Andrei Ioniță

“Here is a cellist of superb skill, musical imagination and a commitment to music of our time.” (Gramophone, March 2019)

© Nikolaj Lund


Andrei Ioniță won First Prize at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, and prizes at the ARD, Feuermann and Khachaturian competitions. He was a BBC New Generation Artist between 2016-18.

The 2019-20 season will see Andrei debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Dresden Philharmonie, Bournemouth Symphony and Turku Philharmonic; and return to the Orchestre National de Belgique, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic and Hamburger Symphoniker – the latter for multiple projects as their Artist-in-Residence.

The last two seasons have included concertos with the BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, San Diego Symphony and Royal Scottish National Orchestra; working with conductors such as John Storgårds, Cristian Măcelaru, Sylvain Cambreling, Kent Nagano, Valeriy Gergiev, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Omer Meir Wellber and Mikhail Pletnev.

Recent and future chamber and recital highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall, Carneigie Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Tonhalle Zurich, LAC Lugano and the Verbier, Evian and Enescu Festivals; collaborating with artists such as Martha Argerich, Stephen Hough, Stephen Kovacevich and Seong-Jin Cho.

For the full biography, please download the Publicity Pack.


Performance Schedule

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    19:15 13 Jul 2019 Lichfield Cathedral, LICHFIELD

    EDWARD ELGAR Sea Pictures Op. 37
    DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107
    EDWARD ELGAR Enigma Variations Op. 36

    Conductor: Ainars Rubikis
    Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    Cello: Andrei Ioniță
    Mezzo soprano: Polly Leech

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    18:00 22 Jul 2019 Harris Concert Hall Aspen, USA

    FELIX MENDELSSOHN Piano Trio in D minor No. 1 Op. 49

    Violin: William Hagen
    Cello: Andrei Ioniță
    Piano: Anton Nel

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    18:00 24 Jul 2019 Benedict Music Tent, ASPEN CO

    JOHANNES BRAHMS Double Concerto for violin and violoncello in A minor Op. 102
    SERGEI PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)

    Conductor: Larry Rachleff
    Violin: William Hagen
    Cello: Andrei Ioniță
    Contact: Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra

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    19:00 05 Sep 2019 Turku Concert Hall, TURKU

    PIETRO MASCAGNI Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo
    PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Rococo Variations, Op. 33
    GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 5

    Cello: Andrei Ioniță
    Ensemble: Turku Philharmonic Orchestra

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    19:00 06 Sep 2019 Turku Concert Hall, TURKU

    PIETRO MASCAGNI Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo
    PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Rococo Variations, Op. 33
    GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 5

    Cello: Andrei Ioniță
    Ensemble: Turku Philharmonic Orchestra

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    23 Mar 19 BBC Philharmonic Dvorak Cello Concerto
    Bridgewater Hall

    “Andrei Ioniţă is a Romanian cellist proved to be an ideal interpreter [of the Dvorak Cello Concerto]. He made the music his own and yet seemed to be at one with the orchestra throughout. In a largely undemonstrative manner, Ioniţă gave a highly expressive performance of this most romantic of concertos. He made his cello sing, especially in the wistful second movement, and led the orchestra or blended in with it as required. He acted as accompanist sometimes, and took the limelight at others. He made light of the technical demands of the piece and had the audience hanging on his every note. The orchestral contribution was fine too, with the important woodwind details clearly building up the mood, but the evening was the soloist’s. He rewarded us with an encore: the sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1.”

    Peter Connors, Bachtrack, 24 March 19

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    15 Mar 19 Oblique Strategies
    CD Review

    The recent BBC New Generation Artist’s debut makes for impressive listening. The Romanian delivers a rich-toned, intense reading of Bach — the Cello Suite No 1 — and a passionate performance of Kodaly’s enormous Sonata for Solo Cello. Dean’s technically demanding 11 Oblique Strategies (2014), miniatures inspired by Brian Eno’s and Peter Schmidt’s box of cards from the 1970s, is given with committed aplomb.”

    Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times, 10 March 19

    “Andrei Ioniță is not merely ambitious: the young Romanian is prodigiously gifted, with all of the technique, character and courage to deliver such a programme. A powerful live performer, this recording captures much of his warm intensity.”

    Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine, May 19

    “A remarkable account of Kodály’s Sonata in which Ioniță’s is in the zone. He has a special way with the low-slung melodies of the Adagio and the distinctive sound of his open fifths, vibrating with such fizz, tells of his distinction and charisma as a player.”

    Andrew Mellor, Gramophone, June 19

    “Right from the opening Ioniță’s playing demands attention: the fluid technique, the way his Prelude’s architecture and musical argument is cleverly grown through subtle transformations of articulation and attack, and the fleet figured Courante’s deft balancing of delicacy and danceability. Rarely have I been so impressed on so many fronts by a debut recital album.”

    Charlotte Gardiner, The Strad, June 2019

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    06 Apr 18 San Diego Symphony Elgar Cello Concerto
    Copley Symphony Hall

    “Cellist Andrei Ioniţă announced himself as a major talent with a technically flawless and emotionally profound interpretation of Elgar’s Cello Concerto”

    “Ioniţă displayed an uncanny sureness of intonation and a beauty of tone, no matter how far his fingers traveled on the strings or how high his lines soared…. [and] had a wide range of timbres at his disposal, which he deployed with a probing musicality.”

    Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union Tribune, 7 April 18

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    10 Feb 18 Royal Scottish National Orchestra Schumann Cello Concerto
    Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

    “[The first half’s] most exciting moments came from solo cellist Andrei Ioniță, applying fresh and agile delicacy to Schumann’s Cello Concerto.”

    Ken Walton, The Scotsman, 12 Feb 18

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    27 Nov 17 BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Recital
    Wigmore Hall

    “A performance of remarkable maturity and individuality”

    “Ioniţă delivered the music with great energy and shaped it with waves of dynamic change”

    Barnaby Page, Classical Source, 27 Nov 17

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    26 Oct 15 Tchaikovsky Competition Winners Tour Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1
    Cadogan Hall

    “The 20-year-old Romanian cellist Andrei Ioniță may have been the youngest of the winners in the concert but he also gave the clearest evidence of a fully individual musical personality. His account of Haydn’s C major concerto showed a musician with a sparkling technique and the priceless ability to respond to what is going on around him while he is displaying it.”

    Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 28 Oct 15

    “Andrei Ioniță stepped up to the plate with a gorgeous, nimble, singing interpretation of Haydn’s First Cello Concerto. His sweetness of tone, plumb-centre intonation, and captivatingly fleet fingerwork in the finale, enjoyed by the Mariinsky players, made his performance the pinnacle of the London evening”

    Ismene Brown, Arts Desk, 30 Oct 15

    “One of the most exciting cellists to have emerged for a decade, Andrei Ioniță’s reading of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major coupled an intense beauty of tone with articulation of startling wit and playfulness. Born in Bucharest and trained in Berlin, Ioniță has a soloist’s sound but plays like a chamber musician. Historically informed phrasing, much of it in close dialogue with the leader Stanislav Izmaylov, and creamy double-stopping brought out the best in the orchestra.”

    Anna Picard, The Times, 28 Oct 15


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    Oblique Strategies

    Label: Orchid Classics

    Release Date: 15 Mar 19

    BACH Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV1007
    BRETT DEAN (b.1961) Eleven Oblique Strategies (world premiere recording)
    ZOLTÁN KODÁLY Sonata for solo cello in B minor, Op.8
    SVANTE HENRYSON (b.1963) Black Run (from North American Suite)