Torleif Thedéen

Torleif Thedéen

Cello

• Born 1962

Biography

Torleif Thedéen is a prominent cellist who has performed both concertos and chamber music with top artists and ensembles from Scandinavia and beyond. He is also a noted educator.

Thedéen was born in Sweden in 1962. His career got a powerful jump start when he won three of the most prestigious cello competitions, in a single year, 1985: the Hammer-Rostropowitsch, the Pablo Casals, and the European Broadcasting Union's International Tribune. That led, immediately and unusually, to a contract with BIS, for which he released the album The Russian Cello in 1986. Soon, Thedéen was appearing with major Scandinavian orchestras and conductors, including Paavo Berglund, Leif Segerstam, and the fast-rising Esa-Pekka Salonen. His 1994 BIS album featuring the Shostakovich cello concertos, with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra under James DePreist, won a Cannes Classical Award in 1995, and his 1999 set of Bach's cello suites was also highly regarded. His solo appearances branched out beyond Scandinavia to include concerto performances with the BBC, Moscow, and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras. Thedéen made back-to-back tours of New Zealand and Australia in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. He has been a fixture at European festivals including the Verbier Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. A notable feature of the later part of Thedéen's career has been his touring and recording work with other top-quality soloists. He toured and recorded with violinist Janine Jansen and violist Maxim Rysanov in the late 2000s. In 2018, he won the Edison Prize for a recording of the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time with Jansen, clarinetist Martin Fröst, and pianist Lucas Debargue. For his solo recordings, Thedéen moved from BIS to the CPO label, where in 2019 he issued a performance of Aram Khachaturian's Cello Concerto with the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie under Daniel Raiskin.

Thedéen taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen from 1992 to 1996. Since 1996, he has been a professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stockholm.

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