising their scores before world premiere performances. In spring 2014 he made his third visit to Berliner Philharmoniker, performing Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto – originally premiered by Gerhardt at the 2009 BBC Proms. He also completed a groundbreaking, three-year residency with Oregon Symphony Orchestra and was the subject of a focused project at London’s Wigmore Hall.
A highly acclaimed recording artist, Gerhardt has won three ECHO Klassik Awards as well as ICMA and MIDEM Classic awards, and his recording of Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto, released by Deutsche Grammophon, won the BBC Music Magazine Award and was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award in 2015. He has recorded extensively for Hyperion, spearheading the label’s ‘Romantic Cello Concertos’ series and his new recording of Rostropovich’s ‘Encores’ is released January 2017.
Alban Gerhardt plays a Matteo Gofriller cello dating from 1710.
After the US election 2016 and the Brexit Alban felt the need to become more engaged with what’s going on in the world, so besides taking care and housing an Afghan refugee he also became involved in the musician’s initiative #Musicians4UnitedEurope in which musicians try to fill the European vision with feelings instead of just good arguments. www.musicians4unitedeurope.com