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 2018/19, Soltani makes debuts with orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Berlin Staatskapelle, London Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon and National Symphony Orchestra, Washington. Soltani also returns to the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and will appear as the soloist on the West Eastern Divan Orchestra’s major US tour with Daniel Barenboim, performing at venues including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, Symphony Center Chicago and the Kennedy Center Washington. In October 2018, Soltani commences his season-long residency with the Residentie Orkest.
As a recitalist, Soltani makes his debut at Carnegie Hall in spring 2019, returns to the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, Wigmore Hall and the Boulez Saal, and further recital appearances include 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.
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 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 a cello by brothers Giovanni and Francesco Grancino made in Milan in 1680, on generous loan from the MERITO Strings Instrument Trust.