Donald E. Osborne, Director
California Artists Management
449 Springs Road, Vallejo, CA 94590-5359
415-362-2787 / Skype: calartistsdon / Email
Susan Endrizzi Morris, Director
California Artists Management
P.O. Box 2479, Mendocino, CA 95460-2479
707-937-4787 / cell: 415-302-1083 / Skype: sueendrizzi / Email
September 2011 – please discard any previous versions.
Updated September 2011 – please discard any previous versions.
Russian cellist Natalia Gutman received her early musical training from her grandfather, Anisim Berlin, and Professor Galina Kozolupova, and later, from the late great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, pianist Sviatoslav Richter, and her husband, violinist Oleg Kagan. Maestro Richter once expressed his admiration for her saying, “She is an incarnation of truthfulness in music.”
In 1967, Natalia Gutman won the Munich ARD Competition, launching her international career. Since then she has performed on every continent with the major orchestras of the world, including the Vienna, Munich and Berlin Philharmonics, London Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, and many more. She has performed at the most prestigious international festivals: Salzburg, the Berlin and Vienna Festwochen. Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Bernhard Haitink, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Yuri Temirkanov, Sergiu Celibidache, Mstislav Rostropovich and Kurt Masur are among the many conductors who have worked regularly with Natalia Gutman.
Natalia Gutman is also renowned as a world-class chamber musician. Her regular musical partners have included Martha Argerich, Elisso Virsaladze, Yuri Bashmet, Alexei Lubimov, Sviatoslav Richter and Oleg Kagan. She has given the premiers of many contemporary works; Alfred Schnittke dedicated a sonata and his first Cello Concerto to her. Renowned also for her interpretation of the Bach solo suites, she has performed them in every part of the world.
In 2006, Natalia Gutman performed Schumann’s cello concerto in Milan, Valencia, Cologne, London, Taipei and Florence, and in honor of his 100th birthday, both Shostakovich cello concertos in Caracas, Tel Aviv, Monte Carlo, Warsaw, Athens, Vienna, the Netherlands, and France. In Paris she played the Lutoslawski concerto with the Orchestra Philharmonique, and in Lille, the Dutilleux concerto. 2007 brought concerts with Claudio Abbado and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra at the Festival Iberoamericano, as well as concert engagements in Lisbon, Istanbul, Boston, Montreal, Italy, Netherlands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland. In 2008 she toured in a quartet with Yuri Bashmet, Viktor Tretjakov and Vassily Lobanov, and as a soloist performing in Taiwan, Canada, the US, and throughout Europe.
Highlights of 2009 included performances of the Prokoviev Sinfonia Concertante, the Shostakovich 1st concerto and the Dutilleux cello concerto in Ankara, Parma, St. Petersburg, Boston, Reykjavík, Stuttgart, and Darmstadt. That summer she performed on a festival tour with European Union Youth Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting.
Natalia Gutman recorded the Shostakovich Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov for RCA/BMG-Ariola. She recorded the Dvorak Cello Concerto and other works for EMI with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch, and the Schumann and Schnittke Cello Concertos with the London Philharmonic and Kurt Masur. In 2007 she recorded the Schumann concerto once again with Claudio Abbado in Italy. More recently she has been recording for Life Classics.
Dedicated to young musicians, Natalia Gutman gives master-classes worldwide. She has been a professor for many years in Musikhochschule in Stuttgart. She also teaches in Moscow. Each year in July, Natalia Gutman invites internationally renowned artists to the International Musikfest am Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps, a chamber music festival that she founded with Oleg Kagan. Last summer the festival celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In May 2005 German Federal President Köhler bestowed on Natalia Gutman the highest German decoration, “Bundesverdienstkreuz Erster Klasse,” and in 2006 she was nominated to become a fellow of the Royal College of Music in London.
Cello Concerto with the Boston Philharmonic:
Headline: “An unforgettable performance from a legendary Russian cellist”
“Natalia Gutman brought a sincere and unforgettable performance, one of the highlights of the current orchestral season. Gutman studied with Rostropovich and knew Shostakovich, so she brought to the performance a deep emotional and technical understanding of this world-weary music, by turns bitterly sarcastic and achingly tender. Unlike the First Concerto, the Second has no cadenza, but the soloist is more dominant, playing almost without a break throughout. Gutman played with a big, physical, robust tone and subtle dynamic shading. Her weird duet with tambourine in the last movement slithered and shimmered and shivered the soul. In response to the huge ovation, Gutman played an encore — the Bourree from the C Major Bach cello suite — with intense delicacy.” Boston Globe – May 3, 2011
At Caddebostan Cultural Center and the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall:
“As soloist with the Akbank Chamber Orchestra’s program titled ‘Rococo: a New Elegance,’ conducted by Cem Mansur, Gutman played two of the repertoire’s beloved pieces: Haydn’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Rococo Variations.’ With little obvious effort, she dispensed pearls of musical wisdom couched in every phrase within her sturdy structural mastery.”
“I’ll admit I’m not fond of the Haydn Cello Concerto, but to hear Gutman play it is a revelation. She takes its rather pedestrian materials to a place that reveals information other interpreters miss. I couldn’t take my eyes off her dexterity, her organic fusion with the instrument and her sinewy power, all of which transformed the rather formulaic score into something much more. In the second movement’s tranquil melody, her energized purity, even in one long-held tone, she let the cello’s resonance speak eloquently for itself. In the final speed-demon movement, she achieved split-second velocity by means of selecting where the natural accents fall, letting all the rest become decor.”
“In the Tchaikovsky, a florid showpiece, she took the volume levels from
breathless pianissimos to exhilarating fortissimos, with lots of sexy schwung in
between. To the many student and young professional musicians in the audience,
it was a giant master class with a true master. For the rest of us, it was
transporting, because it was about the music, first and foremost.”
todayszaman.com - April 27, 2011
Schumann Concerto, Orchestra Mozart (Bologna, Italy), c. Claudio Abbado:
Headline: “Ovation for Gutman’s playing”
“In the Schumann concerto, offered with supreme mastery, one couldn’t miss the huge swell of sensations and emotion, nor miss each breath of the cello’s strings. The cellist’s phrasing was in absolute harmony with the Maestro.”
Il Corriere di Bologna - April 4, 2010
Bach Suites, Rome, Italy:
“Her musical monologue tasted of ancient technical tradition, culture and deep intention. Everything was played without ostentation as if it were a secret, an exclusive message stamped with her name. I don’t believe Bach is a composer close to the ‘russkaja duscia’ (Russian soul). But Natalia communicated him as if he were her own. She was entirely submerged in her Bach: from the austerity of a Russian madre curaggio to the persecuted musical ideal. Indeed, Natalia Gutman seemed to step out of a Russian novel. She owns the music. And Bach, par excellence.”
Corriere della serra - February 22, 2010
Recital: Beethoven Sonatas at Wigmore Hall, London:
“The program was re-ordered to a much more varied musical diet, not that it would have mattered given the sheer quality of Natalia Gutman and Elisso Virzaladze. Gutman's London appearances are all-too-infrequent. Quite unequivocally, despite her relatively low profile as a recording artist, she is one of the truly great cellists. Not the least of the evening's pleasures was the sense of a real partnership of equals and enabling them to play with the sort of freedom and spontaneity most pairings can only imagine. Gutman and Virzaladze immediately seized one's attention with some particularly pregnant pauses in the introduction, as well as through Gutman's glorious legato playing, whilst the main body of the movement brought some of the most propulsive pianism imaginable. Even finer was the recital's second half. In some hands the first Opus 5 Sonata can outstay its welcome. Again Gutman brought an arching cantabile to its introduction but cannily chose a marginally moderate tempo for the bulk of the movement, varying the perspectives and finding a subtly different tone of voice for the whimsical second subject. Far from outstaying its welcome this duo brought an almost orchestral power to the movement, precisely locating the brief moment of stillness before its close; the Allegro vivace finale finds Beethoven in lilting Celtic mode and drew the most joyously exuberant response. Equally impressive, in a very different way, was the second Opus 102 sonata with the duo giving full value to its abrupt discontinuities and in the Adagio, the only full-scale slow movement amongst all the sonatas, its full emotional weight - the central section rightly sounded as though it came from another world. With their combination of polish, exuberance and insight, these were emphatically the best performances of these works it has so far been my privilege to hear.” ClassicalSource.com - November 7, 2007
Schumann Cello Concerto, Mahier Chamber Orchestra, c. Claudio Abbado , DGG:
“What I most enjoyed about
this superbly engineered CD was the high level of musical interrelation that it
more or less consistently conveys, between Natalia Gutman and the orchestra in
the Schumann, and between Abbado and his young players. Gutman's playing, like
Abbado's conducting, is communicative and conversational, earnestly so at times,
her tone mostly warm in texture, her bowing seamless and in the quieter sections
quite ravishing although she's also capable of muscular attack. For a sustained
sense of musical line, try the opening minute or so of the slow movement - note
how easily the music breathes, even at a relatively slow tempo. The effect is of
poignancy beyond words. The finale is playful and fairly genial, and the clarity
of Gutman's articulation means that the solo line never sounds merely "busy".
The orchestra is there with her every bar of the way, ever responsive, attentive
and affectionate. The recording is superb.”
Gramophone Magazine – July 2007
Recital, Alice Tully Hall, New York City:
“The cellist Natalia Gutman hails from Russian string-playing aristocracy. Her grandparents studied with the great violin teacher Leopold Auer. She was married to the violinist Oleg Kagan, studied with Mstislav Rostropovich and often performed with the piano titan Sviatoslav Richter. Not surprisingly then, the audience at her Alice Tully Hall recital on Saturday night was a happy combination of typical New York concertgoers and passionate Russian listeners, one of whom could be heard bellowing ‘Bravo!’ with a most shapely Slavic ‘o.’ As a cellist, Ms. Gutman has enjoyed an accomplished solo career, but she has also stayed committed to chamber music and her program drew from both worlds. Her opening Bach Suite (No. 3) displayed a tone that was at once large, weighty and burnished. Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata drew more expressive and imaginative playing. But the evening's clear highlights were the two piano trios (Brahms's Third and Shostakovich's Second) that Ms. Gutman blazed through with the violinist Slava Moroz and the pianist Dmitri Shteinberg. From the high-voltage opening of the Brahms, it was clear that this reading would crackle with raw Russian-style electricity. More surprising in the Brahms were the moments of veiled and shivery opalescence, which called to mind the sound world of Shostakovich. Yet that composer's trio, performed last, made the Brahms seem tame. The players hurled excitingly through the wild second movement, showing not only abundant zeal for this music but also the comfort of native ground.
New York Times – January 30, 2006
Rectial, Boston, MA:
“ Gutman is a musician and instrumentalist of genius. That is the only word for her playing of Schumann's ''Five Pieces in Folk Style"; there is no way anyone could imagine playing of this individuality, vitality, earthiness, and imagination without hearing it. She also played Brahms's First Sonata for cello with remarkable presence, insight, and subtlety.” Boston Globe - January 25, 2006
Natalia Gutman Portrait, Vol. II, Live Classics CD:
“A German radio broadcast of the Debussy Cello Sonata stands out for Gutman's warm, expansive tone. Gutman shines in the declamatory, slow-motion passages that dominate the outer movements of Schnittke's First Cello Sonata, and throws herself head first into the central Presto's roller-coaster arpeggios and ruthless clusters. A gripping performance, this: every bit as authoritative as Alexander Ivashkin's with the composer's widow Irina Scnittke at the piano. The sound is excellent for archival source material. Worth hearing.” ClassicsToday.com
Schumann Cello Concerto, DGG:
“This probably is Schumann's most dour orchestral work, and even Natalia Gutman's highly accomplished, impassioned rendering (and it most certainly is deeply felt) of the solo part doesn't relieve the drab heaviness of the first movement. Thankfully, the mood as well as the timbre and texture of Schumann's writing brightens somewhat in the finale, where Gutman gets to show off a more lighthearted side of her virtuosity.” ClassicsToday.com
Schnittke Cello Concerto, Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, c. Evgeni Rozhdestvensky:
“Schnittke's massive, wide-ranging concerto demands considerable strength and resilience if the soloist is to survive in its dark and threatening landscape. Gutman, for whom the work was written, is fully equal to the challenge. In the final Largo her playing rises to heights of greatness. This music is far from comfortable to listen to, and it must be fiendishly difficult to play, but in Gutman's hands it is an involving and rewarding experience.” BBC Music Magazine - April 2009
“Thinking of the present performance as a kind of standard, I find this performance very appealing.” Fanfare Magazine – January/February 2005
“Natalia Gutman has particular authority in the concerto, which was written for her. Her version with Kurt Masur enjoys a richer, heavily miked, more visceral orchestral context with the London Philharmonic. Yet Gennady Rozhdestvensky is that much more idiomatic; the final passacaglia carries a palpable sense of arrival.”
Gramophone Magazine – August 2004
“Natalia Gutman, familiar to many through her impressive concerto recordings on RCA (Shostakovich) and EMI (Dvorak), proves equally potent in the Schnittke. Her confident, technically assured playing features an emotional directness that enhances the impact of Schnittke's troubled work. Rozhdestvenksy and the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony prove just as inspired in the orchestral accompaniment.” ClassicsToday.com
Schnittle Cello Concerto, Orchestre Nacional de Radio France, c. Kurt Masur:
“Natalia Gutman was the Schnittke cello concerto’s dedicatee: pure genius slides into that little women’s frail body. She is all about modesty and caracter and raises this masterpiece like nobody else.” Le Figaro - April 13, 2002
Cello Sonatas, Sviatoslav Richter, piano, Live Classics:
“This release documents the recital given by Natalia Gutman and Sviatoslav Richter on July 12, 1992, during the Oleg Kagan Musikfest held at Rottach-Egern. It must be conceded that the quality of this live recording is pretty exceptional, conveying the aura and palpable electricity of the event with striking realism. There are, inevitably I suppose, minor intrusions just sufficient to remind us that these performances were taped before an audience of breathing, sentient human beings, though by and large those present were held in rapt, reverential attentiveness by the monumental musical personalities of Gutman and Richter. And what performances they gave! Gutman produces a mighty sonority; not always utterly refined, and sometimes abrasively insistent when the music demands, but hers is probably the most instantly recognizable cellistic voice before the public today. Her technique is little short of stupendous, and when allied to an intellect as fertile as Richter 's, the results could never be less than devastating in their combined impact. Their recital surges impressively into life in the opening measures of the op. 32 Cello Sonata by Saint-Saëns, which continues on its imperious way to become one of the finest accounts I've yet encountered of this majestically conceived act of homage to Beethoven's op. 69 work for these instruments. It would be absurd to describe this stridingly triumphalist reading of op. 32 using other than superlatives. Gutman and Richter, though impressive enough in Saint-Saëns, were bound to be outstanding in Britten and Prokofiev, and their performances of Benjamin Britten's Cello Sonata, op. 65, and of that by Prokofiev, his op. 119, won't disappoint the highest expectations. As a protégé of Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman could do no better than to emulate her great mentor's performing style in the Britten work, and yet her account manages to remain as personal, original, and, in many respects, different as one could imagine possible. Direct comparison with the benchmark Britten-Rostropovich recording on London (421 859-2LM) shows up any number of intriguing subtleties in Gutman's approach; hers is the leaner, sparer, more enervated view of the piece, not above a certain roughness, and altogether less ruminative and private in utterance. Richter, too, takes a markedly more heavy-handed approach than the composer, yet this performance is one of truly epic proportion and gravitas. This astounding recital ends with a thrilling realization of the C-Major Prokofiev Sonata, op. 119. By turns acerbic, ironic, febrile, majestic, humorous, and questioning, this performance has one mesmerized from start to finish. I doubt you'll find a more engrossing and musically rewarding cello recital disc than this, and I for one am deeply indebted to those who made it possible.” Fanfare Magazine