Pieter Wispelwey

Pieter Wispelwey is equally at ease on the modern or period cello. His acute stylistic awareness, combined with a truly original interpretation and a phenomenal technical mastery, has won the hearts of critics and public alike in repertoire ranging from JS Bach to Schnittke, Elliott Carter and works composed for him.

Born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, Wispelwey’s sophisticated musical personality is rooted in the training he received: from early years with Dicky Boeke and Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam to Paul Katz in the USA and William Pleeth in Great Britain.  In 1992 he became the first cellist ever to receive the Netherlands Music Prize, which is awarded to the most promising young musician in theNetherlands.

Highlights among recent and future concerto performances include engagements with the Philharmonia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Warsaw Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Beethovenorchester Bonn, Orchestre National d’Ile de France and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Last season Pieter undertook a major tour of Australia, focusing on the cello concertos dedicated to Rostropovich (Sydney Symphony, Queensland Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, and Canberra International Festival). He also gave the world premiere of the cello version of John Adams’ Dharma at Big Sur and was guest Music Director of the Australian Youth Orchestra Chamber music programme.

Future recital highlights include Vienna (Konzerthaus), Paris (Musee d’Orsay), London (Wigmore Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Brussels (Flagey), San Francisco Performances, Tokyo (Toppan Hall, Kioi Hall), the Seoul Arts Center and extensive touring with the Bach solo cello suites in Europe and North America.

Pieter Wispelwey recently formed a string quartet, ‘quartet-lab’, with Patricia Kopatchinskaia, Pekka Kuusisto and Lilli Maijala. Quartet-lab’s debut project was at the Konzerthaus Dortmund in September 2012, followed by a European tour taking in Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Helsinki Festival and Beethovenfest Bonn with further similar tours in the 13-14 season.

In 2012 Pieter Wispelwey celebrated his 50th birthday by embarking on a project showcasing the Bach Cello Suites. He recorded the complete Suites for the third time, released on the label ‘Evil Penguin Classics’. The box set also includes a DVD featuring illustrated debates on the interpretation of the Bach Suites with eminent Bach scholars Laurence Dreyfus and John Butt.

Wispelwey’s career spans five continents and he has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, St Paul’s Chamber Orchestra, NHK Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon, Tokyo Philharmonic, Sapporo Symphony, Sydney Symphony, London Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, Danish National Radio Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg.   Conductor collaborations include Ivan Fischer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, pieterwispelwey.com Blomstedt, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jeffrey Tate, Kent Nagano, Sir Neville Marriner, Philippe Herreweghe, Vassily Sinaisky, Vladimir Jurowski, Louis Langrée, Marc Minkowski, Ton Koopman and Sir Roger Norrington.

With regular recital appearances in London (Wigmore Hall), Paris (Châtelet, Louvre), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw), Brussels (Bozar), Berlin (Konzerthaus), Milan (Societta del Quartetto), Buenos Aires (Teatro Colon), Sydney (The Utzon Room), Los Angeles (Walt Disney Hall) and New York (Lincoln Center), Wispelwey has established a reputation as one of the most charismatic recitalists on the circuitpieterwispelwey.com Pieter Wispelwey’s impressive discography of over 20 albums, available on Channel Classic, Onyx and Evil Penguin Classics, has attracted major international awards. Recent releases include Walton’s Cello Concerto (Sydney Symphony/Jeffrey Tate), Prokofiev’s Symphonie Concertante (Rotterdam Philharmonic/Vassily Sinaisky), Britten Cello Symphony (Flanders Symphony / Seikyo Kim) – all recorded live – as well as a unique set of works by Schubert for cello and piano (Fantasy D934, Grand Duo D574, Arpeggione Sonata), recorded on period instruments. His latest release sees him returning to the concerto repertoire and  features Lalo’s Cello Concerto and Saint-Saens’s http://pieterwispelwey.com/ Concerto No.2.

Pieter Wispelwey plays on a 1760 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini cello and a 1710 Rombouts baroque cello.