Natalie Clein’s exceptional musicality has earned her a number of prestigious prizes including the Classical Brit Award for Young British Performer of 2005, the Ingrid zu Solms Cultur Preis at the 2003 Kronberg Academie and in 2008, she was nominated in the Classical Brits’ Best Female Artist category. She first came to the world’s attention when, aged 16 she won the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year and in the same year (1994) was the first ever British winner of the Eurovision Competition for Young Musicians.
She made her concerto debut at the BBC Proms in 1997 and has since performed as a soloist with all of the UK’s top orchestras with conductors such as Sir Charles Mackerras, Gennardi Rozhdestvensky, Sir Andrew Davis, Heinrich Schiff (with whom she studied in Vienna), Sir Neville Marriner, Mark Wigglesworth and Paul Daniel. Her international career continues to gain momentum with concerts in the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria and Spain. Her debut concerts with the Montreal Symphony and Mark Wigglesworth received critical acclaim as did her Argentinean debut at the Teatro Colon with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires where she will return in 2010.
This season she will appear with the Hallé, Ulster, Royal Philharmonic and South Jutland Symphony orchestras. She is in great demand as a recitalist and, in addition to the major UK venues, she has given recitals in Tokyo, Seoul, New York (Lincoln Center), Copenhagen, Vienna and Salzburg. Her recital partners have included Kathryn Stott, Steven Kovacevich, Julius Drake, Katya Apekisheva, Wayne Marshall, Itamar Golan, Charles Owen, Polina Leschenko and the Chinese guitarist, Xuefei Yang.
She is an avid chamber musician and regularly invited to perform with the Jerusalem, Takacs and Belcea quartets as well as the Nash Ensemble. Each she summer takes part in many of the world’s great international chamber festivals where she has collaborated with Martha Argerich, Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Melvyn Tan, Imogen Cooper, Lars Vogt, Steven Isserlis, clarinetists Michael Collins, Sharon Kam, Chen Halevi and Emma Johnson, oboist Nick Daniel and violinists Antony Marwood, Pekka Kuusisto, Isabelle Faust and Priya Mitchell. She formed a piano quartet with Alexander Sitkovetsky, Krzysztof Chorzelski and Polina Leshenko in 2008 and in July 2009 performed solo Bach with Carlos Acosta at the Manchester International Festival in a Suite of Dances by Jerome Robbins.
Natalie has released three discs on EMI Classics; her latest recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vernon Handley, CBE conducting was released in September 2007 to great critical acclaim including editor’s choice in the Gramophone. Previous discs, with Charles Owen, have included a recital disc with both Brahms Cello Sonatas and Schubert’s Arpeggione and ‘The Romantic Cello’ with Rachmaninov’s Sonata and Chopin’s Sonata and Polonaise. In Autumn 2009 she will record an all-Kodaly CD with Julius Drake for release on Hyperion in June 2010 and will tour the UK with solo performances of the Kodaly Op 8.
Natalie has commissioned and premiered the following works in 2009: Fyfe Dangerfield "Eggshell Walker for Solo Cello" at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Thomas Larcher "Solo Cello Sonata" at the Wigmore Hall; Dobrinka Tabakova "On the South Downs for Solo Cello, Two Choirs and Chamber Orchestra" at the Chichester Festival and Shiva Feshareki "Critical Distortions for Cello and Turntables".
She is passionate about combining traditional repertoire with more experimental pieces and reaching out to new audiences and has also premiered works by Peter Maxwell-Davies and ventured into the world of improvisation with pianist Paul Beard playing live for the silent movie "The Temptress" at the British Film Institute in London.
She is an extremely committed mentor of young talent and has worked extensively around the world with young musicians including giving frequent master-classes and leading educational workshops. This remains a strong focus for her in 2009-10 with an educational tour of schools planned around the UK.
Natalie Clein plays on the “Simpson” Guadagnini cello (1777).*
She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Scholarship by the Royal College of Music before completing her studies with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna.
“Clein plays everything with passion.”
“She is a performer of such great magnetism that she sweeps her audiences along with her, so much so that it is almost a shock when she stops playing and you find yourself back in the real world once more.”
The Oxford Times
“Her rhythmic subtlety and shading of tone proclaim the emergence of a truly compelling artist.”
The London Evening Standard