BIOGRAPHY

"The compelling French-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt gave a performance of this compact 10-minute piece that thoroughly conveyed its audacious, even radical elements.
This was his New York recital debut. It’s about time.“
Anthony Tommasini, NY Times 22/02/16

Renowned for his beautiful sound and effortless virtuosity, German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is one of the most creative and versatile cellists active today.  Highly sought after as soloist, play/conductor and chamber musician on the international stage, he enthralls audiences with his captivating performances of repertoire spanning from the baroque to the contemporary.

This season, Nicolas will make his debut with the English Chamber Orchestra with a play/conduct programme, premiere Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto at the Helsinki Festival with Salonen conducting and make his debut with Gurzenich Orchestra and Lahav Shani.  Recent highlights of 2016/17 includes performances with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Martyn Brabbins, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra/Thomas Hengelbrock in the opening weeks of the Elbphilharmonie, Rotterdam Philharmonic/Joshua Weilerstein, Basel Chamber Orchestra/Giovanni Antonini, NDR Hanover/Andrew Manze, MDR Leipzig/Kristjan Jarvi, Strasbourg Philharmonique/Leif Segerstam, SWR Symphony/Dmitri Slobodeniouk and Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra as artist-in-residence.

In the following seasons, Nicolas will return to the NDR Elbphilharmonie as artist-in-residence working with Krzysztof Urbanski and Sakari Oramo, to the BBC Scottish Symphony/Martyn Brabbins, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, to the Rotterdam Philharmonic and to the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra amongst others.  He will make his debut with Le Chambre Philharmonique/Emmanuel Krivine, Detroit Symphony/Fabien Gabel, Helsinki Philharmonic/Thomas Dausguaard amongst others.

In 2014, Adam Fischer asked Nicolas to follow in his footsteps as Artistic Director of the Haydn Philharmonie, with whom he now regularly performs at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Esterhazy Festival and this season they will return to China and to Japan

In recital, Nicolas performs solo and with partners Fazil Say and Alexander Lonquich. In the following season, he will return to Carnegie Hall with Fazil Say, the Wigmore Hall with Alexander Lonquich and make his debut at Koerner Hall, Toronto, Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris, BOZAR, Brussels amongst others. In Autumn 2017 Nicolas will tour Australia extensively as part of a Musica Viva Recital tour.

In 2012 Nicolas was chosen by Gidon Kremer to become his successor as the new artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, a position Nicolas continues working with artists including Vilde Frang, Andreas Ottensamer, Pekka Kuusisto, Jansen, Antoine Tamestit, Lawrence Power, Jonathan Cohen and the Quatuor Ébène performing regularly at Salzburg Mozart and Summer Festival, Verbier, Utrecht, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Gstaad, Musikfest Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau and Stavanger.

Nicolas premieres new music and performs with composers such as Thomas Ades, Jörg Widmann, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Fazil Say and Sebastian Fagerlund.  In 2016, he commissioned the pianist/composer Hauschka to write a cello concerto for chamber orchestra inspired by a film script by Federico Fellini; this premiered this season in London and Duisburg.   Celebrating Steve Reich’s 80th birthday, Nicolas worked with Pekka Kuusisto and composers Dessner and Muhly in New York at Carnegie Hall.

Nicolas’ recent recording of CPE Bach Concertos on Hyperion with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen received the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award for 2017.  This year, he released a disc of sonatas with Fazil Say on Warner labels.  Previous recordings of cello concerti by Haydn, Schumann, Ligeti, Shostakovich and Weinberg have been acclaimed worldwide. 

He plays a Giulio Cesare Gigli cello, Rome around 1760.