Described by the Times as ‘mesmerising’ and ‘soaringly passionate’, British cellist Natalie Clein has built a distinguished career, regularly performing at major venues and with orchestras worldwide.
She records regularly for Hyperion, including the two Cello Concertos by Camille Saint-Saëns as well as Bloch’s Schelomo and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, as well as 3 discs for EMI. Her recent discs include recital works by Rebecca Clarke, Frank Bridge and Vaughan Williams with Christian Ihle Hadland, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Insula Orchestra and Laurence Equilbey and the Hadyn Cello Concertos with Recreation Orchestra Graz and Michael Hofstetter, which was described by The Strad as “subtle and elegant performances that also thrill”. In 2017 her album featuring works by Bloch, Dallapiccola and Ligeti was awarded a Diapason d’Or.
She has regularly been invited to work with major orchestras worldwide, including Philharmonia, Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, New Zealand Symphony, Opole Philharmonic, St Petersburg Symphony, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires and has performed with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Sir Roger Norrington, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leonard Slatkin, Heinrich Schiff and José Serebrier.
Major engagements in recent seasons have included recital tours of Australia, North and South America and Ireland, at the London in Tel Aviv festival and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg as well a regular collaboration with Ruby Hughes and Julius Drake, with whom she recently performed at the Chamber Music at Lundsgaard Festival. Recent concert highlights have included Elgar with the Philharmonia, Collegium Musicum Basel and Brandenburgische Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Saint-Saens with Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Bloch’s Schelomo with Orkiestra Symfoniczna NFM and Wroclaw Philharmonic.
In recital she appears frequently with artists including Sergio Tiempo, Christian Ihle Hadland, Håvard Gimse, Anthony Marwood, Leif Ove Andsnes, Cedric Pescia and Marianna Shirinyan. She has also worked with Martha Argerich, Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Imogen Cooper, Lars Vogt, Isabelle Faust, and Yeol Eum Son. Her recent Wigmore Hall recital with Cédric Pescia was enthusiastically received by The Strad, who wrote “Clein and Pescia exquisitely articulated these clever contrapuntal conversations and snatched lyrical phrases, each transition simultaneously appearing seamless while resetting the emotional temperature”.
Being a strong advocate for new works, she gave the world premieres of Sir John Tavener’s Flood of Beauty with the Britten Sinfonia and Charlotte Bray’s The Certainty of Tides with Aurora Orchestra and has previously commissioned Brian Elias and Thomas Larcher. She has also been involved in cross-disciplinary projects with the dancer Carlos Acosta, writer Jeanette Winterson and director Deborah Warner amongst others.
She is the Artistic Director of the Purbeck International Chamber Music Festival, Dorset, and has curated series for BBC Radio 3 at LSO St Luke’s and as part of King’s Place’s Cello Unwrapped. She was also Artist in Residence and Director of Musical Performance at Oxford University from 2015 – 2019 and since 2018 has been Professor of Cello at the Rostock Academy of Music in Germany. She is also Professor of Cello at the Royal College of Music as well as was on the panel for the 2022 edition of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
Born in the United Kingdom, Natalie came to widespread attention when she won both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Eurovision Competition for Young Musicians in Warsaw. She studied at Royal College of Music in London and with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna. In 2021, Natalie was awarded an OBE for her services to music.
She plays the ‘Simpson’ Guadagnini cello of 1777.