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 with Hyperion, and has recorded 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 to great critical acclaim. A solo disc with works by Bloch, Ligeti and Dallapiccola was released in 2017. She has previously released 3 discs for EMI. In January 2019, her latest disc of works by Rebecca Clarke, Frank Bridge and Vaughan Williams with pianist Christian Ihle Hadland was released on Hyperion.
In the current season, Natalie Clein tours Australia, the USA and Ireland, and performs a programme of Beethoven cello works at the Festival Cervantino in Mexico with Marianna Shirinyan. In the UK, she returns to Wigmore Hall and Eaton Square and gives recitals in Cardiff, Nottingham, Bournemouth, Southampton and Jersey. Concerto dates include Bloch’s Schelomo with Opole Philharmonic.
The 2017/18 season saw Natalie Clein perform as part of the Utzon Music Series at the Sydney Opera House, Haydn’s D Major Cello Concerto with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists in Brazil, Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Collegium Musicum Basel, the Brandenburgische Staatsorchester Frankfurt and Philharmonia, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Insula Orchestra and Laurence Equilbey for International Women’s Day 2018. She was a judge in the 2018 BBC Young Musician competition and performed in a special BBC Prom celebrating the 40th anniversary of the competition. She also toured South America with Sergio Tiempo, and recorded Dobrinka Tabakova’s On the South Downs with BBC Concert Orchestra at Truro Cathedral.
Further highlights include performances as part of the Cello Unwrapped Series at London’s Kings Place, the world premiere of Sir John Tavener’s Flood of Beauty at the Barbican Centre with the Britten Sinfonia, Bloch’s Schelomo with the Orkiestra Symfoniczna NFM and Benjamin Shwartz in Wrocław, and performances at the Stavanger Chamber Music Festival in Norway.
Other recent performances have taken Natalie Clein to orchestras including the Philharmonia, Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, New Zealand Symphony, St Petersburg Symphony, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires. She has performed with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Sir Roger Norrington, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leonard Slatkin and Heinrich Schiff.
A keen recital and chamber performer, she has recently performed Bach’s Complete Cello Suites in London, Southampton and Oxford; and has curated a series of four concerts for BBC Radio 3 at LSO St Luke’s.
She collaborates with artists including Sergio Tiempo, Christian Ihle Hadland, Håvard Gimse, Anthony Marwood and Leif Ove Andsnes. She has also worked with Martha Argerich, Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Imogen Cooper, Lars Vogt, Isabelle Faust, and is the proud artistic director of her own chamber music festival in Purbeck, Dorset.
She regularly works with contemporary composers such as Thomas Larcher and Brian Elias and has also curated and been involved in cross-disciplinary projects with the dancer Carlos Acosta, writer Jeanette Winterson and director Deborah Warner amongst others.
In 2015, Natalie Clein was appointed Artist in Residence and Director of Musical Performance at Oxford University for 4 years, taking a leading role in concert programming, in developing new artistic projects, and in introducing new modes of teaching. In 2018, she was appointed Professor of Cello at the Rostock Academy of Music in Germany.
Born in the United Kingdom, Natalie came to widespread attention at the age of sixteen when she won both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Eurovision Competition for Young Musicians in Warsaw. As a student she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Scholarship by the Royal College of Music. She completed her studies with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna. Natalie is a Professor at the Royal College of Music London. She plays the ‘Simpson’ Guadagnini cello of 1777.
Praised for “spirited” (Boston Globe) performances that are “vigorous and passionate” (New York Times), Qing Jiang has emerged as a versatile musician who is equally known as a performer, teacher, and an advocate of contemporary music. As a performer, she has appeared in Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Jordan Hall, as well as the UK’s Snape Maltings Hall, and China’s Shenzhen Poly Theater. Jiang performed under legendary conductor and composer Oliver Knussen with the Britten-Pears Orchestra in England, as well as with the Lanzhou Symphony under revered Chinese conductor Zushan Bian. Highlights of the 22-23 season include “Dreamed Landscapes” CD tour in Germany, China, and New Zealand, concert with the Aeolus String Quartet, and artist residencies at Tianjin Juilliard in China and Victoria University of Wellington.
Passionate about chamber music, Jiang is a faculty artist member of the Kneisel Hall Festival in Maine, where she collaborates with many leading musicians and pedagogues. Jiang previously maintained longstanding relationships with the Yellow Barn festival, appearing as both a faculty artist and fellow, and the Britten-Pears Festival where she performed in numerous chamber, solo, and contemporary settings. Other festival appearances include Music@Menlo, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Interlochen, Garth Newel Music Center, the Perlman Music Program, and the Aspen festival where she was a winner of the concerto competition. As Duo ING, Jiang and violinist Ying Xue have collaborated closely for many years, appearing in Jordan Hall, Carnegie Hall, Yellow Barn, and elsewhere, and in 2016, Jiang performed on a six-city tour in China with esteemed chamber musicians Laurie Smukler, Natasha Brofsky, and Roger Tapping.
Versatile in style and interests, Qing has performed with the Britten-Pears contemporary ensemble, the New Juilliard ensemble, and the Aspen percussion ensemble. Jiang has worked directly with composers Brett Dean, Jennifer Higdon, Olive Knussen, Jörg Widmann, and Lei Liang to prepare performances of their works, and her debut album “Dreamed Landscapes” (Albany) features works by Thomas Adès and Daniel Temkin. Jiang wrote her doctoral thesis on Debussy’s seminal Etudes and their subsequent influence on virtuosic composing in the 20th & 21st centuries; she has given multiple performances of her “Debussy the Virtuoso” program, pairing Debussy’s etudes with those of Abrahamsen, Ligeti, Perle, Rakowski, and others, and she has premiered specific companion etudes by composer Zhou Tian, Eric Nathan, and Colin Mathews.
Born in Zhenjiang, China, Jiang began studying piano at age three with her mother. As the first Chinese recipient of Jack Kent Cooke Arts Scholarship, she holds degrees from Arizona State University, Juilliard, and New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers include Caio Pagano, Robert McDonald, Wha Kyung Byun, Shuxing Zheng, and the late Patricia Zander. Previously taught at New England Conservatory, the NEC Preparatory School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program, Jiang currently is an Associate Professor of Music at Bucknell University. She lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania with her husband, Daniel, and their young daughter Kate.