“The explosive virtuosity and pyrotechnics of the Piatti arrangements demand exacting technical prowess, and Aasgaard has the measure of each, playing them with panache and brilliance”
Michael Jameson International Record Review
Photo: Mark McNulty
Norwegian cellist Jonathan Aasgaard is one of UK’s most versatile cellists, as soloist, chamber musician, studio musician, orchestral principal and explorer of new music.
Aasgaard was appointed Principal Cello of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999 and has since performed more than 35 works for cello and orchestra with the RLPO. He is regularly invited as a guest principal with several leading British and European orchestras and is principal cello of the John Wilson Orchestra.
Chamber music performances have taken him around Europe, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea and the USA including a range of leading festivals collaborating with artists such as violinists Nigel Kennedy, Henning Kraggerud and Julian Rachlin, violist Laurence Power, cellists Yo Yo Ma and Giovanni Sollima, pianists Simon Trpceski, Boris Giltberg, Joanna Mac Gregor and clarinetist Martin Fröst. He’s a member of the exiting UK based Pixels Ensemble and the Ulster based chamber group the Fews.
His recordings include an album of transcriptions for cello and piano with Ian Buckle (MSR Classics), the CD 'From Jewish Life' (Avie) with the RLPO and Gerard Schwarz, which includes music for cello and orchestra by Bloch, Bruch, Schwarz and David Diamond, an album of music by Carl Davis for cello and orchestra with the Philharmonia, and a recording of Brahms' cello sonatas with Martin Roscoe (Avie) which was ‘editors choice’ for chamber music in the Gramaphone Magazine. Recordings of the 3 Debussy Sonatas with the Pixels Ensemble and the Korngold Sextet with the Sinfonia of London Chamber Ensemble (Chandos) are forthcoming.
He has given numerous premieres, including the world premiere of Carl Davis' Ballade for cello and orchestra, the European premiere of Giovanni Sollima's double cello concerto, the UK premiere of Weinberg’s cello concerto, the US premiere of concertos by Franz Neruda and Emil Hartmann and world premieres of dozens of solo pieces of which many are written for him.
Jonathan studied at the Barratt Due’s institute in Oslo and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with the late Prof. Leonard Stehn where he won all the cello and chamber music prizes and was a gold medal finalist.
Jonathan plays a cello by Celeste Farotti, made in Milan in 1926.