Anja Lechner

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“Anja Lechner's cello is an open window welcoming all pure sounds of music coming from all corners of the world.”

Tigran Mansurian

The broad spectrum of cellist Anja Lechner’s work embraces performances as soloist with orchestras, classical and contemporary chamber music as well as projects referencing diverse improvisational traditions.

She has premiered works by composers including Tigran Mansurian, Valentin Silvestrov, Annette Focks, Alexandra Filonenko and, recently, Zad Moultaka’s “Mystery of Mysteries” with Pablo Márquez. In the 2012 season, Anja Lechner performs Mansurian’s double concerto for violin and violoncello in Amsterdam together with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and gives the first performance of a new piece by Mansurian for cello and chamber orchestra, concerts by ECM, the label for which she has recorded since 1996.

Other highlights this season include, with Reto Bieri and the Camerata Zürich, the performance of Mansurian’s Postludium for Clarinet, Cello and Strings in a programme incorporating solo performance of Silvestrov’s Elegie for Solo Cello and Two Tam-Tams. Lechner’s affinity for Silvestrov’s music has previously led to participation in recordings including the Grammy-nominated “leggiero, pesante.”

Márquez , Bieri and Kopatschinskaja are amongst her frequent chamber partners: others have included pianists Alexei Lubimov, Silke Avenhaus and Kirill Gerstein, cellist Agnès Vesterman, and violist Tatjana Masurenko.

Anja Lechner’s long-running artistic collaboration with Argentine bandoneonist-composer Dino Saluzzi is the subject of “El Encuentro”, a new film by Norbert Wiedmer and Enrique Ros. She can be heard on recordings with Saluzzi including “Navidad de los Andes”, “Ojos negros” and, with the Rosamunde Quartet, “Kultrum”. From 1992 until its disbanding 18 years later, Lechner was the cellist of the Munich-based Rosamunde Quartet, whose internationally-acclaimed ECM New Series recordings include music of Mansurian, Schoeck, Larcher, Webern, Shostakovich, Burian, Haydn, Yoffe, and more.

Projects in preparation for 2013 include the premiere of Vladimir Godar’s cello concerto with the Slovak Philharmonic.

In 2004, Lechner and Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos topped the US classical charts with “Chants, Hymns and Dances", featuring music of composer-philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff. A new duo, with French pianist François Couturier, continues to reference Gurdjieff, as well as Federico Mompou and Anouar Brahem, and adds Couturier’s own compositions to the stylistic mix, with repertoire situated at the crossroads of East and West. Lechner also performs in the Couturier’s Tarkovsky Quartet, which plays music inspired by the films of its namesake, sometimes accompanied in concert by the video projections of Andrey Tarkovsky Jr.

Born in Kassel, Germany, Anja Lechner studied with Heinrich Schiff in Cologne and Basle and, with a scholarship from the Deutsche Studienstiftung, with Janos Starker in Bloomington.

“One of the most gifted cellists in the world, often bridging the gap between contemporary and traditional, east and west, and arranged and improvisational music. She brings unimpeachable technical skills, a rich and warm tone and the interpretive soul of a poet to every performance, onstage and on record.”

Greg Cahill, Strings, USA