The School's cellists all receive two hours of tuition per week from their principal teacher, as well as participating in a class lesson and receiving a further hour from the assistant teacher.
One of the most versatile and original cellists of his generation, Adrian Brendel has travelled the world as soloist, collaborator and teacher. His early immersion in the core classical repertoire inspired an enduring fascination that has led to encounters with many fine musicians at the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls. His discovery of contemporary music through the works of Kurtag, Kagel and Ligeti in his teenage years opened a new and vital avenue that he continues to explore with huge enthusiasm alongside his passion for jazz and world music.
Adrian first studied the cello with William Pleeth, with whom he developed a deep attachment to chamber music. He then went on to study with Alexander Baillie and Frans Helmerson in London and Cologne, also frequently attending the masterclasses of Gyorgy Kurtag, Ferenc Rados, members of the Alban Berg quartet and his father Alfred Brendel. An acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s cello sonatas with his father is available on the Philips label, recorded during their recital tours of 2003/2004. Projects with contemporary composers and conductors during this time such as Kurtag, Thomas Ades and Peter Eotvos amongst many inspired him to cultivate new music in his concert programmes wherever possible. A recent three year project with Sir Harrison Birtwistle has led to premieres of his song cycle ‘Bogenstrich’ and a piano trio due for release on the ECM label in 2013. He also premieres York Hoeller’s cello concerto ‘Mouvements’ in January of the same year with NDR Hamburg alongside Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s ‘Canto di Speranza’.
In great demand as a recitalist and soloist, Adrian works with Aleksandar Madzar, Imogen Cooper, Till Fellner, Tim Horton and Kit Armstrong. His chamber music partners include Henning Kraggerud, Lisa Batiashvili, Lars-Anders Tomter, Andrej Bielow, Katharine Gowers and Alasdair Beatson to name a few. Over the last two years he has visited the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Verbier, Ernen, Salzburg, Sonoro, Enescu, Schubertiade and Ruhr international festivals, and is a frequent visitor to London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and many other important venues in Europe. He has performed concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, RSNO, SCO and many orchestras across Germany and eastern Europe. His annual visit to the International Musicians’ Seminar in Prussia Cove, founded by the late Sandor Vegh as a perfect environment for music-making, is of great personal and artistic importance.
Adrian is artistic director of the Plush Festival, held every summer in Plush, Dorset since 1995. The programme is devoted to classical and contemporary chamber music, Lieder recitals, modern jazz, folk and world music concerts, featuring over 100 contemporary works and 200 musicians from around the world. The summer of 2012 saw performances of Nancarrow, Cage, Brett Dean, Birtwistle, Lindberg, Carter and Messiaen alongside Schubert’s trios, Janacek’s quartets, Beethoven and Brahms. Performers over the years have included Radu Lupu, Mark Padmore, Paul Lewis, Louis Lortie, Miklos Perenyi, Anthony Marwood and Lawrence Power.
Matthijs Broersma was born in Holland and began playing the cello at the age of four. After studying at The Yehudi Menuhin School with Louise Hopkins and Leonid Gorokhov, he continued his studies at the GSMD and the Hochschule der Künste, Bern. He received scholarships and awards from the VandenEnde Foundation, Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, The MBF and the Lyra Foundation and in2010 he won 1st prize in the Kenneth Page Cello Competition. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed extensively worldwide, in venues such as the Concertgebouw and the Wigmore Hall. Recent highlights include a performance of the Elgar Concerto conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, and solo recitals at the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room and the Menuhin Hall.
Matthijs is also the cellist of the Gémeaux Quartet, a firmly established international prize winning Swiss quartet. Recently the quartet was guest at festivals in Germany, Austria and Sweden, performed in Hong Kong with clarinettist Paul Meyer, at Kings Place in London, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Philharmonie in Köln and at the World EconomicForum in Davos. Currently the Quartet leads an undergraduate course for string quartets at the Hochschule für Musik, Basel.
British/American cellist Bartholomew LaFollette has developed his career as an international soloist. He will join the Trondheim Symfoniorkester and conductor Lukasz Borowicz for Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto E-flat major, Opus 107 in January 2016. He is also recording a disc of the Brahms Sonatas for Cello and Four Serious Songs with pianist Caroline Palmer which will be recorded at Champs Hill Records in November of this year.
After being launched into a rich and varied career by YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust) with numerous performances at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, Bartholomew went on to win first prize at The Arts Club's and Decca Records' inaugural Classical Music Award in June 2013. He was also the first recipient of the Irish Chamber Orchestra's Ardán Award.
Hailed by the Irish Times for being “as free in touching the heartstrings as he was in dashing off dazzling runs”, Bartholomew's highlights with orchestra include performances of Dvořák's Cello Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Walton and Elgar Cello Concertos in the Barbican Hall as well as appearing as soloist with the City of London Sinfonia. He has also performed The Brahms Double Concerto with Daniel Stabrawa and the Poznań Philharmonic in Poland and Elgar's Cello Concerto at the Sibelius International Music Festival in Helsinki.
Bartholomew is also a sought-after chamber musician and his recent musical collaborators have included Anthony Marwood, Christian Tetzlaff, Alina Ibragimova and András Keller. He frequently appears with the award winning Doric String Quartet with whom he recorded Eric Wolfgang Korngold's string sextet for the Chandos label.
Bartholomew LaFollette was appointed Principal Cello Teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School in 2011.