Described in The Times as ‘searching, searing and sublime,’ cellist Christoph Richter performs as soloist and chamber musician throughout the world, with invitations from musicians such as András Schiff, Miriam Fried and Isabelle Faust, festivals including the Salzburg Festival and Marlboro Festival in the US, and composers such as Heinz Holliger and György Kurtág.
He was born into a family of musicians and took piano and cello lessons as a child, and when the legendary pedagogue André Navarra heard him play at the age of 15 he invited him to become his youngest ever student. After graduating with the highest honours he won a state scholarship which enabled him to fulfil a childhood dream to take private lessons with the world-renowned cellist Pierre Fournier, whom he had heard in a recital at the age of 11. He was a prizewinner at international competitions including the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, Rostropovich competition in Paris and the Geneva competition, which led to concertos with many leading orchestras.
Aged just 23 he was appointed as principal cellist of the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg (now NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra) where he worked with the celebrated conductor Günter Wand. A few years later he met the Hungarian virtuoso violinist and conductor Sándor Végh leading to a lifelong passion for chamber music, in particular the string quartet. He joined the Cherubini Quartet with whom he toured throughout the world. After seven years with the orchestra, he left to become Professor of cello at the Folkwang University in Essen.
In 1994 Richter gave the World Premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s Introduction, Theme and Variations for cello and orchestra at the Salzburg Festival. His strong interest in contemporary music has led him to work with composers such as Penderecki, Kurtág, Henze, Lachenmann, Holliger, Reimann and Widmann. He has performed the complete works for cello of Brahms and Webern (2008), Beethoven (2009 & 2015), Mendelssohn (2010), Bach (2013) and Schumann (2017) in London. Amongst his recordings are works by Schumann and Holliger for ECM, Klengel concertos for cpo, Mozart Divertimento for Naxos and the Brahms Sextet op.36 for Harmonia Mundi, which received the Diapason D’Or in 2014.
Richter is Professor of cello at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany and the Royal Academy of Music in London. He gives regular masterclasses at the European Chamber Music Academy, ChamberStudio in London, and Ravinia Festival in the US, and is frequently invited to festivals in Europe, the US and further afield. He is often invited as a jury member for international competitions including in London, Vienna, Weimar and Trondheim.