Born in Zurich, cellist Christian Poltéra was a pupil of Nancy Chumachenco and Boris Pergamenschikov before studying with Heinrich Schiff in Salzburg and Vienna. Since replacing Yo-Yo Ma performing the Elgar concerto with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under David Zinman at the age of 17, Mr. Poltéra has steadily established himself as one of the most prominent cellists of his generation.

As soloist he has worked with eminent orchestras including the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, NDR Hamburg Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna and Bamberg Symphonies, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Los Angeles Philharmonic under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Paavo Järvi, Donald Runnicles, as well as the leading conductors of the younger generation, such as James Gaffigan, Robin Ticciati, Vasily Petrenko and Andris Nelsons. Mr. Poltéra made his solo debut in the US in 2006 with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall in New York.
Upcoming highlights include appearances with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, and a three week residency with the São Paolo Symphony.

Mr. Poltéra also devotes himself intensively to chamber music, working with such musicians as Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Karen Gomyo, Leonidas Kavakos, Martin Fröst, Kathryn Stott, Lars Vogt, and Leif Ove Andsnes, as well as the Auryn, Belcea, and Zehetmair Quartets. In 2008 he joined Mitsuko Uchida in performances of Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time", at Carnegie's Zankel Hall and the Kimmell Center in Philadelphia.
Together with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and violist Antoine Tamestit, Christian Poltéra has formed a regular string trio that performs at the most prestigious concert venues as well as at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals. In 15-16 the Trio Zimmermann tours in Amsterdam, Vienna, Munich, Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona, and Hamburg. With Juho Pohjonen and Karen Gomyo he performs in Toronto and Philadelphia in March, 2016.

In 2004 he received the Borletti-Buitoni Award and was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist. In 2006-07 he was a 'Rising Star' of the European Concert Hall Organization. He is a regular guest at renowned festivals (such as Salzburg, Lucerne, Berlin, and Vienna) and made his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2007.

Christian Poltéra's discography reflects his wide range of repertoire that includes the cello concertos by Barber, Lutoslawski, Dutilleux, Schoeck, Honegger, Martin, and Toch, as well as chamber music by Prokofiev, Fauré, Mozart, Saint-Saens and Schubert, on the labels BIS Records, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, and Chandos.

These recordings have won acclaim from the international press, and have been honored with the Diapason d'or, Gramophone Magazine's "Editor's Choice", Strad Magazine's "Strad Selection", and BBC Music Magazine's "Choice".

Now recording regularly for BIS, Mr. Poltéra's recent releases include the cello concertos by Hindemith and Walton (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra / Frank Shipway). CD releases in 15-16 include the Dvorak and Martinu Concerti with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Thomas Dausgaard.

Christian Poltéra plays the famous cello "Mara", built in 1711 by Antonio Stradivari.


BIS BIS-2257
Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid
Classical - Orchestral

Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 2
Martinů: Cello Concerto No. 2

Christian Poltéra (cello)
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Gilbert Varga (conductor)

The two cello concertos by Dmitri Shostakovich were both were written for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich but whereas the First is rhythmic and virtuosic, the Second is subdued and introverted. Composed in 1966, it is often regarded as a watershed work, heralding Shostakovich's final stylistic period marked by a certain sombreness and a trend towards more transparent scoring. The Op. 126 concerto has become somewhat overshadowed by its older, more accessible sibling, something which also applies to the second work on this disc, for completely different reasons.

Having completed his Cello Concerto No. 2 in 1945, Bohuslav Martinů was unsuccessful in his attempts to interest a leading cellist in promoting it. When the composer furthermore reworked his first cello concerto in 1955, the new version effectively obliterated all traces of the 1945 concerto, which didn't receive its first performance until 1965, six years after Martinů’s death. The work is melodious with lyrical qualities, and many have interpreted it as an expression of the nostalgia the composer experienced as an exile in the U.S.A. during the last winter of World War II. The present disc is a follow-up to Christian Poltéra's critically acclaimed 2016 release, with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, of Martinů's Cello Concerto No. 1, coupled with Dvořák's Cello Concerto.


Mendelssohn - Works for Cello and Piano
Composer Felix Mendelssohn (-Bartholdy)
Performer Ronald Brautigam
Christian Poltéra
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2187 SACD
EAN 7318599921877
Format SACD Hybrid
Release date Sep 2017
Total time 60'26

It is well known that Felix Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny was a highly talented musician, but fewer are familiar with the fact that there were two other musical siblings in the Mendelssohn family: Rebecka, a gifted singer, and Paul, a very competent amateur cellist. It is to Paul, a banker by profession, that we owe the existence of much of Felix’s music for the instrument, which in spite of Beethoven’s endeavours hadn’t yet become firmly established as a duo partner of the piano.

Fitting comfortably on a single disc, Mendelssohn’s works for cello and piano are here presented by Christian Poltéra and Ronald Brautigam, who open with the Variations concertantes in D major, composed in 1829. Brautigam has recently released the composer’s Lieder ohne Worte, performing them on a copy of a piano by Pleyel from 1830, and plays the same instrument on the present disc. Meanwhile, Poltéra has chosen to equip his 1711 Stradivarius cello with gut strings, and together the two musicians and their instruments create a sound which is both flexible, transparent and vigorous – ideal for Mendelssohn’s scores. The two substantial sonatas, composed in 1838 and 1843, are separated on the disc by a brief ‘Albumblatt’ and a Romance sans paroles in D major, the only ‘song without words’ that Mendelssohn wrote for two instruments rather than piano solo.

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    Violin Sonata in A major Urtextausgabe, Fassung für Violoncello, broschiert mit bezeichneter und unbezeichneter Streich

    Im Gegensatz zu anderen seiner Spätwerke wurde Francks 1886 komponierte Violinsonate (HN 293) von Anfang an bei Publikum und Kritik freundlich aufgenommen. Unter den zahlreichen Bearbeitungen hebt sich die im Januar 1888 erschienene klangschöne Fassung für Violoncello insofern hervor, als sie ausdrücklich von Franck autorisiert wurde. Der Cellist Jules Delsart, der im Dezember 1887 in Paris eine Aufführung der Sonate erlebt hatte, war so begeistert, dass er Franck um die Erlaubnis zur Transkription der Violinstimme für sein Instrument bat. Delsart hielt sich eng an das Original, ließ den Klavierpart unverändert und transponierte den Violinpart nur wo nötig und passend in die tiefere Lage.

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    Ravel: Sonate für Violine und Violoncello Urtextausgabe, broschiert mit einer bezeichneten und einer unbezeich

    At the first performances of this sonata, composed between 1920 and 1922, even close friends of the composer were perturbed: Following the intoxicating sounds of La Valse, the smaller scoring and modern musical language of the sonata were a shock. Yet this pioneering work has now become a permanent fixture on the concert stage. To help the players, we are now presenting two performance scores in which the other instrument’s part is also given. Both parts are included in a marked and an unmarked version. The world-renowned musicians Christian Poltéra and Frank Peter Zimmermann provided the fingerings.

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Forthcoming Concerts — Past Concerts
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General Management
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