“Apollonian-inspired sounds flinging their arms wide, hardly comprehensible in their beauty and spiritual depth,” the Südwest-Presse wrote about the cellist Lionel Martin. “A wonderfully sensitive artist with spontaneous reactions and great imagination,” is Anne-Sophie Mutter’s evaluation of the musician from Tübingen, Germany. His extraordinary soloistic charisma and highly sensitive chamber music playing have made him one of the most sought-after artists of his generation.
Most recently, he won the competition “Ton & Erklärung” in Hanover in 2022, the event’s youngest participant. That same year, he was awarded the Bruno Frey Prize of the Ochsenhausen State Academy of Music. As the winner of the “Prix Young Artist of the Year” at the Festival of Nations in Bad Wörishofen, he performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Festival Orchestra in 2019. He won a first prize at the International Perusia Harmonica Competition; he also achieved the highest possible markings in the federal music competition “Jugend musiziert” no less than six times.
Since 2017, he has been a fellow of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. Together with Anne-Sophie Mutter, he has since appeared at the world’s leading concert halls, such as the Elbphilharmonie, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Vienna’s Konzertverein, the KKL in Lucerne, the Teatro Colón and at Carnegie Hall. In doing so, he has also shared the stage with Lambert Orkis, Daniel Müller-Schott and Daniel Hope.
He regularly performs as a soloist with renowned orchestras, such as the NDR Radio Philharmonic, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra, the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie.
Numerous recitals have taken him to the Lucerne Festival, the Oberstdorf Music Summer and the Beethovenfest in Bonn, among others. He has given concerts with his brother, the pianist Demian Martin, that have been broadcast by BR, hr, SWR, WDR and ARTE. The duo’s ability to spontaneously improvise pieces suggested by the audience has garnered wide-spread media attention.
In 2021, Lionel Martin was chosen for the programme “SWR2 New Talent”. This entailed numerous interviews, recordings and concerts, including as a soloist with the SWR Symphony Orchestra at Stuttgart’s Liederhalle in the summer of 2023. He has been heard on radio stations in Germany and abroad and was chosen by the EBU international programming exchange for its Nseries “Top Young Performers”.
SWR2 also produced Lionel Martin’s debut CD, featuring Tavener’s cello concerto The Protecting Veil and Svyati with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the SWR Vocal Ensemble. It was released in April 2023 on SWR music.
At the age of five, Lionel Martin began studying cello at the Tübingen Music School with Joseph Hasten, who taught him for twelve years. Since 2020 he has been studying with Thomas Grossenbacher at the Zurich Academy of the Arts. Furthermore, he has received major impulses from lessons with Lynn Harrell, Martti Rousi, Jens Peter Maintz, Jan Vogler and Yo-Yo Ma.