Leonard Elschenbroich

BBC New Generation Artist

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.  Leonard’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations (Gürzenich/Kitajenko / Oehms) was released in 2012.

Critical acclaim for Leonard Elschenbroich’s BBC Prom

20 Aug 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich’s performance at the BBC Proms with Finnish conductor John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic on Thursday August 14, 2014 has received rapturous acclaim...

Leonard Elschenbroich returns to the BBC Proms

14 Aug 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich joins Finnish conductor John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic, in a tribute to the First World War anniversary in Bridge’s haunting Oration – part lament, part...

Leonard Elschenbroich becomes Artistic Mentor of the newly formed Orquesta Academica Boliviana

15 Jul 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich has been a regular visitor to South America as a soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and teacher for a number of years.

HIs most recent visit however involves an...

Leonard Elschenbroich returns to the Cheltenham International Music Festival

02 Jul 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich joins long standing chamber partners Nicola Benedetti and Alexei Grynyuk in a return to the Cheltenham International Music Festival which starts on  Wednesday July 2,...

Washington National for Elschenbroich

04 Jun 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich makes his Washington National Symphony Orchestra debut with three concerts on Thursday 5, Friday 6 and Saturday 7 June at the John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts....

Leonard Elschenbroich at the Adelaide International Festival

02 Apr 2014

Whilst Leonard is in Australia, his Wigmore Hall recital of March 3, 2014  (a stunning programme with works by  Debussy, Mark Simpson, Prokofiev) is available via Dutch Radio...

Leonard Elschenbroich performs Schubert from LSO St Luke's

19 Mar 2014

The second programme in the all-Schubert series at LSO St Luke's sees cellist Leonard Elschenbroich join chamber partners violinist Nicola Benedetti and pianist Alexei Grynyuk performing the Piano...

Wigmore Hall return for Leonard Elschenbroich

28 Feb 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich offers a world premiere as well as works by Schumann and Prokofiev at the Wigmore Hall on Monday March 3.  This Lunchtime recital is broadcast live...

Leonard Elschenbroich back in the charts

20 Jan 2014

Leonard Elschenbroich’s debut CD featuring Rachmaninov and Shostakovich cello sonatas has re-entered the Classical Music Chart at number 13 this week. The disc was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Desert...

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“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 received 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, he has excited interest as one the most charismatic cellists of his generation.

Leonard joined the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme in 2012, a prestigious award offering performances and recordings with all the BBC orchestras, recitals at Wigmore Hall and The Sage, Gateshead, with all performances broadcast on the BBC. Leonard has appeared at the BBC Proms, most recently in 2013 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.

In the 2013/14 season he makes debuts with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Andrew Litton and with the Washington National Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach.  He returns to the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Japan Philharmonic where he made his Tokyo debut in 2012 conducted by Alexander Lazarev. He will also appear with BBC Scottish Symphony and John Wilson, BBC Philharmonic and Vasily Sinaisky, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Christoph Koenig.

He has worked with a number of eminent conductors, including Dmitri Kitajenko, Valery Gergiev, Semyon Bychkov, Manfred Honeck and Christoph Eschenbach. As a soloist he has performed with the London Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, Swedish Radio Symphony, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic and Japan Philharmonic. He made his debut at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Christoph Eschenbach on their 2011 European tour. Leonard made his debut tour of China at the start of the 2012/2013 season with concerts in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, and Beijing.

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 gave recitals in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Lima and Sao Paulo.

In 2013, his debut CD (Rachmaninov & Shostakovich (viola) sonatas) for Onyx Classics received 5 star reviews from The Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC Music Magazine (Choice of the Month), Pizzicato, Diapason, amongst others.

As a founding member of the Sitkovetsky Trio, Leonard will return this season to the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Gstaad Festival, and will debut at the Vancouver Reictal Series, before an extensive ‘Musica Viva’ tour of all major Australian cities.

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 Elschenbroich’s many awards include: the Leonard Bernstein Award, Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, Eugene Istomin Prize, Pro Europa prize, Landgraf von Hessen price of the Kronberg Academy, Nordmetall Prize of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Firmenich Prize of the Verbier Festival. From 2004-2008 he was supported by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, performing with her on a number of occasions, including a European tour.

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 2014