Hailed by The Times as a “remarkable cellist” and described by Gramophone as “sheer perfection”, Kian Soltani’s playing is characterised by a depth of expression, sense of individuality and technical mastery, alongside a charismatic stage presence and ability to create an immediate emotional connection with his audience. He is now invited by the world’s leading orchestras, conductors and recital promoters, propelling him from rising star to one of the most talked about cellists performing today.
In 23/24 season he is the Focus Artist of Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and will share stages with Wiener Symphoniker, WDR Sinfonieorchester, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and NHK Symphony Orchestra. Aside from orchestral and recital concerts, he will maintain busy schedule comprising of tours with Camerata Salzburg and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
His recent orchestral highlights include Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. As a recitalist he continues to appear in prestigious halls and series including Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin; Wigmore Hall, London; Schubertiade; Musikverein, Vienna; Beethovenhaus, Bonn; and Konzerthaus Dortmund.
In 2017, Soltani signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon and his first disc ‘Home’, comprising works for cello and piano by Schubert, Schumann and Reza Vali, was released to international acclaim in 2018, with Gramophone describing the recording as “sublime”. Soltani has since recorded discs including the Dvorak and Tchaikovsky Piano Trios with Lahav Shani and Renaud Capucon, recorded live at Aix Easter Festival in 2018 released by Warner Classics and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim in August 2020.
He recently won Innovative Listening Experience Award at the coveted Opus Klassic Awards 2022, Germany’s most prestigious classical music prize which honours outstanding artists and recordings, for his ‘Cello Unlimited’ album released back in October 2021. He has worked on this latest disc with Deutsche Grammophon during the entirety of 2020, and it is a celebration of the cello and film music. Of the disc, Soltani wrote “Everything you will hear on this album is made only and exclusively with my cello and played only by me. The possibilities of this instrument are unlimited and infinite, and this album is a celebration of the instrument and of epic film music as well”.
Soltani attracted worldwide attention in April 2013 as winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki. In February 2017 Soltani won Germany’s celebrated Leonard Bernstein Award and in December 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Credit Suisse Young Artist Award.
Born in Bregenz, Austria, in 1992 to a family of Persian musicians, Soltani began playing the cello at age four and was only twelve when he joined Ivan Monighetti’s class at the Basel Music Academy. He was chosen as an Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation scholarship holder in 2014 and completed his further studies as a member of the Young Soloist Programme at Germany’s Kronberg Academy. He received additional important musical training at the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein. As of October 2023, he holds position as a professor of cello at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria.
Kian Soltani plays “The London, ex Boccherini" Antonio Stradivari cello, kindly loaned to him by a generous sponsor through the Beares International Violin Society.
Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104
Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85
Cello Concerto in C major, Hob. VIIb/1
Cello Concerto in D major, Hob. VIIb/2
Cello Concerto No. 2 in C minor
Cello Concerto in E minor
Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68
Sinfonia concertante, Op. 125
Concertino for 2 Cellos
Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor
Cello Concerto (written for Kian Soltani)
Triple Concerto for Violin, Viola and Cello
Cello Concerto No.1 in E-flat major, Op.107
Cello Concerto N.2 in G minor, Op.126
Don Quixote, Op.35
Elegy, Snow in June, for Cello and 4 Percussionists
Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op.33
Cello Concerto (written for Kian Soltani)
Double Concerto (written for Kian Soltani)
Jaap van Zweden
Kian Soltani was the sublime cello soloist, effortlessly lyrical and profoundly touching in the closing moments... The whole thing was outstanding – the best performance of the work I’ve heard live.
He’s a remarkable cellist, with a piercingly beautiful tone and utterly pure intonation.
Sheer perfection... [Soltani] has all the qualities needed to win consistent critical acclaim, namely innate musicality, a yielding svelte tone, an agile bowing arm and a skilful deployment of varied vibrato. Listening to him is a great pleasure.