Christian Elliott enjoys a varied career as chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist. He was appointed Principal Cellist of the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 2016, with whom he has appeared as soloist and director. He is also a member of the Phoenix Piano Trio whose upcoming discs feature works by Robert and Clara Schumann, Niels Gade, Brahms, and Mendelssohn.
Christian joined the Zehetmair Quartet in March 2014, which performs string quartets written as late as the mid-20th century from memory. They have also recorded and premiered several works by the Swiss composer, oboist, and conductor Heinz Holliger. Christian was recommended to that position by Steven Isserlis. Appearances with the quartet include the Lucerne Festival, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus, Zurich Tonhalle, and the Edinburgh International Festival. Christian has played as guest principal with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Welsh National Opera Orchestra, the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the RSNO, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and the Halle Orchestra.
Resident in Edinburgh, Christian is a founding member of the Raeburn Quartet which performs on classical period instruments. He is also a frequent guest member of existing chamber groups, such as the Arowonitz, Hebrides, and Mercury Ensembles. He was formerly a member of McGill University’s Lloyd Carr-Harris String Quartet awarded the Grand Prize at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.
In October 2011, as soloist, Christian premiered Kevin Malone’s “E pluribus unum” for cello and orchestra with the Nottingham Philharmonic, and he is featured on Kevin Malone’s new disc of compositions entitled “The Music of 9/11” on the Prima Facie label, performing Requiem77 for solo cello and recorded voices. In a rare stroke of fate, in May 2009 a cellist booked to perform Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto injured himself two evenings before the concert, and Christian undertook the role of soloist at this incredibly short notice. He later performed the concerto again, with the RNCM Chamber Orchestra, in 2010.
Also a composer, Christian premiered his own string sextet composition at Wigmore Hall in July 2012, commissioned by Steven Isserlis to commemorate the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar’s 40th anniversary. Other commissions include a work for the Francoise-Green Piano Duo, and a solo viola work for Ruth Killius. Christian began his musical studies with his father, guitarist Garry Elliott, at the age of nine. Having always loved the cello’s sound, when he was 13 he had the opportunity to learn the cello with Pawel Szymczyk-Marjanovic. He furthered his studies with Don Whitton and Thomas Wiebe, before taking his Bachelors degree at McGill University with Matt Haimovitz. Subsequently he studied at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music with Hannah Roberts and Ralph Kirshbaum, taking part in masterclasses with Steven Isserlis, Frans Helmerson, and Miklós Perenyi.
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