MATS LIDSTRÖM, cello
CelloLid.com & matslidstrom.com
Professor at the Royal Academy of Music
and solo cellist with the Oxford Philomusica
As an international soloist and chamber musician, Mats Lidström has gained a reputation for performances of great insight and virtuosity. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, currently living in London, Mats combines performing with teaching and composing.
Mats studied with Ms.Maja Vogl at the Gothenburg (Göteborg) Conservatoire for six years before continuing with Leonard Rose for four years at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts (1977-81). Chamber music coaching with Claus Adam, founder-member of the Juilliard String Quartet ( and a student of Emmanuel Feuermann ), Alexander Schneider (violinist with the legendary Budapest String Quartet), Misha Schneider ( student of Julius Klengel ), Joseph Fuchs and William Lincer ( principal violist of the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini and Bernstein for 29 years ).
Additional cello coaching with Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker and Lynn Harrell. Also coaching in renaissance music with Suzanne Bloch, daughter of composer Ernest Bloch.
Mats plays the ‘Grützmacher’ Rocca (Joseph Antonius Rocca 1857)
Appointed professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1993 (Honorary Associate in 1998),Mats Lidstrom has given masterclasses at conservatories in San Francisco, Cleveland and Oberlin, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, the UK and Sweden. Prior to the Royal Academy, he taught at the Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Mats is the founder of the annual summer course EXPANSION for cellists, which aims to be less of the standard ‘masterclass’ and more about providing the students with technical fundament needed for expressing musical ideas. Hence the motto: ‘Imagination promises musical expression, but a solid technique delivers it’.
SOLOIST WITH ORCHESTRA
As a soloist he has performed and recorded with some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche S.O.Berlin, Czech Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony, with conductors such as André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Litton, Maxim Shostakovitch and Leif Segerstam.
As a chamber musician, Mats has performed in many of the major halls, including Alice Tully Hall and The Y (New York City), Théâtre du Châtelet and Cité de la Musique (Paris), Musikverein (Vienna), Gulbenkian (Lisbon) , Berwald Hall in Stockholm, the University Hall ( hall of the Nobel Peace Prize) in Oslo, and the Barbican-, Wigmore-, Queen Elizabeth- and Royal Festival Halls of London.
His research of the neglected but beautiful repertoire for his instrument, has resulted in several highly acclaimed and award-winning CD’s (including ‘Record of the Month’ and Record of the Week by the BBC Music Mag. and The Guardian, the French Diapason d’Or for the research of the music by Charles Koecholin). He appears as soloist and chamber musician on EMI, Deutsche Grammophone, Decca, BIS, Hyperion, Musica Sveciae, Opus 3, Caprice Records, as well as on his own label CelloLid.com.
The Decca recording of music by Rachmaninoff with V Ashkenazy, released in 2013, continues with Shostakovitch scheduled for September 2015.
TV and RADIO
Several appearances on TV and radio throughout Europe, Japan, S America and the U.S (including guest-appearances on Andy Warhol’s TV show Interiors), at present four times a guest on Radio 3’s In Tune ).
Festivals include Aspen, Kingston, Pensacola (USA), Cello Encounter (Rio de Janeiro) and festivals in Holland, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Mats has worked as Principal Cellist with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Swedish Opera and the Norrköping S O (Sweden). In addition he has worked as guest-principal with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia and St. Martin’s-in-the-fields of London, The Scottish BBC and Royal Scottish National Orchestras,The Royal Concertgebouw, Los Angeles and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, Bergen Philharmonie, Bournemouth- and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, and the major symphony orchestras of Sweden. Mats is currently the solo cellist of Oxford Philomusica, a shared position with fellow cellist Peter Adams.
Mats is a coach for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, also appearing with them as their soloist at The Barbican in 2013 and 2014.
Mats’ compilation of orchestral excerpts for Boosey&Hawkes, The Orchestral Cellist, prompted the founding of his own publishing company CelloLid.com. (distributed worldwide by Spartan Press). Besides his own compositions and transcriptions, it offers the series if Bach was a cellist which lives the fantasy that everything Bach wrote was intended for the cello (the series currently include concertos for one and two cellos, a version for cello and piano of the Italian Concerto and a set of 10 encores transcribed from various Bach works). Its aim is to make cellists focus on more Bach than the solo suites and the gamba sonatas.
Also published by CelloLid.com is his The Essential Warm-up Routine for Cellists, how to warm-up all facets of cello-playing on a daily basis. His 200 page scale book The Beauty of Scales is made possible through a research grant from the Royal Academy of Music (in addition to the standard scales, the book contains chapters on how to practise scales, as well as a selection of additional scales, such as pizzicato-, artificial harmonic-, and blues scales). Currently under way is a compilation of etudes from past cello masters called Heritage.
Compositions include Rigoletto Fantasy for cello and orchestra on Verdi’s opera, Interlude for string quartet and orchestra, Maze of Love for voice, piano and orchestra, Marche Triomphale for two pianos and percussion (GSO 2012 Commission), Carnival in Venice for violin and two cellos (EMI), My Heart Is In The East Raoul Wallenberg In Memoriam for solo cello (performed at the centenary celebrations and at the Swedish Parliament and members of the US Congress, 2012), René Descartes in Stockholm, for solo recorder, The Sea Of Flowers Is Rising Higher, elegy for solo cello in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales (Hyperion), Christmas Cookies for mezzo-soprano and 3 cellos, Suite for solo cello.
For cello and piano:
Suite Tintin – 9 scenes from The Adventures of Tintin (cellolid.com), four sets of pieces for young players (Spooky Pieces, Traffic, Ballroom Dances and Hotel Suite),Concert Suite (extract from his melodrama The Stamp King, premiered at the Wigmore Hall, London Dec.2010, narrated by Sir Terry Waite),Through Windows of Of Thine Age, a Swedish rhapsody (for Prime Minister Olof Palme, premiered at the WIgmore Hall Dec.2011), four Love Songs, and Le Cygne, in honour of Camille Saint-Saëns. The most recently published work (Feb.2015) is Aphrodite’s Rock, a Mediterranean souvenir for solo cello.
Of the many transcriptions for cello as well as other instrumental combinations, composers include Bach, Schumann, Kreisler, Scriabine, Gershwin and Cole Porter. For his Suite de Pulcinella (cello and piano version of the 1949 orchestral score), Lidstrom has obtained a performance license from the Stravinsky Estate. Currently in preparation for publication is a suite for cello and piano of J-Ph Rameau’s Castor et Pollux through research of both the 1737 and 1754 versions, as an attempt to add Rameau to cellist’s repertoire. Mats’ transcription of Air vif from Les Boréades has been recorded for Hyperion.
During the 2004-05 season, Mats Lidstrom was the Artistic Director of the festival From Sweden in London, the greatest undertaking for Swedish classical music abroad by the Swedish Government. His passion for repertoire choices and music history in general resulted in an orchestral and chamber music festival which produced 35 concerts all performed in the major venues of London.
Ps. His ancestor on his father’s side, Rickard Dybeck, wrote the Swedish national anthem.