L-R: Kleopatra Sofroniou (Vice President Marketing Deutsche Grammophon), Kian Soltani, Ute Fesquet (Vice President A & R Deutsche Grammophon), Clemens Trautmann (President Deutsche Grammophon)
© Stefan Hoederath / DG

Deutsche Grammophon is delighted to announce the signing of Kian Soltani, one of the most thrilling and daring artists of his generation, on the occasion of his decoration with the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival’s prestigious Leonard Bernstein Award. The 25-year-old Austrian cellist joins the yellow label following his meteoric rise as both concerto soloist and chamber musician. His debut DG album, Home, which he recorded earlier this month with his ideal duo partner, Austrian pianist Aaron Pilsan, is set for international release in January 2018. It will feature works for cello and piano by two of Soltani’s favourite composers, Schubert and Schumann, including the former’s “Arpeggione” Sonata, together with the world premiere recording of Reza Vali’s Seven Persian Folk Songs, written for and dedicated to the young cellist.

“I grew up listening to Deutsche Grammophon recordings,” recalls Kian Soltani. “They were an important part of my musical upbringing, which is why I so appreciate the company’s great history and its tremendous support for young musicians. I was deeply moved and honoured to be invited to record for DG. I look forward to realising our exciting plans to explore a wide variety of music in the future.”

Kian Soltani was born in Bregenz in 1992 to a family of Persian musicians. He began playing cello at an early age and was only twelve when he joined Ivan Monighetti’s class at the prestigious Basel Music Academy. Having launched his solo career in 2011 with debut performances in the Goldener Saal of Vienna’s Musikverein and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems, he attracted worldwide critical attention in the summer of 2015 when he appeared as soloist with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in performances at Berlin’s Waldbühne, the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, the BBC Proms in London and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

In recent seasons, Kian has undertaken several tours with Anne-Sophie Mutter and her Virtuosi ensemble. In March this year, he took part in the opening week of the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. He returned to the hall in May to give a concert of traditional Persian music with the Shiraz Ensemble, and future engagements there include a Beethoven Piano Trios cycle with Daniel and Michael Barenboim and a recital with Aaron Pilsan. Further highlights of the 2017-18 season include performances of the Elgar Concerto at the Alte Oper Frankfurt and Oslo’s Konserthus, Haydn’s Concerto No. 1 at Munich’s Prinzregententheater, and the Schumann Concerto at the Philharmonie de Paris (among other venues), as well as appearances at the Salzburg, Verbier, Lucerne and Aix-en-Provence Easter festivals. As noted by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Soltani is “a young cellist on his way to the top, but one who is finding his own way rather than following well-trodden paths”.

“There is a captivating freshness and emotional generosity about Kian Soltani’s music-making,” comments Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “His artistry is breathtaking in its force and energy, but he also cultivates infinitely subtle shades of expression. What is most impressive is Kian’s versatility – he is equally compelling as a soloist in a Romantic concerto, a contemporary solo piece or an elegant chamber work as he is when performing Persian traditional repertoire and music of other cultures. Kian knows how to speak to the world about what he does and how to reach and inspire new listeners. We are thrilled that he has joined the yellow label and want to introduce him to the broadest possible audience.”