German/French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is a versatile artist being equally at home at performing on period instruments, the classical repertoire and commissioning new music.
Nicolas was one of Boris Pergamenschikow's last students in Berlin, where he continued his studies with Eberhard Feltz.
After having won several international competitions and a „Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship" in 2009, he was awarded the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award 2010 as part of which he performed with the Vienna Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival. As a BBC New Generation Artist 2010-2012 he has performed with all BBC Orchestras, at the Proms and the Wigmore Hall.
Highlights in the past include concerts with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestras Berlin, Stuttgart and Helsinki, Melbourne- and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, Bamberger Symphoniker, and the Munich, Zurich and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras including conductors Vladimir Fedoseyev, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Andrew Davis, Mario Venzago, Andrej Boreyko, Vassily Sinaisky, Adam Fischer, Dennis Russell Davies and Alexander Shelley.
2013/14 he performed with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Neeme Järvi at Konzerthaus Vienna (Shostakovich 1st concerto), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in Suntory Hall (Dvorak concerto), Czech Philharmonic and David Zinman in Rudolfinum Prague (Schumann concerto), Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana with Vladimir Ashkenazy (Walton concerto), Netherlands Philharmonic and Mark Wigglesworth in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, l'Orchestra Symphonique de Québec and Alexander Shelley, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and André de Ridder (German premiere of Nico Muhly's Cello Concerto), Andrea Marcon and his Orchestra La Cetra on period instruments (Caldara concertos) and as a guest artist at the Zermatt Festival of Berlin Philharmonic's Scharoun Ensemble.
Nicolas will be making his debut performance next season at Cologne Philharmonie playing Haydn and C.P.E. Bach concertos on period instruments with Jonathan Cohen and his ensemble Arcangelo, at the Menuhin festival Gstaad with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Fazil Say and at the Amsterdam Cellobiennale. He will return to the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, Auckland Philharmonic and Real Filharmonía de Galicia, and Alice Tully Hall New York and will be touring with Kremerata Baltica, Camerata Bern and Pekka Kuusisto where he will also be leading whole programmes. He will also direct a series of chamber music programme at Musikkollegium Winterthur in 2014/2015.
The real fireworks began with Haydn's First Cello Concerto, with German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt as soloist. One of Discovery Ensemble's strengths is its ability to play 18th-century music with true lightness and finesse, which they showed off throughout the concerto. Altstaedt was an inventive and creative partner; all the time he seemed to be listening keenly, whether he was playing or not. And he varied his tone and phrasing in fascinating ways, sometimes dropping down to a whisper in order to let the orchestra have its say. He also added a fascinating cadenza of his own to the first movement. His technical command was dazzling in the racing finale.
For an encore, Altstaedt and concertmaster Samantha Bennett played Sibelius's first composition, a duo for violin and cello pizzicato called "Water Droplets." He played standing up, leaning over to look at her music stand. It is difficult to imagine a more self-effacing encore."