The English cellist and music teacher, Colin Carr, befan study of the cello at age 5, entered the Yehudi Menuhin School when he was 8 years old and studied there with Maurice Gendron and later William Pleeth. Carr's gift for musical discovery attracted the attention of Yehudi Menuhin and, at age 16, he performed the Johannes Brahms Double Concerto with the legendary violinist in the first of many collaborations. Among the numerous awards claimed by the cellist were the Young Concert Artists International Auditions (1978), the Naumburg Competition First Prize (Carr was the first British cellist to have won it), the Piatigorsky Memorial Award, first prize in the Young Concert Artist's International Auditions, and second grand prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition.
Colin Carr appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher.An artist of winning integrity, Carr has gained admiration for performances of soul-baring introspection and searing intensity. Like his one-time mentor, Carr has the gift for musical penetration. Unlike the Yehudi Menuhin of later years, Carr boasts a firm and reliable technique and may be counted upon for interpretations that sacrifice neither sense nor sound. In addition to his solo performances, Carr is a member of the Golub Kaplan Carr Trio, one of the most-respected of the new millennium and has amassed a lengthy list of credits with that ensemble. Aside from his concert work, Carr is a respected teacher, highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic.
Since beginning his professional career, Colin Carr has given recitals and has played as a soloist with major orchestras in many parts of the Continent and North America. In America, he has been a soloist with such orchestras as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), Philadelphia Orchestra, Peninsula Festival Orchestra, Montreal Symphony and Vancouver Symphony. In Europe, he has been a soloist with, among others, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and RIAS in Berlin, as well as all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. He has played as a soloist with such conductors as Simon Rattle, Gergiev, Dutoit, Mark Elder, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Neville Marriner. He has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms, has twice toured Australia, and has recently played concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Hallé Orchestra, in South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Solo recitals have taken Colin Carr to major cities each season with regular performances in London, New York and Boston. In the 2006-2007 season played the Six Bach Suites (BWV 1007-1012) at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, the Gardner Museum in Boston and many European cities.
In addition to his solo work, Carr is a player of chamber works, familiar to audiences at many of the world's leading festivals, including Marlboro, Caramoor, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Edinburgh, and Bath. The Chamber Music Societies of Boston and New York have welcomed him and he has collaborated with the Guarneri String Quartet and the Emerson String Quartet. And since 1982, he has been a member of the much-celebrated Golub Kaplan Carr Trio. Since the Golub Kaplan Carr Trio was formed, pianist David Golub, violinist Mark Kaplan, and Carr have toured the United States and Europe, appearing in many of the world's most prestigious concert halls. The trio's reading of the L.v. Beethoven Triple Concerto has won particular commendation, especially in performances with the Montreal Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Nor have the trio's members neglected contemporary composers. The trio has commissioned works in Amsterdam, London, Milan, Cologne, and New York and has often welcomed collaborations with other artists for special occasions. As a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, he recorded and toured extensively for twenty years before forming Sequenza with Mark Kaplan and Yael Weiss.
Highlights of the last few years include return visits to the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, and a debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Mark Elder, which led to immediate engagements with Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra playing Dvorak, Edward Elgar and William Walton Concertos. Other memorable performances of Carrs have been the Dvorak Concerto to close the Prague Autumn Festival, and L.v. Beethovens Triple Concerto with Sir Colin Davis conducting at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Last season (2012-2013) Carr performed cycles of L.v. Beethovens complete works for cello and piano with his duo partner Thomas Sauer throughout the USA and in England, Germany and France. They have recently played recitals together at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philadelphias Chamber Music Society and at the Wigmore Hall. Carr has also played several cycles of the Bach Solo Suites at the Wigmore Hall in London, in the USA at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York and the Gardner Museum in Boston and in Montreal, Toronto, Ottowa and Vancouver.
Colin Carr has enjoyed a concentrated, but fruitful recording career, both as a soloist and as a member of the Golub Kaplan Carr Trio. With the latter, he has recorded discs praised by both the print and broadcast media. Recordings devoted to J. Brahms' piano trios, Schubert trios, and Tchaikovsky/Smetana piano trios have all won warm, complimentary reviews, while Carr's live recording of the Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello (BWV 1007-1012) at Boston's Jordan Hall (GM Recordings) drew enthusiastic words and his solo cello recording of works by Benjamin Britten, Crumb, Zoltán Kodály, and Gunther Schuller was a finalist in the NAIRD Indie competition. Highly acclaimed is also his recent recording of the complete cello/piano works of Felix Mendelssohn with Thomas Sauer on Cello Classics, and so is the J. Brahms Sonatas with pianist Lee Luvisi on Arabesque. He was also the soloist in E. Elgar's Cello Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra on a BBC Music Magazine cover CD. In 2012 he recorded the string sextets of Arnold Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky with the Emerson String Quartet and Paul Neubauer. The Wigmore Live Label released a new recording of the Bach Suites (BWV 1007-1012) in 2013.
Colin Carr was a faculty member at the New England Conservatory of Music for 16 years. In 1998, he was appointed a professor of the cello and chamber music at London's Royal Academy of Music. In 1998 St. John's College, Oxford created the post of "Musician in Residence" for him and in September 2002 he became a professor at Stony Brook University in New York.
Colin Carr now plays on the 1726 'Marquis de Corberon' Stradivarius cello, formerly played by Zara Nelsova, and owned by the Royal Academy of Music. His other cello was made by Matteo Gofriller in Venice in 1730. He lives with his wife Caroline and three children, Clifford, Frankie and Anya in a 17th century farmhouse outside of Oxford, England.