Leonard Elschenbroich

Artist-in-Residence at the Philharmonic Society Bremen 2013-2016

Playing with eminent conductors including Semyon Bychkov, Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck and Dmitrij Kitajenko, Leonard rejoins Christoph Eschenbach at the Washington National, after performances with Chicago, the London Philharmonic and Dresden Staatskapelle. A BBC New Generation Artist, he returns to the 2014 BBC Proms with John Storgards. Leonard is a fine recitalist: giving a world premiere at the Wigmore Hall in 2014.  Artist in Residence at the Bremen Philharmonic Society; his distinguished chamber partners include Nicola Benedetti, Alexei Grynyuk and the Sitkovetsky Trio. His recital debut CD (Rachmaninov & Shostakovich (viola) sonatas / Onyx Classics) was outstandingly successful; a second disc (concerto & recital) is released in 2014. 

Watch Leonard Elschenbroich’s BBC Proms performance on BBC 4

14 Aug 2015

Tune in to catch Leonard’s performance of Eric Whitacre’s The River Cam on BBC 4 tonight 14 Aug at 1930. Leonard will return...

Leonard Elschenbroich at the BBC Proms

11 Aug 2015

Cellist Leonard Elschenbroich made his fourth appearance at the BBC Proms on Sunday afternoon, performing Eric Whitacre’s The River Cam with the strings of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted...

Leonard Elschenbroich performs at Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Engadin Festival

21 Jul 2015

After concerts in Glasgow and the Galway International Arts Festival last week, Leonard Elschenbroich continues on his summer concert-tour this...

Leonard Elschenbroich in Scotland and Ireland

15 Jul 2015

This week Leonard Elschenbroich joins the NYOS Senior Orchestra and conductor James Lowe for their...

Leonard Elschenbroich: July performances in the UK and Ireland

29 Jun 2015

Leonard Elschenbroich returns to Wigmore Hall on 5 July to close...

Leonard Elschenbroich at Wiener Konzerthaus

05 May 2015

This week, German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich returns to Vienna to perform Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33 at the...

Leonard Elschenbroich receives high praise from The New York Times

31 Mar 2015

Leonard Elschenbroich, together with the pianist Alexei Grynyuk, presented his New York recital debut at the Frick Collection last week.

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim of The New York Times...

Leonard Elschenbroich touring in November and December

01 Nov 2014

In November and December Leonard Elschenbroich will return to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw as well as make appearances across England, Wales, Scotland and the Irish Republic. 10 November sees the...

Leonard Elschenbroich debuts with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra

23 Oct 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich will make his debut with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Andrew Litton...

Leonard Elschenbroich awarded the Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk, Bremen

12 Sep 2014

The Music Festival Bremen  is  especially committed to the encouragement of young talented artists.

Since 1998, the Music Festival Bremen , in conjunction with Deutschlandradio (...

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“Mr. Elschenbroich not only revealed himself as a musician of great technical prowess, intellectual curiosity and expressive depth but also displayed an easygoing way of communicating with an audience..”

New York Times - Mar 2015

“Elschenbroich’s powers of projection, his every note was as clear in sound and intent as if he had been talking to me over a table... Sweetly it arrives as balm to the ear.”

Peter Quantrill, Amati Magazine - Aug 2014

“Young cellist Leonard Elschenbroich gave a tremendous performance, which added a keenly expressive edge to the music’s stoic dignity.”

Ivan Hewitt – Daily Telegraph - Aug 2014

“The young cellist Leonard Elschenbroich played with depth and feeling throughout, and was dazzling in the work’s final cadenza.”

Keith McDonnell - www.musicomb.com - Aug 2014

“And they played this piece with all the Romantic warmth they could muster, as if it were the most beloved piece in the world. Elschenbroich, in particular, came close to making it one in his NSO debut, savouring even the sound of pizzicato plucks in such a way that the ear appreciated the richness of every note.”

The Washington Post (Brahms' Double Concerto, NSO Washington) - Jun 2014

“Their tempi are all excellently judged, they play like angels and their ensemble work is spot-on. This is a trio which is going to scale the heights. They stand alongside the Kungsbacka and Eggner brothers in the vanguard of the new generation.”

Limelight (Dvořák, Smetana, Suk: Piano Trios - Sitkovetsky Trio CD Review) - May 2014

“Rarely have I heard the Rachmaninov with such a sensation that its dramatic trajectory has been charted with such consummate perception.”

Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone Magazine - Editor's Choice - Sep 2013

“This is one of the most articulate and highly characterised accounts I've heard on the cello of Shostakovich's Viola Sonata, with a tonal gleam that makes it more attractive to listen to than on the viola.”

Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine - Rachmaninov and Shostakovich CD Review - Jul 2013

“I find it very satisfying. A very interesting interpretation of all this music from cellist Leonard Elschenbroch - a name we're going to hear much more of.”

David Mellor, Classic FM 'Connoisseur’s Choice' - May 2013

“Elschenbroich proves his range of expression more than equal to their demands at both ends of the emotional spectrum... a complete arsenal of apparently faultless technique to the creation of wonderfully rich, colourful and spiritually faithful interpretations.”

Jessica Duchen - May 2013

“...he brings both the correct breathing and a strong sense of melody and lyricism of the music... Excellent performances of two very different works.”

pizzicato - May 2013

“...a performance of tremendous assurance and power. There's no mistaking the intensity and commitment that Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk bring to it, and the closing pages, which look unflinchingly towards extinction, are unnerving in the extreme. Its companion piece, radically different, is Rachmaninov's Cello Sonata, in which Grynyuk's energy and Elschenbroich's sense of poetry are joyously to the fore. Exceptional.”

The Guardian (Shostakovich/Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata on Onyx – 5 stars) - May 2013

“This is an exceptional set of performances by German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and Kiev-born pianist Alexei Grynyuk, in which the sheer poise and eloquence of Rachmaninov’s expansive Cello Sonata is chillingly offset by the dry pallor of Shostakovich’s Viola Concerto, his last work seamlessly arranged for cello by Daniil Shafran. Where there is supreme beauty in the Rachmaninov – the darkened brilliance of the Allegro scherzando, and an Andante every bit as ravishing as that of the Second Piano Concerto – there is a curt austerity in the Shostakovich, all of which this duo articulate with complete conviction. Rachmaninov’s deliciously mellifluous Vocalise provides a warm and cosy ending to a seriously good disc.”

The Scotsman (5 star review of Shostakovich & Rachmaninov CD by Ken Walton) - Apr 2013

“Leonard gives a splendidly virtuosic interpretation [Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme]; entertaining, witty and full of character – surely in keeping with the composer’s own wishes. The program ends with a flourish with Andante cantabile for Cello and Orchestra drawn from the String Quartet No. 1 in 1871 by the composer himself in the late 1880s. This CD is positioned in the forefront of a rich discography stimulated by these immortal masterpieces.”

ResMusica (Oehms CD release of Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme and the slow movement of Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 1, Andante cantabile, Dmitri Kitajenko And Gürzenich Orchester Köln) - Dec 2012

“Leonard Elschenbroich presented our first Vivaldi of the day, the Cello Concerto in G minor, with beautiful tone and virtuosity. With delicate orchestral backing, Elschenbroich executed ascending and descending scales galore, fast and furious in the Allegro then controlled and lament-like in the Largo. Nicola Benedetti and Elschenbroich duetted in Vivaldi’s Concerto for violin and cello in F major…plenty of energy and verve, with the violin and cello interweaving and echoing, and extra texture added by the orchestra. The final Allegro clearly gave lots of scope for the soloists to show off, bringing the first half to a suitably upbeat conclusion.”

Bachtrack (European Union Chamber Orchestra tour) - Dec 2012

“His deep, burnished sound and sensitive response to the rhapsodic pull of the long Brahmsian lines proved to be so commanding. The ease with which each soloist completed the other's musical sentences brought a sense of shared purpose, particularly to the soaring lyricism of the slow movement. .”

Chicago Tribune (Brahms Double Concerto, Elschenbroich, Benedetti, Eschenbach, Chicago Symphony Orchestra) - Jul 2012

“The classicism of C Saint Saens’ 1st Cello Concerto came through very clearly. The work’s character was perfectly reflected by the correspondingly polished and controlled playing of the young soloist Leonard Elschenbroich.”

Kölner Stadtanzeiger (Saint Saens Cello Concerto, Dmitrij Kitajenko, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln) - Apr 2012

“Leonard Elschenbroich, the highly praised and excitedly anticipated young cello star, finally took to the stage. He plunged into the solo of the 1st Cello concerto by Saint Saens like a skier taking off downhill, enjoying the risks, with a technically immaculate delivery and setting off sparks in the process!”

Kölnische Rundschau (Saint Saens Cello Concerto, Dmitrij Kitajenko, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln) - Apr 2012

“Elschenbroich's sound had a burnished glow and radiated authority... Nicola Benedetti and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich are entirely at ease together on stage. Moreover, this work places the instruments in a relationship of absolute parity, with the cello getting the opening break with a solo which the young German turned into a noble statement of intent....The so-called love duet in the andante had the right sort of tenderness, and in the last movement the pair found an exhilarating synergy”

The Independent (Brahms Double Concertlo Elschenbroich, Benedetti, Eschenbach,London Philharmonic Orchestra) - Nov 2011

“The performance had an exciting start. In Debussy's Sonata we found a fascinating tone in which the subtle vibrato of the Cellist was sometimes reminiscent of the sound of a Baroque instrument, emphasising the classicist element of the work. The Schumann "Romances" accentuated the contrast between the rhapsodic piano and the delicately romanticising Cello. The varieties in which Elschenbroich's sound pulsated was reminiscent of [Anne-Sophie] Mutter, and yet contrasted it with slender, hypnotically focused quality. The enchanting highpoint was Rachmaninov's Sonata, where the cellist’s tone carefully unfolded like a flower in the introduction, and then with vigorous articulation and a passionate singing tone shaped the rhapsodic drama of the work. There was a standing ovation in the packed Church of St. Luke for this debut in Lucerne. ”

Neue Luzerner Zeitung review of recital debut at Lucerne Festival 2011 - Aug 2011

“The young cellist Leonard Elschenbroich is obviously a star in the making. His performance of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations was alive to all the subtleties of this witty score and his rich tone was ideal for the third variation’s lush melody.”

Birmingham Post, Norman Stinchcombe (Review of performance with Christoph Eschenbach and Staatskapelle Dresden at Symphony Hall, Birmingham) - May 2011

“…Elschenbroich’s work had both impressive technical assurance and a movingly contemplative beauty……the fourth variation was full of wit and playfulness and the cadenzas were strikingly handled, invested with real individuality. The closing scherzando variation had a delicious effervescence.”

Seen and Heard International (Review of performance with Christoph Eschenbach and Staatskapelle Dresden at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff) - May 2011

“Depth, expressivity, charisma, perfection. His playing is the ideal every artist searches for.”

Christoph Eschenbach

“Leonard has an extraordinary and unique gift: His musical sensitivity, combined with courageous virtuosity is truly impressive and his radiant expressive personality is deeply convincing.”

Anne-Sophie Mutter

“Leonard Elschenbroich combines radiant charm with striking virtuosity and astonishing depth … The composure of his musical gesture is sublime, the poetic imagination deeply touching.”

Die Welt

“Unbounded tireless Energy …Elschenbroich seized his big moment … Bravo!”

The Strad

“Elschenbroich has the gift of artistic “authenticity” convincing absolutely down to the last detail.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Great tone, total technical command and complete identification with the music…An exceptional talent.”

Semyon Bychkov

“The enlightened eloquence and radiant personality with which Elschenbroich transports music into the present gives us true joy for his glowing passion.”


“The young virtuoso took the stage with exceptional vigour and conquered the hearts of his enthusiastic audience with phenomenal technical agility in the fast Finale.”

Weser Kurier

“Intelligent and soulful … a mesmerizing performance.”

The Herald

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Leonard Elschenbroich has excited interest as one of the most charismatic cellists of his generation since receiving the Leonard Bernstein award at the opening concert of the 2009 Schleswig Holstein Festival, following his performance of the Brahms Double with Anne Sophie Mutter under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach. Since then, Leonard joined the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme in 2012, a prestigious award offering performances and recordings with all the BBC orchestras and at the BBC Proms. In 2012, Leonard became Artistic Mentor of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bolivia, the country’s first national orchestra. As Artistic Mentor, he performs regularly with the orchestra and invites international soloists and conductors such as Nicola Benedetti, Philippe Quint, Edicson Ruiz and Reinhold Friedrich.

He has worked with a number of eminent conductors, including Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit, Manfred Honeck, Kirill Karabits, Dmitri Kitajenko, Andrew Litton, Yan-Pascal Tortelier and Vasily Sinasiky. As a soloist he has performed with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, Swedish Radio Symphony, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Chicago Symphony Orchestra,. He made his debut at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Dresden Staatskapelle on a European tour. Leonard has performed at BBC Proms, most recently in 2014 with BBC Philharmonic and John Storgards, and in 2013 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.

His debut CD (Rachmaninov Cello Sonata & Shostakovich Viola Sonata), released on Onyx Classics in 2013, received 5 star reviews from The Telegraph, The Guardian and BBC Music Magazine (Choice of the Month).

Leonard releases his second disc for Onyx Classics in November 2014, featuring Kabalevsky’s Cello Concerto No.2, recorded live at the Concertgebouw with Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Andrew Litton, and Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata with Alexei Grynyuk.

Leonard Elschenbroich has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Auditorium du Louvre, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Lucerne Festival, the Gstaad Festival, the Istanbul International Festival, the Rheingau, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, and Schleswig Holstein Festival, where he performed the complete Beethoven sonatas with Christoph Eschenbach. On tour in South America, he has performed with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the Teatro Colon and given recitals in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Lima and Sao Paulo.

Leonard is Artist-in-Residence at the Philharmonic Society Bremen from 2013-2016, the first artist ever to hold this position. Each season includes one commissioned world premiere. Leonard premiered Arlene Sierra’s new piano trio in November 2013. He is also Artist-in-Residence of Deutschlandfunk for 2014-15. The artists are offered opportunities in pursuit of their international cultural activities. As artist in residence, Leonard will realize studio recordings with the Deutschlandradio and will perform at Music Festival Bremen.

As a founding member of the Sitkovetsky Trio, Leonard has performed in London, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Vancouver, Bilbao, Barcelona, Beijing, Shanghai. The trio embark on a US tour in March 2015.

Leonard also plays chamber music regularly with Nicola Benedetti and Alexei Grynyuk, performing at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, Usher Hall, Hong Kong International Festival, Istanbul Festival, Sala Sao Paulo, and Ravinia Festival.

Leonard has a keen interest in contemporary music, commissioning and premiering works by: Luca Lombardi (Essay 3 for solo cello), Arlene Sierra (Butterflies Remember a Mountain for piano trio), Carl Vine (The Village for piano trio), Suzanne Farrin and Mark Simpson, whose piece, Night Music, was commissioned for Leonard by the BBC and performed and broadcast live at Wigmore Hall in March 2014.

His many awards include: Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk, Bremen the Borletti Buitoni Trust Award, Eugene Istomin Prize, Pro Europa prize, Landgraf von Hessen price at the Kronberg Academy, Nordmetall Prize at the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, Firmenich Prize at the Verbier Festival.

Born in 1985 in Frankfurt, Leonard received a scholarship, aged ten, to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London. He later studied with Frans Helmerson at the Cologne Music Academy.

He plays a cello made by Matteo Goffriller "Leonard Rose" (Venice, 1693), on private loan.

Leonard Elschenbroich lives in London.

August 2015