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David Geringas (Cello, Conductor)

Born: July 29, 1946 - Vilnius, Lithuania (former USSR)

The Lithuanian cellist and conductor, David Geringas, studied at the Moscow Conservatory from 1963 to 1973, eight years of that period spent under the guidance of Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1970 he won the First Prize and the gold medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He also plays the Baryton, a rare instrument associated with music of Joseph Haydn.

In 1975 David Geringas relocated to West Germany. Among his earliest recordings was the 1979 Eurodisc LP of the Haydn Second Cello Concerto and the Prokofiev Concertino. Geringas steadily built his career in the 1980’s, appearing with major orchestras and in concerts with his wife.

David Geringas has performed as soloist with the greatest orchestras around the globe, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Germany); Wiener Philharmoniker (Austria); Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (the Netherlands); London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra (UK); Orchestre de Paris (France); Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic); Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (Estonia); Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra (USA), NHK Symphony (Japan) and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, under such esteemed conductors of our time as Gerd Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Andrey Boreyko, Myung-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Lawrence Foster, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, Kirill Kondrashin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Simon Rattle, Mstislav Rostropovich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Yuri Temirkanov, Klaus Tennstedt and Michael Tilson Thomas. He is a regular guest at several major chamber music festivals.

David Geringas is one of the most versatile musicians of our time. The cellist and conductor has an unusually broad repertoire from the earliest Baroque up to contemporary music, much of which he has recorded. He was the first musician to play in the West works of the Russian and Lithuanian avant garde. Renowned composers of contemporary music, such as Sofia Gubaidulina (whose Cello Concerto Geringas recorded), Pēteris Vasks and Erkki-Sven Tüür and Estonian composer Lepo Sumera., have dedicated new compositions to Geringas. Thus the Concerto in Do by Anatolijus Šenderovas, being played by Geringas for the first time in 2002 and being awarded the European Composers Prize in Berlin, the Cello Concerto by Ned Rorem, world premiere 2003 in the USA, the Cello Concertos by Vytautas Laurušas and by Vidmantas Bartulis, world premiere 2004 respective 2005 in Latvia. A special event was the world premiere of Anatolijus Šenderovas' work David's Song for Cello and String Quartet in July 2006 in Kronberg which the composer had written on the occasion of David Geringas' 60th birthday. Geringas also plays many standards by Boccherini, Haydn, L.v. Beethoven, Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, and others.

David Geringas' concerts with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Berner Symphonie-Orchester, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra as well as his first performance with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at once being reinvited for 2007, belong among others to the highlights of the concert season 2005-2006. He was also guest at prestigious festivals in Germany, Great Britain and France this summer. In the season 2006-2007 David Geringas gave concerts among others with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim and Galicia Symphony Orchestra. On the occasion of Dmitri Shostakovich's 100th Birthday David Geringas is invited by the Tonhalle in Düsseldorf to arrange and to head a weekend of several performances dedicated to the composer.

David Geringas is also a welcome guest at international chamber music stages. So Tatjana Schatz-Geringas (his wife) and Ian Fountain belong to his closest partners on the piano. His other chamber music patners include vilinist Kolja Blacher and Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and organist Edgar Krapp. In the 2004-2005 season Geringas gave together with Ian Fountain a concert series entitled "Beethoven plus…" at the Philharmonie Berlin. He also works closely together with the Artemis Quartett, the Vogler-Quartett and the Bläserquintett of the Staatskapelle Berlin.

David Geringas, like his teacher Mstislav Rostropovich, earned a reputation as one of the finest cellists of his generation and then took up conducting, where he has also achieved acclaim. To an ever-growing extent he has been engaged as conductor, his conducting activity turned busier after 2000. Among others he conducted the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Kammerphilharmonie of the MDR Leipzig, Jenaer Philharmonie, chamber orchestra of the Wiener Symphoniker (Concert-Verein), the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, as well as orchestras in Lithuania, Latvia, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico and Costa Rica. From 2005 to 2008 he served as Chief Guest Conductor of the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra Japan. In February 2007 he conducted for the first time the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, in 2007 he made his debut with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in China, and in the 2007-2008 season guested again in Japan. In 2009 he made his debut with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow. In 2010 he made his opera debut with Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin.

For about 50 CD’s which David Geringas has up to now recorded on a range of labels, including BIS, Chandos, Delos, DG, Erato, Philips, RCA, and Teldec, he received a large number of distinctions. In 1989, he was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque of the Charles Cros Academ for his acclaimed recording of the 12 cello concerti by Luigi Boccherini on the Claves label. His extensive discography also includes many award-winning recordings such as the chamber music by Henri Dutilleux (Diapason d'Or) or the cello concertos by Hans Pfitzner on CPO (Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, 1994). For his first CD recording as conductor he received the 'Choc de la Musique' of the music review 'Le Monde de la Musique'. His latest CD’s appeared by Sony and Hänssler, including the 2010 Sony Classical CD of Frédéric Chopin's works for cello and piano, with pianist Ian Fountain.

In 2000 David Geringas took over a professorship of cello at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. Moreover he is honorary professor at the Moscow Conservatory. Geringas also heads various master-classes all over the world for the up-and-coming musicians. His students are winners of prizes and awards of international competitions. Among his pupils are Emil Klein, David Riniker and Tatjana Vassiljeva.

For his worldwide engagement for Lithuanian music and its composers David Geringas was awarded highest distinctions of his country. In October 2006 the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Horst Köhler awarded the "Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (Federal Cross of Merit) to Geringas for his over all efforts as musician and German Cultural Ambassador to the world music scene.

David Geringas plays a G.B. Guadagnini cello made in 1761. He is married with the pianist Tatjana Schatz-Geringas and they now live in Hamburg, Germany.

Source: David Geringas Website; Wikipedia Website (February 2013); All Music Guide (Author: Robert Cummings)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2013)

David Geringas: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

David Geringas (Official Website)

David Geringas (Wikipedia)
David Geringas - Biography (AMG)

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