The German-French cellist, Nicolas Altstaedt, was born into a family of German and French descent. From 1996 to 2001 he was a "young student" in Marcio Carneiro’s class at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold and after passing his A-levels, he went to the Basel Music Academy to study under Ivan Monighetti. More recently, he studied with Boris Pergamenschikow (one of his last students) at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin, where he is continued his studies with David Geringas and later with Eberhard Feltz. Furthermore he has been influenced by Mstislav Rostropovich, Tabea Zimmermann, Heinrich Schiff and Anner Bylsma.
Nicolas Altstaedt has won a number of prizes and awards, such as 1st Prize at the Lausanne "Concours d’Interpretation Musicale internationale" in 2003, the Landgrave of Hesse Prize of the Kronberg Academy in 2004, 1st prize at the German Music Competition in 2005, 1st prize at the International Domnick Cello Competition in Stuttgart in 2005, the Adam International Cello Competition in New Zealand in 2006, the Marguerite-Duetschler Award - Gstaad in 2008, the Kulturstiftung Dortmund prize in 2010, and the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award 2010, and gave his debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival 2010. He received a Borletti Buitoni Fellowship in 2009, and is a BBC New Generation Artist 2010-2012, which includes performances and recordings with all BBC orchestras, appearances at the BBC Proms, the Wigmore Hall and various festivals.
Nicolas Altstaedt is a versatile artist being equally at home at performing on period instruments, the classical repertoire and commissioning new music. Highlights of past and upcoming seasons include concerts with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, Wiener Symphoniker, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Camerata Bern, Kremerata Baltica, Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester-Berlin, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker, Münchener Kammerorchester, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester and Haydn Philharmonie Austria/Hungary. He performs under the baton of such conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrey Boreyko, Sir Andrew Davis, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Adam Fischer, Neeme Järvi, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, Dennis Russell Davies, Alexander Shelley, Vassily Sinaisky, Jeffrey Tate, Mario Venzago, Walter Weller and David Zinman. This season includes debut performances with the Auckland Philharmonic, Tonkünstlerorchestra at the Musikverein Vienna, Japan Century Orchestra in Osaka, Orchestre National de Lille and Strasbourg and tours with the Lucerne Festival String Orchestra, German Youth Orchestra and Kammerakademie Potsdam.
Nicolas Altstaedt feels a deep commitment to contemporary music and performs with the composers Thomas AdÉs, Wilhelm Killmayer, Jörg Widmann, Matthias Pintscher, Fazil Say, Sofia Gubaidulina, HK Gruber and Moritz Eggert. He has performed the Double Concerto by György Kurtág at the composers' 85th birthday concert 2011 in Budapest, played the Swiss premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas' Cello Concerto in Basel, and played UK premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's Cello Concerto "Versuchung" for the composers' 60th birthday in 2012 in Huddersfield, and will play the world premiere of Fazil Say's new Cello Concerto at the end of the year (2014) in Istanbul. Fazil Say has also written a cello sonata "Dört Sehir" for him in 2012 and a sonata reconstructed from Paul Hindemith first sketches of the Sonata Op.11 No.3, that both premiered together in 2013 at the Kronberg Cello Festival. Nicolas also commissioned pieces from Thomas Larcher and Raphael Merlin for violin and cello that were premiered in 2012 at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam amongst others.
Nicolas Altstaedt appears in concert around the globe with such artists as Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Daniel Hope, Leif Ove Andsnes, Alexander Lonquich, Jörg Widmann, the Sasha Waltz dance company. His current chamber music partners are Alexander Lonquich, Vilde Frang, Barnabás Kelemen, Pekka Kuusisto, Antoine Tamestit, Jonathan Cohen and the Quatuor Ebene. He also regularly plays in a trio with the violinist Erik Schumann and the pianist Anna Vinnitskaya. He is a guest artist of the Chamber Music Society Lincoln Center New York and a regular guest at at festivals like the Salzburg Mozart and Summer Festivals, Utrecht, Stavanger, Delft, Ainola, Jerusalem and Kaposvár. In 2012 Nicolas has been chosen by Gidon Kremer to become his successor as the new artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival. Since then the Festival has also been touring and performing at venues like Mozarteum Salzburg, Wiener Konzerthaus, Musikverein Graz and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
In 2013-2014 aeason Nicolas Altstaedt performed with the Wiener Symphoniker and Neeme Järvi at Konzerthaus Vienna (Dmitri Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in Suntory Hall (Dvorak's Cello Concerto), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and David Zinman in Rudolfinum Prague (Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto), Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana with Vladimir Ashkenazy (William Walton's Cello Concerto), Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Mark Wigglesworth in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and Alexander Shelley, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and André de Ridder (German premiere of Nico Muhly's Cello Concerto), Andrea Marcon and his Orchestra La Cetra on period instruments (Antonio Caldara's Cello Concertos) and as a guest artist at the Zermatt Festival of Berlin Philharmonic's Scharoun Ensemble.
Nicolas Altstaedt will be making his debut performance next season (2014-2015) at Cologne Philharmonie playing Haydn and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach concertos on period instruments with Jonathan Cohen and his ensemble Arcangelo, at the Menuhin festival Gstaad with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Fazil Say and at the Amsterdam Cellobiennale. He will return to the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, Auckland Philharmonic and Real Filharmonia de Galicia, and Alice Tully Hall New York and will be touring with Kremerata Baltica, Camerata Bern and Pekka Kuusisto where he will also be leading whole programmes. He will also direct a series of chamber music programme at Musikkollegium Winterthur in 2014-1015.
Nicolas Altstaedt has recorded several CD’s for the Genuin and Naxos labels. His recent recordings of the two Haydn's Cello Concertos with the Potsdamer Kammerakademie, the recording of the cello concertos of Robert Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Friedrich Gulda on the Claves label, as well as pieces by Wilhelm Killmayer (world premiere recording) with José Gallardo have been highly acclaimed. A CD with the complete works of French composers Gabriel Pierné, Vincent d'Indy and Nadia Boulanger was released in 2010 on Naxos label. A CD with J.S. Bach;s Gamba Sonatas with Jonathan Cohen was released in 2013; his next release will be the Ligeti's Concerto with Pluralensemble Madrid and Fabián Panisello on the NEOS label.
Nicolas Altstaedt played a cello by Nicolas Lupot (Paris 1821) loaned to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben. Currently her plays a Giulio Cesare Gigli cello from Rome around 1770 and a cello by Robert König (2012).