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Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen

*1959 Londyn

Robert Cohen made his concerto debut aged twelve at the Royal Festival Hall in London, and over the next forty years of his distinguished international career he has been hailed as one of the foremost cellists of our time. ‘It is easy to hear what the fuss is about, he plays like a God’ (New York Stereo Review), ‘A virtuoso of genius’ (Nurnberg Nachrichten), ‘Robert Cohen is a divinely gifted cellist. Cohen is one of the few musicians whose every tone speaks to people’ (Keskisuomalainen, Finland).

Invited to perform concertos around the world by conductors Claudio Abbado, Antal Dorati, Sir Mark Elder, Mariss Jansons, Sir Charles Mackerras, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Sir Roger Norrington, Tadaaki Otaka, Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Osmo Vanska, Cohen has also collaborated in chamber music with Yehudi Menuhin, the Amadeus String Quartet (including their CD of the Schubert Quintet on DGG), the Fine Arts Quartet, Bruno Giuranna, Massimo Quarta, Thomas Zehetmair and Krystian Zimerman, and he has a regular duo partnership with pianist Heini Karkkainen. He also directs the Charleston Manor Festival in England. In 2012, he became the cellist of the legendary Fine Arts Quartet.

His musical education was also exceptional, including early studies with the legendary William Pleeth, followed by Jacqueline du Pré, André Navarra and Mstislav Rostropovich. Cohen became an inspirational teacher himself; his much published views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have led to masterclasses worldwide. He is a Professor of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and in 2009 was awarded the HonRAM. Cohen made his recording debut aged nineteen in the Elgar Cello Concerto with the London Philharmonic (EMI). He has recorded extensively for BIS, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony and Decca.

He has won the Suggia, Young Concert Artists (New York), Piatigorsky and UNESCO International competitions. He has also had several compositions written for and dedicated to him, most recently Sally Beamish’s Cello Concerto No. 2 (‘The Song Gatherer’).

The essence of Cohen as a communicator is summed up by The Guardian: ‘Cohen can hold an audience in the palm of his hand’.

He plays the ‘Ex Roser’ cello by David Tecchler (Rome, 1723).


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