Christian Poltéra


Born in Zurich, cellist Christian Poltéra was a pupil of Nancy Chumachenco and Boris Pergamenschikov before studying with Heinrich Schiff in Salzburg and Vienna. Since replacing Yo-Yo Ma performing the Elgar concerto with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under David Zinman at the age of 17, Mr. Poltéra has steadily established himself as one of the most prominent cellists of his generation.

As soloist he has worked with eminent orchestras including the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, NDR Hamburg Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna and Bamberg Symphonies, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Paavo Järvi, Donald Runnicles and Andris Nelsons. Mr. Poltéra made his solo debut in the US in 2006 with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall in New York.

Recent and upcoming highlights include appearances with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Lucerne Symphony, a tour with the South Nederlands Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Bergen Philharmonic, a three week residency with the Sao Paolo Symphony, the Oslo Opera Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg.

Mr. Poltéra also devotes himself intensively to chamber music, working with such musicians as Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Leonidas Kavakos, Martin Fröst, Kathryn Stott, Lars Vogt, and Leif Ove Andsnes. In 2008 he joined Mitsuko Uchida in performances of Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time", at Carnegie's Zankel Hall and the Kimmell Center in Philadelphia. Together with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and violist Antoine Tamestit, Christian Poltéra has formed a regular string trio that performs at the most prestigious European concert venues. In 16/17 the Trio Zimmermann tours in Amsterdam, Luxemburg, Warsaw, Zurich, Milan and returns to the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals.

In 2004 he received the Borletti-Buitoni Award and was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist. In 2006-07 he was a 'Rising Star' of the European Concert Hall Organization. He is a regular guest at renowned festivals (such as Salzburg, Lucerne, Berlin, and Vienna) and made his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2007.

Christian Poltéra's discography reflects his wide range of repertoire that includes the cello concertos by Dvorak, Martinu, Walton, Hindemith, Barber, Lutoslawski, Dutilleux, Schoeck, Honegger, Martin, as well as chamber music by Prokofiev, Fauré, Mozart, Saint-Saens and Schubert, on the labels BIS Records, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, and Chandos. These recordings have won acclaim from the international press, and have been honored with theDiapason d'or de l’anné, Gramophone Magazine's "Editor's Choice", Strad Magazine's "Strad Selection", and BBC Music"Award“. Now recording regularly for BIS, Mr. Poltéra's recent releases include the Dvorak and Martinu Concerti with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Thomas Dausgaard, Beethoven Trios with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Antoine Tamestit, and a Dvorak Album with pianist Kathryn Stott. CD releases in 16-17 include the Ligeti Concerto with BIT21 Ensemble, Hindemith and Schönberg Trios with Trio Zimmermann, Shostakovich and Martinu Concerti with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Gilbert Varga and Mendelssohn Sonatas with Ronald Brautigam.

Christian Poltéra plays the famous “Mara“ Stradivari Cello from 1711. "It is no exaggeration to state that this rapt performance presents this noble concerto with an inspirational intensity to compare with the celebrated Du Pré/Barbirolli recording of the Elgar Concerto"- Editor's Choice, Gramophone Magazine

Text courtesy of Seldy Cramer Artists