Britten An American Overture
Schumann Cello Concerto
Elgar Symphony No1
The German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens has rapidly distinguished himself as a conductor of magnificent quality since devoting himself full-time to his craft in 2007. At the start of the 2009/10 season he took up his appointment as Music Director of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Ludwigshafen, which has been an appointment of unqualified success and was most recently honoured with an ECHO award for “Best Orchestra” in 2015 in response to their recording of Zimmerman in the modern music festival of Steffens’ conception “Modern Times”. Undertaking huge surveys of repertoire with his orchestra,, he is currently engaged in a Bruckner cycle that takes him through the coming season. Additionally, Steffens is in huge demand as a guest conductor. The past two seasons have seen his debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic (Beethoven, Schubert and Zimmerman), Munich Philharmonic (Elgar), Vienna Symphony (Beethoven and Cesar Franck), Philharmonia (Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Mahler), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Danish Radio, Helsinki Philharmonia, and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. He has additionally visited the City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, and Halle orchestras in the UK, the Bamberg Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, and the Radio Symphony orchestras of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Stuttgart. 15/16 will see debuts in Torino and Lisbon, with the orchestra of Maggio Musicale in Florence, and returns to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Monte Carlo. His debut with the Philharmonia orchestra in two sensational late-hour substitutions has resulted in a deep connection that will see him conduct the orchestra regularly both in their London season and on tour abroad.
Described by The Times as “one of the most exciting cellists to have emerged for a decade”, Andrei Ionita won First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, and prizes at the ARD, Emanuel Feuermann and Aram Khachaturian competitions. In 2016 he was named a BBC New Generation Artist for the period 2016-2018.
Andrei has already performed concertos with the Münchner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Mariinsky Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; working with conductors such as Valeriy Gergiev, Mikhail Pletnev and Nicholas Collon.
The 2017/18 season sees Andrei debut with the The Hallé and San Diego Symphony (both with Cristian Macelaru), BBC Philharmonic (with Yan Pascal Tortelier), Rochester Philharmonic and Hamburger Symphoniker. He will also return to the MDR Sinfonieorchester and tour Europe with the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic. In recital he has performed at Carnegie Hall, on tour in Japan, and at the Kissinger Sommer, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein festivals. This season includes a return to Carnegie Hall, his Wigmore Hall debut, and dates at the Verbier Festival and Konzerthaus Berlin.
Born in 1994 in Bucharest, Andrei began taking piano lessons at the age of five and received his first cello lesson three years later. He studied under Ani-Marie Paladi at the Iosif Sava Music School in Bucharest and Professor Jens Peter Maintz at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, where he currently resides.
Andrei is a scholarship recipient of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and performs on a violoncello made by Giovanni Battista Rogeri from Brescia in 1671, generously on loan from the foundation.