German/Swiss cellist Emanuel Graf’s is a spellbinding artist who holds the honour of playing the “L’Évêque de La Rochelle” cello made by Antonio Stradivari in 1690.

His performances have been acclaimed as “fascinating, with impressive technique, great sensitivity, thrilling musical expressiveness and a colourful, dynamic, broadly differentiated sound”. His Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante—the Mount Everest of cello works—was described as “simply brilliant! A grand festival for all music and cello fans” (Thüringer Zeitung). Graf’s “fine work” was singled out by Bachtrack’s Hugo Shirley when praising the “breathtaking level of virtuosity” of the Bavarian State Orchestra. Yet another review applauded how “Graf delivered the solo part with rich tone and … an authoritative and meditative style” (Antoine Lévy-Leboyer, Seen and Heard International). Most recently, Christine Adam of Badische Zeitung wrote that Graf played “elegantly, with extremely detailed design of even the smallest musical units of meaning.”

Since 2014 Graf has been engaged as principal cellist at the Bavarian State Orchestra under Kirill Petrenko. He has played with orchestras such as Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, WDR Symphony Orchestra, SWR Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, HR Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Basel Symphony Orchestra, to name a few, and played at venues including la Scala in Milan, Semper Opera Dresden, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Chicago Symphony Center, Vienna Music Association, Palace of the Arts Budapest, Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shenzhen Concert Hall, Taiyuan Shanxi Grand Theater, and Carnegie Hall.

He has worked with famous conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Zubin Metha, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph Eschenbach, Andris Nelsons, Gianandrea Noseda, Paavo Järvi, Yoel Gamzou, and Kirill Petrenko.

Graf completed his studies with Prof. Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, to whom he was also assistant. He has received guidance from Profs. David Geringas, Wolfgang Böttcher, Wolfgang Marschner, Ana Chumanchenko and Jens Peter Maintz. While still studying, Graf became principal cellist at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen.

© Frank Schroth | Fotografie

Graf is fascinated by contemporary music and has premiered the cello works of composers Georg Friedrich Haas and Marshal McDaniel—the latter at Esslingen Festival, to great success. In order to explore the connection of music to different arts such as literature, dance, and painting, Emanuel founded 3Klang Cultural Centre, together with his musician family, in the south of Freiburg, Germany. With the aim of promoting young cellists, Graf took over the management of Cellifamily, an ensemble of 12 international musicians which seeks to create cross cultural bridges through music.

Upcoming performances include Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Bayerische Staatsorchester under Mo. Krzysztof Urbański, Lalo’s Cello Concerto with the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, and Saint Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 at the Komische Oper Berlin.

* TYB Arts represents Emanuel Graf worldwide.
Updated May 2024 TYB Arts. 

© Frank Schroth | Fotografie