Nicolas Altstaedt

“The compelling French-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt gave a performance of this compact 10-minute piece that thoroughly conveyed its audacious, even radical elements.
This was his New York recital debut. It’s about time.“
Anthony Tommasini, NY Times


German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is one of the most sought after and versatile artists today.  As a soloist, conductor and artistic director, he performs repertoire spanning from early music to the contemporary.


Season 22/23 includes debuts and with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer as well as the Seoul Philharmonic with Osmo Vänskä on tour, Sydney and Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Belgique, Kioi Chamber Orchestra Tokyo as well as returns to Il Giardino Armonico, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Münchener Kammerorchester amongst others. As a conductor he will debut with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic and Kyoto Symphony Orchestra.


Since his highly acclaimed debut with the Vienna Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival he regularly performs with the most renowned orchestras around the world including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Zurich, London and Munich Philharmonic, NHK and Yomiuri Symphony, Washington National Symphony and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, all BBC Orchestras, OPRF and ONF Paris and Rotterdam Philharmonic with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Roger Norrington and Sir Neville Marriner, Francois-Xavier Roth, Lahav Shani, Robin Ticciati, Cristian Macelaru, Vasily Petrenko, Andrew Manze, Ed Gardner and Thomas Dausgaard. He also regularly performs on period instruments with ensembles as Il Giardino Armonico, Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Arcangelo, Academy of Ancient Music and conductors as René Jacobs, Phillippe Herreweghe, Andrea Marcon, Giovanni Antonini and Jonathan Cohen.


Nicolas Altstaedt was Artist in Residence 19/20 at the SWR Symphonie Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis; 18/19 at NDR Ebphilharmonieorchester and Artist in Fokus at Alte Oper Frankfurt. He has debuted in recital at BOZAR Brussels, Carnegie Hall, Park Avenue Armory, TCE Paris and Koerner Hall, Toronto. During the 17/18 season, Nicolas gave the highly acclaimed Finnish Premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto under the baton of the composer at the Helsinki Festival and was “Artist in Spotlight” at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.


As a conductor, he works closely with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conducted in recent seasons the SWR, OPRF Paris, OSI Lugano, Orchestra of 18th century, les Violins du Roy, Aurora, Munich and Zurich chamber orchestras. 


In 2012, Nicolas was chosen by Gidon Kremer to succeed him as the new artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival and in 2014 by Ádám Fischer to become the new Artistic Director of the Haydn Philharmonie whom he regularly performs with at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Esterházy Festival and recently on tour in both China and Japan. Nicolas is Artistic Director of the Pfingstfestspiele Ittingen 2019 and 2023.


As a chamber musician, Nicolas partners include Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Christian Tetzlaff, Pekka Kuusisto, Barnabás Kelemen, Joshua Bell, Ilya Gringolts, Tabea Zimmermann, Lawrence Power, Antoine Tamestit, Martin Fröst, Alexander Lonquich, Jonathan Cohen, Jean Rondeau and the Quatuor Ébène. He performs at both Salzburg Mozart and Summer Festival, Verbier, Utrecht, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Musikfest Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau. 


Joint appearances with composers such as Thomas Adès, Jörg Widmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Thomas Larcher, Fazil Say and Sofia Gubaidulina also consolidate his reputation as an outstanding interpreter of contemporary music. Sebastian Fagerlund, Helena Winkelman, Anders Hillborg and Fazil Say have recently written concertos for Nicolas. New Concertos by Erkki-Sven Tüür, Liza Lim and Márton Illés are planned for there coming seasons,


His most recent recordings for his Lockenhaus Festival garnered the BBC Music Magazine 2020 Chamber Award and Grammophone Award 2020. He received the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award 2017 for his recording of CPE Bach Concertos on Hyperion with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen and the Edison Klassiek 2017 for his Recital Recording with Fazil Say on Warner Classics.


Nicolas received the Beethovenring Bonn 2015 and Musikpreis der Stadt Duisburg 2018. Nicolas was a BBC New Generation Artist 2010-2012 and a recipient of the „Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship“ in 2009.