Hailed by The Times as a “remarkable cellist” and described by Gramophone as “sheer perfection”, Kian Soltani’s playing is characterised by a depth of expression, sense of individuality and technical mastery, alongside a charismatic stage presence and ability to create an immediate emotional connection with his audience. He is now invited by the world’s leading orchestras, conductors and recital promoters, propelling him from rising star to one of the most talked about cellists performing today.
In 2019/20 Soltani makes debuts with orchestras including the Munich Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Hallé, KBS Symphony and Orchestra of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing. Recent orchestral highlights include the Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, Boston Symphony and Tonhalle Orchestras. In 2019, he is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Artist in Residence and commences a multi-year residency with Junge Wilde at Konzerthaus Dortmund from Autumn 2018.
As a recitalist, Soltani has recently performed at Carnegie Hall, Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, Wigmore Hall and the Boulez Saal, where he will return to curate an evening of cello music in spring 2020. In 2018/19 Soltani performed at venues including the Philharmonie de Paris, Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Barbican Centre, Cologne Philharmonie and Stockholm Concert Hall as part of the ECHO Rising Stars scheme.
In 2017, Soltani signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon and his first disc ‘Home’, comprising works for cello and piano by Schubert, Schumann and Reza Vali, was released to international acclaim in February 2018, with Gramophone describing the recording as “sublime”. His recording of the Mozart Piano Quartets with Daniel and Michael Barenboim and Yulia Deyneka was released in August 2018. In April 2019, Warner Classics released a disc of the Dvorak and Tchaikovsky Piano Trios with Lahav Shani and Renaud Capucon, recorded live at Aix Easter Festival in 2018. Soltani’s next disc for Deutsche Grammophon is scheduled for release in late 2019.
Soltani made his international breakthrough at the age of nineteen with acclaimed debuts in the Vienna Musikverein’s Goldener Saal and at the Hohenems Schubertiade. He attracted further worldwide attention in April 2013 as winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki where he was hailed by Ostinato magazine as “a soloist of the highest level among the new generation of cellists”. In February 2017 Soltani won Germany’s celebrated Leonard Bernstein Award and in December 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Credit Suisse Young Artist Award.
Born in Bregenz, Austria, in 1992 to a family of Persian musicians, Soltani began playing the cello at aged four and was only twelve when he joined Ivan Monighetti’s class at the Basel Music Academy. He was chosen as an Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation scholarship holder in 2014, and completed his further studies as a member of the Young Soloist Programme at Germany’s Kronberg Academy. He received additional important musical training at the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein.
Soltani plays on the “London ex Boccherini 1694” Stradivarius, thanks to a generous loan.