Steven Isserlis Named New Artistic Partner of CAMERATA BERN

10 May 2023

CAMERATA BERN today announced that cellist Steven Isserlis is named Artistic Partner from the 2023/24 season. He joins violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and bassoonist Sergio Azzolini.

Since its founding in 1962, CAMERATA BERN’s activities have been dedicated to artistic diversity. They rest on three pillars: cultivation of the string ensemble tradition, engagement with historical performance practice, and an active turn towards contemporary music including composition commissions and new concert formats.

As of the 2023/24 season, this thematic diversity is also reflected in the three Artistic Partners, each of whom represents—but is not limited to—one of these pillars. The partnerships are designed for the long-term, thus enabling a deep artistic development growing over time.

Ensemble Representative Christina Merblum Bollschweiler, writes, “We are thrilled to welcome two new Artistic Partners to our Camerata family! Traveling amongst the orbits of Patricia, Steven and Sergio is an absolute privilege. This golden trio is in such a rare class that simply being around each of them transforms you. You begin to think more deeply, laugh with more abandon, support more fervently and take risks with more joy. I look forward to every adventure that awaits!”

Steven Isserlis writes, “I am very happy to become an Artistic Partner with the wonderful CAMERATA BERN. I’m sure that it’s clear to all who attend their concerts that the ensemble consists not only of very special musicians, but also of very special people. I love spending time with the group, both in and out of rehearsals; it is an ensemble that loves to work hard, to make music in a marvellously individual way – and to have fun!”

Isserlis will conclude CAMERATA BERN’S season with a summery and lively programme titled Romantic Classicists / Classical Romantics.

Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster. He appears with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and gives recitals in major musical centres. As a chamber musician, he has curated concert series for many prestigious venues, including London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd St Y, and the Salzburg Festival. He also directs chamber orchestras from the cello in classical programmes.

He has a strong interest in historical performance, working with many period-instrument orchestras and giving recitals with harpsichord and fortepiano. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music and has given many premieres of new works, including Sir John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil and many other works, Thomas Adès’s Lieux retrouvés, three works for solo cello by György Kurtág, and pieces by Heinz Holliger and Jörg Widmann.

Since 1997, Steven has been Artistic Director of the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Cornwall. He also enjoys playing for children, and has created three musical stories, with the composer Anne Dudley. His two books for children, published by Faber & Faber, have been translated into many languages; his latest book for Faber is a commentary on Schumann’s Advice for Young Musicians, and a book about the Bach suites was published in 2021.

The recipient of many awards, Steven’s honours include a CBE in recognition of his services to music, the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau, the Piatigorsky Prize and Maestro Foundation Genius Grant in the U.S, the Glashütte Award in Germany, the Gold Medal awarded by the Armenian Ministry of Culture, and the Wigmore Medal.

Steven plays the ‘Marquis de Corberon’ Stradivarius of 1726, on loan from the Royal Academy of Music.

Photo credits: Annette Boutellier / CAMERATA BERN