March 21, 1985
Studied at the Cologne University of Music and Dance under Prof. Frans Helmerson. In 2009 he won the Leonard Bernstein Prize at the open festival in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) where he played the Brahms Double Concerto with Anne Sophie Mutter under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach. In 2012 he received the prestigious BBC New Generation Artist award which meant that he would perform and make recordings with the BBC orchestras and appear at the BBC Proms festival. That year he also was appointed Artistic Mentor the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bolivia. He is a regular soloist with the Bremen Philharmonic (2013-2016) where each season he gives the world premiere of compositions commissioned for him. He appears with many famous orchestras in the foremost of the world’s concert venues, and he is a participant in the festivals in Lucerne, Ravinia, Gstaad, and Istanbul. His solo and orchestral albums are published by Onyx Classics. He often plays chamber music and is a member of the Sitkovetsky Trio. His instrument is the “Leonard Rose” cello made by Matteo Goffriller in 1693.
Which people would you invite as guests to your dream dinner party?
Bob Dylan, Damien Hirst, Jake&Amir.
What is your favorite meal?
Almost any type of pasta.
Do you have a favorite motto or proverb that you live your life by?
Learn and teach, I guess?
Which person or people inspire you the most?
Artists who see things with "new eyes" and can make me see from their point of view.
If you were 80 years old, what advice would you give to young people today?
Try to be in the present or in the past in your thoughts. Don't worry about the future too much.
What would you like people to say about you?
That I do more good than harm. That's a tall order!
How do you overcome the stage fright? / What is your ritual before going on stage?
It's important to remember that people come to hear music, not to judge the player. (It's hard to do think that in a competition, I know!)
When you perform... who are you playing for?
Sometimes my girlfriend, sometimes my grandmother.
What's the "most played" non-classical track on your phone?
Drake: 6 Man.
You are on a desert island and can bring only 3 items, what do you bring?
My cello, my girlfriend, her violin.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word Tchaikovsky?
Borodin Quartet recordings / Mravinsky’s eyes and right hand / Lensky.
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word competition?
Student gossip? These days I think: "I need to practice."