Steven Isserlis

Biography

Born: December 19, 1958  
Steven John Isserlis is one of the leading internationally ranked cellists. He plays a wide range of repertory and is noted for using gut strings and a great deal of vibrato. He is the grandson of Russian composer and pianist Julius Isserlis and can trace his family tree back to connections with both Karl Marx and Felix Mendelssohn.

He spent most of his teenage years (1969-1976) as a pupil of Jane Cowan at the International Cello Centre.
Read more He describes her teaching method as both "total immersion" and "very holistic." For instance, she required the students to read Goethe's Faust in order to understand Beethoven better and memorize Racine to know the sound of the French language when playing French music. During his last two years at the Cello Centre he lived at her house in Scotland three times a year for eight-week stretches.

After finishing at the International Cello Centre, he went to study in the United States at Oberlin College in Ohio with Richard Kapuscinski (1976-1978). During this period, he made his debut in London in 1977. After graduation from Oberlin, he began to establish what has become one of the major cello careers. He has played with many of the leading orchestras and conductors in the world, including the London Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, and the London Philharmonic under such conductors as John Eliot Gardiner, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christoph Eschenbach, Roger Norrington, Colin Davis, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. He is also very active as a chamber player. In 1991, he founded a regular trio with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Olli Mustonen, and frequently gives recitals with pianist and fortepianist Melvin Tan. Other frequent partners have been Stephen Kovacevich, Tabea Zimmermann, Pamela Frank, and Stephen Hough.

He performs the major cello repertory from before Bach to current times. When he plays Classical- or Baroque-era works, he is likely to do so with "period instrument" ensembles. He uses his own cello (sometimes with a slight change in set-up) on such occasions rather than a Baroque cello. However, he often practices for such concerts with a Baroque or Classical bow to get an idea of the likely phrasing and articulation.

One of the most famous late twentieth century works for cello and orchestra, John Tavener's The Protecting Veil, was written for him, and he gave it its first performance in London in 1989 and its American debut in Boston in 1993. He also recorded its first release, on Virgin Classics, a recording that won a Grammophone Award. In 1992, he received the Piatigorsky Artist Award, and in 1993 got the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist of the Year Award. Other composers who have written new music for Isserlis include Elizabeth Maconchy, Howard Blake, and Robert Saxton. Isserlis has recorded the Elgar concerto, Britten's Cello Symphony, Bloch's Schelomo, and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, which he played in the composer's original version, and received wide acclaim for them.

He was an exclusive artist on the Virgin Records label, going back to the days when it was a large independent company, and continued with it for several years after it was acquired by EMI. He now has an exclusive contract with BMG Classics with plans to release major contemporary cello works and standard works on the RCA Victor Red Seal label.

He has increased his teaching activities and gives master classes at the Manchester Cello Festival, and since 1996, when he succeeded Sandor Végh as artistic director of the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall, England, he has taught and given master classes there annually. Read less
Prokofiev, Shostakovich: Cello Concertos / Steven Isserlis
Release Date: 03/10/2015   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68037   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 59 Steven Isserlis recordings available.

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Biography

Born: December 19, 1958  
Steven John Isserlis is one of the leading internationally ranked cellists. He plays a wide range of repertory and is noted for using gut strings and a great deal of vibrato. He is the grandson of Russian composer and pianist Julius Isserlis and can trace his family tree back to connections with both Karl Marx and Felix Mendelssohn.

He spent most of his teenage years (1969-1976) as a pupil of Jane Cowan at the International Cello Centre.
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. Poco andante
II. Andante
III. Allegro (ma non Presto)
The Loneliest Wilderness
The Loneliest Wilderness
I. Andante mosso
II. Andante
III. Allegretto
III. Jewish Song
II. Supplication
I. Prayer
1. Andante - Moderato - Poco piů mosso
2. Allegro con brio
3. Largo
4. Allegretto - Adagio
Sonata No. 6 for cello and continuo in C major G6 : I. Allegro
Sonata No. 6 for cello and continuo in C major G6 : II. Largo assai
Sonata No. 6 for cello and continuo in C major G6 : III. Allegro moderato
The Protecting Veil: The Protecting Veil
The Protecting Veil: The Nativity of the Mother of God
The Protecting Veil: The Annunciation
The Protecting Veil: The Incarnation
The Protecting Veil: The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
The Protecting Veil: The Resurrection
The Protecting Veil: The Dormition
The Protecting Veil: The Protecting Veil
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Introduzione: Lento
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Marcia: Allegro
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Canto: Con moto
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Dialogo: Allegretto
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Fuga: Andante espressivo
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Moto perpetuo: Presto
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Passacaglia: Lento solenne
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Mournful Song (Under the Little Apple Tree): Molto semplice
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Autumn: Vivace
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Street Song (The Grey Eagle): Pesante
Third Suite for Cello Op. 87: Grant repose together with the saints: Lento
1. Andante - Moderato - Poco piů mosso
2. Allegro con brio
3. Largo
4. Allegretto - Adagio
1. Modéré
2. Pantoum (Assez vif)
3. Passacaille (Trčs large)
4. Final (Animé)
Allegro non troppo
Menuet
Finale
Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 119 in D Minor: Allegro moderato e maestoso; Andante sostenuto
Allegro non troppo; Cadenza; Tempo I; Molto Allegro
Component 1: Cello Sonata No. 6 in C Major, G.6: I. Allegro
Cello Sonata No. 6 in C Major, G.6: II. Largo assai
Cello Sonata No. 6 in C Major, G.6: III. Allegro moderato
Cello Concerto in G Major, G.480: I. Allegro
Cello Concerto in G Major, G.480: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto in G Major, G.480: III. Allegro
Cello Concerto in B Flat Major, G.482: I. Allegro moderato
Cello Concerto in B Flat Major, G.482: II. Andantino grazioso
Cello Concerto in B Flat Major, G.482: III. Rondo : Allegro
Cello Sonata No. 5 in G Major, G.5: I. Largo
Cello Sonata No. 5 in G Major, G.5: II. Allegro militare
Cello Sonata No. 5 in G Major, G.5: III. Tempo di minuetto
Allegro moderato e maestoso; Andante sostenuto
Allegro non troppo; Cadenza; Tempo I; Molto allegro
Cello Sonata No. 2, Op. 123: Maestoso, largamente
Scherzo con variazioni
Romanza: Poco adagio
Allegro non troppo, grazioso
Allegro I.
Adagio II.
Andantino grazioso III.
Allegro IV.
Märchenerzählungen for Clarinet, Viola (Cello) and Piano, Op. 132: Lebhaft, nicht zu schnell
Lebhaft und sehr markirt
Ruhiges Tempo, mit zartem Ausdruck
Lebhaft, sehr markirt
Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85: I. Adagio - Moderato
Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85: II. Lento - Allegro molto
Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85: III. Adagio
Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85: IV. Allegro - Moderato - Allegro, ma non troppo
Cello Concerto No.2 in C minor Op.77: I. Molto sostenuto - Allegro molto e energico
Cello Concerto No.2 in C minor Op.77: II. Presto marcato
Cello Concerto No.2 in C minor Op.77: III. Andante con moto - Allegro
Variations on a Rococo Theme in A Op. 33 (original version): Variation VII - Andante sostenuto
Variations on a Rococo Theme in A Op. 33 (original version): Variation VIII e coda - Allegro moderato e con anima
Nocturne in D minor for Cello and Orchestra Op.19/4
Pezzo capriccioso in B minor Op. 62
Pezzo capriccioso in B minor Op. 62
Andante cantabile for cello and strings Op. 11
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Introduktion : Mäßiges Zeitmaß
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Introduktion : Mäßiges Zeitmaß
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Thema: Mäßig - The Knight of the Mournful Countenance
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Thema: Mäßig - The Knight of the Mournful Countenance
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation I: Gemächlich - The adventure of the windmills
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation I: Gemächlich - The adventure of the windmills
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation II: Kriegerisch - The battle with the sheep
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation II: Kriegerisch - The battle with the sheep
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation III: Mäßiges Zeitmaß - Dialogue of Knight and Squire
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation III: Mäßiges Zeitmaß - Dialogue of Knight and Squire
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation IV: Etwas breiter - The adventure with the procession of penitents
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation IV: Etwas breiter - The adventure with the procession of penitents
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation V: Sehr langsam - Don Quixote's vigil
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation VI: Schnell - Dulcinea's enchantment
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation VI: Schnell - Dulcinea's enchantment
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation VII: Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher - The ride through the air
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation VIII: Gamächlich - The adventure of the enchanted boat
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation IX: Schnell und stürmisch - The battle with the enchanters
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Variation X: Viel breiter - Don Quixote's defeat and journey home
Don Quixote - fantastic variations for cello, viola & orchestra Op.35: Finale: Sehr ruhig - The death of Don Quixote
Moderato
Adagio
Allegro molto
Cello Concerto in D/D-dur/ré majeur H.VIIb:2: Allegro moderato
Adagio
Allegro
Sinfonia Concertante in B-Flat/B-dur/si bémol majeur for Violin, Cello, Oboe, Bassoon: Allegro
Andante
Allegro con spirito
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 22: Allegro moderato
Andante sostenuto
Molto allegro e appassionato
Allegro
Andante
Allegro commodo: Final
Sonata No. 2, Op. 117 in G Minor: Allegro
Andante
Allegro vivo


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