Natalia Gutman

Natalia Gutman is one of the worlds most esteemed musicians, often referred to by audiences and criticsalike as the Queen of the Cello.

Her prestige is reflected in the many distinguished awards she holds: National Artist of the USSR (1991), theState Prize of Russian Federation (2000), Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse of the Federal Republic ofGermany (2005), the Shostakovich Prize (2002 and 2013), the Triumph Award (2002), Fellow of the RoyalCollege of Music London (2010), Musikpreis des Verbandes der Deutschen Konzertdirektionen (2012), Premio NEM in Florence(2014).

After graduating from Galina Kozolupovas class at the Moscow Conservatoire, Gutman continued her postgraduatestudies with Mstislav Rostropovich at the Leningrad Conservatoire. Already before completing thecourse in June 1968, Rostropovich had invited her to join the pedagogical staff at the Moscow Conservatoire.

From 1959 she participated in various international competitions, winning that year the Gold medal at theVienna Youth Festival, then First Prize at the International Dvorak Competition in Prague in 1961 and 3rdprize at Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962. In 1967 together with her Duo partner, the pianist AlexeiNasedkin, Gutman was awarded First Prize at the Munich ARD Competition.

1969 she made her brilliant American debut at New Yorks Carnegie Hall, playing Blochs Schelomo andProkofievs Concertino under Maestro Leopold Stokowksi. On her return to Moscow, the Russian authoritiesimposed a ban on Gutmans travel abroad, and she was unable to pursue her international career for 10years.In Russia nevertheless Gutmans solo career flourished, and she performed and recorded with the mostrenowned Soviet conductors such as Kondrashin, Svetlanov, Rozhdestvensky and Temirkanov.

As anenthusiast of chamber music she formed an important musical relationship with the exceptional violinist OlegKagan, who became her husband. Together they formed a Trio with Svyatoslav Richter, who also frequentlyacted as Natalias Duo partner. The group was extended to a Piano Quartet whith Yuri Bashmet and PianoQuintet with Viktor Tretiakov. Together they explored the whole chamber music repertoire. Gutman andKagans remarkable interpretation of Brahms double concerto, as well as much of the classical repertoirewere highly acclaimed. They also commissioned many composers as Sofiya Gubaidulina, Edison Denisov,Vasily Lobanov and Tigran Mansuryan to write for them. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Alfred Schnittkededicated a series of works to Gutman and Kagan, including the First Cello Sonata, the Concerto Grosso no2 for violin and cello (1981), and the first cello Concerto (1984/5).

Finally in December 1978 Gutman was granted permission to travel again outside the Soviet Union, and toresume her international career. Since she playing at the most prestigious halls throughout Europe undersuch great conductors as Serge Celibidache, Yuri Aronovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, Kurt Mazur, WolfgangSawallisch, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Gustavo Dudamel. The specialmusical relationship she built up with Claudio Abbado since the early 1980s has resulted in manyperformances with him, with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, the European Comunity YouthOrchestra, the Gustav Mahler orchestra, and the Mozart Orchestra. From 1992 – 2002 together with AbbadoGutman directed the Berliner Begegnungen chamber series in Berlin.

Over the years Gutman has made innumerable recordings of both Concerts of Shostakovich with RoyalPhilharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov (RCA Victor), Dvorak Concert with the PhiladelphiaOrchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch (EMI), Schnittke Concert No.1 and Schumann Concert with LondonPhilharmonic Orchestra under Kurt Masur and in 2007 another version of Schumann Concert with ClaudioAbbado and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Together with Maria Michel-Bayerle she initiated theLive ClassicsRecording Company in order to publish the many live concert recordings made with Sviatoslav Richter, OlegKagan, Eliso Virsaladze, Yuri Bashmet, Vasily Lobanov, Eduard Brunner and many others.

Currently Gutman holds Professorships at the Moscow Conservatoire, at the Private University of Vienna,and the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (in Italy). Her time is largely divided between giving performances throughout Europe, the Far East, South America and the USA as soloist with orchestras, with Bach’s Suites, duo recitals and chamber music with her Piano Trio(Sviatoslav Moroz, violin and Dmitry Vinnik, piano). She is also much in demand world-wide as a distinguished teacher of master classes.