Leonard Elschenbroich has established himself as one of the most charismatic cellists of his generation renowned for his passionate and compelling performances. His awards include the Leonard Bernstein Award, Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk, Eugene Istomin Prize, and a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award. He was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist (2012-14), Artist-in-Residence at Deutschlandfunk (2014-15) and Artist-in-Residence at the Philharmonic Society Bremen (2013-16).
Elschenbroich has worked with a number of eminent conductors including Bychkov, Eschenbach, Dutoit, Honeck, Karabits, Kitajenko, Letonja, Litton, Mena, Gardner, Tortelier and Sinaisky. He has performed with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, NDR Hanover, Dresden Staatskapelle, Bergen Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, Polish National Radio Symphony, Filharmónica de Sevilla, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony, St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Netherlands Philharmonic. Further afield his performances include the Japan Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, Minnesota Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has made seven appearances at the BBC Proms.
A committed chamber musician, Elschenbroich has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre, Concertgebouw, Frick Collection, Ravinia Festival in Chicago and the Lucerne, Gstaad, Rheingau, Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Schleswig Holstein Music festivals with regular chamber music partners including Nicola Benedetti and Alexei Grynyuk. With the Benedetti/Eschenbroich/ Grynyuk Trio he recently toured the USA, South America and Australia.
An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, he gave the world premiere in 2018 of Mark Simpson’s Cello Concerto written specially for him on a commission from the BBC, and he has championed cello concertos by Gilbert Amy, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Peteris Vasks, Magnus Lindberg and Brian Elias. He has commissioned several new works from composers including Turnage, Luca Lombardi, Arlene Sierra and Suzanne Farrin.
A string of superlatives has greeted the release of Elschenbroich’s latest release on Onyx – a cycle of Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Alexei Grynyuk – chosen as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and Chamber Choice in BBC Music Magazine (5 stars). Earlier releases include Kabalevsky’s Cello Concerto No 2 with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Litton, a Hommage to Schnittke, French concertos by Dutilleux and Saint-Saëns, and a sonata disc with works by Rachmaninov and Shostakovich (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone).
He is a fervent supporter of the emergent musical community in Bolivia and Artistic Mentor of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bolivia, the country’s first national orchestra, which he co-founded in 2012. He returns to Bolivia on a regular basis both for performances and to lead educational projects and has an increasing presence elsewhere in South America performing with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Belo Horizonte Orchestra and Medellin Philharmonic as well as in recitals.
Born in 1985 in Frankfurt, Elschenbroich received a scholarship, aged ten, to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in the UK and continued his studies with Frans Helmerson at the Cologne Music Academy. He plays a cello made by Matteo Goffriller “Leonard Rose” (Venice, 1693), on private loan.