Sæunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello

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“Charismatic” (New York Times) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir recently made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for which the LA Times praised her for her “emotional intensity”. Following the release of her debut recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello, she has performed solo with the Toronto and Iceland Symphonies as well as in some of the world s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall. Sæunn returns to Sonoma for a second year as Weill Hall Artist in Residence at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.

A versatile artist, the 2014-2015 season includes solo recitals with San Francisco Performances Salons at the Rex and the Embassy Series in Washington, DC, a return to Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music Sessions, performances of the Ligeti Concerto with Argento Ensemble, as well as concerts in the US and Europe with the Manhattan Piano Trio.  An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets and has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured.

Along with the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th century, Sæunn is constantly inspired by works composed in our time and enjoys working with living composers.  In addition to working closely with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition “Bow to String”, she has premiered dozens of works, including new pieces by Peter Schikele, Paul Schoenfield, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir and Kendall Briggs.  

Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the 2008 Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya L. Carey, Colin Carr and Joel Krosnick.