Born in Zurich, cellist CHRISTIAN POLTÉRA was a pupil of Nancy Chumachenco and Boris Pergamenschikov before studying with Heinrich Schiff in Salzburg and Vienna. Since replacing
Yo-Yo Ma performing the Elgar concerto with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under David Zinman at the age of 17, Mr. Poltéra has steadily established himself as one of the most prominent cellists of his generation.
As soloist he has worked with eminent orchestras including the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, NDR Hamburg Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna and Bamberg Symphonies, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Chamber Orchestra of Europe under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Paavo Järvi, Donald Runnicles, as well as the leading conductors of the younger generation, such as James Gaffigan, Robin Ticciati, and Andris Nelsons. Mr. Poltéra made his solo debut in the US in 2006 with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall in New York.
Upcoming highlights include performances of the Brahms Double concerto with violinists Karen Gomyo (New Japan Philharmonic and its music director Christian Arming) and Thomas Zehetmair (on tour of Europe with Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner), as well as a return visit to the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Dmitrij Kitajenko.
Mr. Poltéra also devotes himslef intensively to chamber music, working with such musicians as Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Leonidas Kavakos, Martin Fröst, Kathryn Stott, Lars Vogt, and Leif Ove Andsnes, as well as the Auryn, Belcea, and Zehetmair Quartets. In 2008 he joined Mitsuko Uchida in performances of Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time", at Carnegie's Zankel Hall and the Kimmell Center in Philadelphia. Together with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and violist Antoine Tamestit, Christian Poltéra has formed a regular string trio that performs at the most prestigious concert venues in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Cologne, Brussels, and Milan, as well as at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals.
In 2004 he received the Borletti-Buitoni Award and was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist. In 2006-07 he was a 'Rising Star' of the European Concert Hall Organization. He is a regular guest at renowned festivals (such as Salzburg, Lucerne, Berlin, and Vienna) and made his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2007.
Christian Poltéra's discography reflects his wide range of repertoire that includes the cello concertos by Dvorak, Schoeck, Honegger, Martin, and Toch, as well as chamber music by Prokofiev, Fauré, Mozart, Saint-Saens and Schubert, on the labels BIS Records, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, and Chandos. These recordings have won acclaim from the international press, and have been honored with the Diapason d'or, Gramophone Magazine's "Editor's Choice", Strad Magazine's "Strad Selection", and BBC Music Magazine's "Choice". Now recording regularly for BIS, Mr. Poltéra's latest CD, featuring the cello concertos by Dutilleux and Lutoslawski, has been released in 2009.