Hailed by The Times as a “remarkable cellist” and described by Gramophone as “sheer perfection”, Kian Soltani’s playing is characterised by a depth of expression, sense of individuality and technical mastery, alongside a charismatic stage presence and ability to create an immediate emotional connection with his audience. He is now invited by the world’s leading orchestras, conductors and recital promoters, propelling him from rising star to one of the most talked about cellists performing today.
In 2021/22 Soltani has been invited to make debuts with orchestras including the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Czech Philharmonic, ORF Vienna Radio, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, WDR, Barcelona and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. He will return to the London and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, Vienna Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin and Tonhalle Zurich amongst others. Furthermore, Soltani embarks on extensive orchestral touring including with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko.
Recent orchestral highlights include the Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, NCPA Orchestra, Boston Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. Soltani was Artist-in-Residence at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in July 2021 in which he curated concerts including a Persian evening with the Shiraz Ensemble. Soltani commenced a multi-year residency with Junge Wilde at Konzerthaus Dortmund in Autumn 2018. As a recitalist, Soltani has recently performed at Carnegie Hall, Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, Wigmore Hall and the Boulez Saal, where he was invited to curate an evening of cello music.
In 2017, Soltani signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon and his first disc ‘Home’, comprising works for cello and piano by Schubert, Schumann and Reza Vali, was released to international acclaim in 2018, with Gramophone describing the recording as “sublime”. Soltani has since recorded discs including the Dvorak and Tchaikovsky Piano Trios with Lahav Shani and Renaud Capucon, recorded live at Aix Easter Festival in 2018 released by Warner Classics and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim in August 2020.
During the entirety of 2020, Soltani worked on his latest disc with Deutsche Grammophon which was released in October 2021. The disc, entitled ‘Cello Unlimited’, is a celebration of the cello and film music. Of the disc, Soltani wrote “Everything you will hear on this album is made only and exclusively with my cello and played only by me. The possibilities of this instrument are unlimited and infinite, and this album is a celebration of the instrument and of epic film music as well”.
Soltani attracted worldwide attention in April 2013 as winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki. In February 2017 Soltani won Germany’s celebrated Leonard Bernstein Award and in December 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Credit Suisse Young Artist Award.
Born in Bregenz, Austria, in 1992 to a family of Persian musicians, Soltani began playing the cello at age four and was only twelve when he joined Ivan Monighetti’s class at the Basel Music Academy. He was chosen as an Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation scholarship holder in 2014 and completed his further studies as a member of the Young Soloist Programme at Germany’s Kronberg Academy. He received additional important musical training at the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein.
Kian Soltani plays “The London, ex Boccherini” Antonio Stradivari cello, kindly loaned to him by a generous sponsor through the Beares International Violin Society.