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, 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, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Los Angeles Philharmonic under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Paavo Järvi, Donald Runnicles, as well as the leading conductors of the younger generation, such as James Gaffigan, Robin Ticciati, Vasily Petrenko 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.
Mr.Poltéra also devotes himself intensively to chamber music, working with such musicians as Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Karen Gomyo, Leonidas Kavakos, Martin Fröst, Kathryn Stott, Lars Vogt, and Leif Ove Andsnes, as well as the Auryn, Belcea, and Zehetmair Quartets. 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 concert venues in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Cologne, Brussels, and Milan, as well as at 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 and other works by Dvorak, Lutoslawski, Dutilleux, Schoeck, Honegger, Martin, Barber and Toch, 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 the Diapason d'or, Gramophone Magazine's "Editor's Choice", Strad Magazine's "Strad Selection", and BBC Music Magazine's "Choice".
Now recording regularly for BIS, Mr. Poltéra's upcoming releases include the cello concertos by Walton and Hindemith (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra / Frank Shipway) and Beethoven Trios with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Antoine Tamestit.
Christian Poltéra plays the famous cello "Mara", built in 1711 by Antonio Stradivari.