Christian Poltéra was born in Zürich. After receiving tuition from Nancy Chumachenco and Boris Pergamenschikow, he studied with Heinrich Schiff in Salzburg and Vienna.
As a soloist he works with eminent orchestras including the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and Chamber Orchestra of Europe under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Andris Nelsons and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
He also devotes himself intensively to chamber music together with such musicians as Isabelle Faust, Christian Tetzllaff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mitsuko Uchida, Kathryn Stott, Esther Hoppe and Ronald Brautigam, and with the Auryn, Zehetmair and Hagen Quartets. Together with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Antoine Tamestit, Christian Poltéra has formed a string trio, the Trio Zimmermann, which performs at most prestigious concert venues and festivals all over Europe.
In 2004 he received the Borletti-Buitoni Award and was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist.
He is a regular guest at renowned festivals (such as Salzburg, Lucerne, Berlin, Edinburgh and Vienna) and made his BBC Proms début in 2007. Christian Poltéra’s discography, which has won acclaim from the international press, reflects his varied repertoire that includes the concertos by Dvorak, Dutilleux, Lutoslawski, Walton, Hindemith and Barber as well as chamber music by Prokofiev, Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert.
Christian Poltéra teaches at the Lucerne University. He plays a Antonio Casini cello built in 1675 and the famous "Mara" Stradivari from 1711.


Six years after their acclaimed disc devoted to Mendelssohn’s works for cello and piano, Christian Poltéra and Ronald Brautigam now tackle the two cello sonatas by Johannes Brahms, two central works in the repertoire, unquestionably the most important since those by Beethoven.

The First Cello Sonata was composed between 1862 and 1865 when Brahms was in his thirties. He seemed intent on showcasing the lyricism of an instrument that is often compared to the human voice. Composed 24 years later, the Second Cello Sonata makes greater use of the cello’s range, particularly in the upper register. A common feature of these two sonatas is that the role of the piano is never secondary (Brahms was an excellent pianist) and the dialogue between the two instruments is both inexhaustible and complex.

The programme also includes the Fünf Stücke im Volkston (Five Pieces in Folk Style) by Robert Schumann, Brahms’s early mentor. Composed in Schumann’s late years, this short cycle reflects the composer’s taste for small, expressive pieces in, as the title suggests, a popular and accessible idiom. These miniatures draw their charm not only from the cello’s marvellous nuances but also from the ‘folk style’.


The three works gathered here date from Sergei Prokofiev's last years. Despite his declining health as well as the oppressive political climate, the composer could count on the support of great musicians, in particular the cellist Mstislav Rostropovitch. The relationship contributed to the writing of works for cello. The first was the Symphony-Concerto, an improved reworking of a much earlier cello concerto. As in all of Prokofiev's large-scale compositions, we find striking gestures of contrast and confrontation, disturbing juxtapositions of mood, powerful rhetoric followed by sudden passages of tender reflection. The Sonata for Cello solo is an unfinished work: a broad and eloquent Andante is heard here in the completion by Vladimir Blok. Finally, the solemn and poetic Sonata for Cello and Piano seems like an oasis of serenity in the midst of Soviet dictatorship. In a clear form devoid of anything that might have shocked the authorities, the work belongs to Prokofiev's best works thanks to it's wealth of melody, from beginning to end. Technical challenges are not absent, as demonstrated by the huge range of cello techniques. Performed by Christian Poltera, these three works bear witness to Prokofiev's creative vitality in the evening of his life, expressed in a simple, clear musical language linked to a new sense of vitality in the face of adversity.

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    Bruch: Kol Nidrei op.47

    Urtext Edition, paperbound
    with marked and unmarked string part
    Aside from his popular Violin Concerto no. 1, “Kol Nidrei” numbers among Max Bruch’s most famous compositions. The melancholy “Adagio after Hebrew melodies” was written in 1880 for the cellist Robert Hausmann. It treats two old Jewish songs whose extraordinary beauty proved deeply moving to the Protestant Bruch, by his own admission. The tenor cello sound is the ideal medium for the voice of a Jewish cantor, and thus to this day “Kol Nidrei” offers every cellist a wonderful opportunity to make the instrument “sing”. In this text, based on the first edition of 1881, “Kol Nidrei” appears for the first time in an Urtext edition substantiated by scholarly research, for which not just the musical sources, but also numerous letters and documents from the Max Bruch Archive were consulted. Christian Poltéra was able to be procured for the markings in the solo part.
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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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