Cellist Matt Haimovitz is acclaimed for both his tremendous artistry and as a musical visionary—pushing the boundaries of classical music performance, championing new music, and initiating groundbreaking collaborations, all while mentoring an award-winning studio of young cellists at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal.
Mr. Haimovitz made his debut in 1984, at the age of 13, as a soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, and at 17 he made his first recording for Deutsche Grammophon (Universal Classics) with James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Haimovitz made his Carnegie Hall debut when he substituted for his teacher, the legendary Leonard Rose, in Schubert’s String Quintet, alongside Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, and Shlomo Mintz. Haimovitz’s recording career encompasses more than 20 years of award-winning work on Deutche Grammophon and his and composer/producer Luna Pearl Woolf’s own trailblazing independent label Oxingale Records, now in collaboration with PentaTone Classics. Two recent Oxingale albums have been nominated for Juno Awards, and a third, Meeting of the Spirits, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Classical Crossover Album and won a Grammy for Best Producer of the Year (Classical). Beethoven, Period, a traversal of the Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for Piano and Cello on period instruments with Christopher O’Riley was an Editor’s Choice pick, and one of the top-10 Beethoven albums of recent times at Gramophone Magazine. The year 2015 saw the release of two important solo albums: ORBIT, an expansive 3-SACD compilation of Haimovitz’s solo cello work of the last fifteen years, and J.S. Bach The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena Bach, a recording of the beloved Cello Suites on baroque cello and cello piccolo. Other recent releases include Haimovitz’s recording of cello concertos by Laura Schwendinger and Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Moravec. Haimovitz’s recording of Philip Glass’s Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi,” with the Cincinnati Symphony and Dennis Russell Davies, recorded live in Cincinnati, has received universal acclaim. On a recent Oxingale Records release, Haimovitz leads his all-cello ensemble, Uccello, in Angel Heart: a multimedia performance project that features narrator Jeremy Irons and mezzo Frederica von Stade in Luna Pearl Woolf’s setting of a new story from bestselling children’s author Cornelia Funke. In addition to performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Berkeley’s Cal Performances, Angel Heart will be presented by the Los Angeles Opera, Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, and others.
The solo cello recital is a Haimovitz trademark, both in the concert hall and in more untraditional venues. In 2000, he made waves with his Bach Listening-Room tour, taking Bach’s cello suites out into clubs and attracting fans and acclaim. He was the first classical artist to play at New York’s infamous CBGB club, in a performance filmed by ABC News for Nightline UpClose.
Haimovitz’s honors include the Concert Music Award from ASCAP, the Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Grand Prix du Disque, the Diapason d’Or, and the Premio Internazionale “Accademia Musicale Chigiana.” He was in the final studio of legendary cellist Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School and received a BA magna cum laude/with highest honors from Harvard University.
Matt Haimovitz plays a Venetian cello, made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller. His recordings can be found on Deutsche Grammophon and Oxingale Records.