Tim Posner cellist

Tim Posner, cellist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music and who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Both of my parents are musicians – my mum is a cellist (and my teacher until I was 14) and my dad a violist. There was always music at home and I went to their concerts from a very early age. As a child I was more interested in becoming an opera singer but cello took over when my voice broke. The two biggest musical influences in my life have been my brilliant teacher Leonid Gorokhov, from whom I’ve learnt so much, and Steven Isserlis, whose remarkable playing and inspiring lessons have affected me so profoundly.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

I think it’s difficult for most young musicians to find their voice and way in today’s profession especially having had the interruption of Covid. I feel very lucky to have a circle of friends and musicians with whom I play that have helped me overcome these various challenges.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

The performances I’m most proud of are a recent recital in Switzerland as part of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad festival and a performance of Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata at Wigmore during the IMS Prussia Cove tour earlier this season. In terms of recordings, the video recordings I did of some of Goldberg Variations and Mozart Divertimento with The Teyber Trio.

Which particular works/composers do you think you perform best?

I have a lot of favorite composers but I feel really at home playing Haydn and Mendelssohn. I also feel very connected to Russian and Jewish music which I find incredibly liberating to play.

What do you do off stage that provides inspiration on stage?

The better I know the whole score, the more freedom I have to be expressive on stage.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

There’s so much music that I love that I haven’t yet played which I’m keen to programme. I try to make cohesive programmes and I’ve also become increasingly interested in including contemporary music.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

Probably a very common answer – Wigmore Hall. The best acoustic I’ve ever played in and it’s such a special place. I also love both halls of the Concertgebouw and the Kölner Philharmonie.

What do you feel needs to be done to grow classical music’s audiences?

I think we can always do more in education – it’s so important to introduce children to classical music at a young age in order for it to be more accessible.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

It’s difficult to list one, but the aforementioned performance of Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata was very emotional and has stayed with me.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Getting to play the music one loves most with inspiring friends/colleagues.

What advice would you give to young/aspiring musicians?

Enjoy playing – music is the best thing in the world! It can be easy to forget why we went into the profession with the frequent distractions and difficulties that prevent themselves. I think it’s important to remember that we’re playing because we love music and that’s all that really matters.

What do you feel needs to be done to grow classical music’s audiences?

Obviously this is a big talking point within the industry and understandably so. Classical music needs to feel more accessible and we need to take down some of the barriers that make it seem otherwise. An investment in education is also crucial for the longevity of our profession.

What’s next? Where would you like to be in 10 years?

The next big thing for me is a CD recording of concertos with the Bern Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland. I love the variety of playing I do, and whilst chamber music is my biggest passion, I hope to continue doing a mix of these things over the next years.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Playing Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann etc with my favorite friends and musicians.

Cellist Tim Posner performs at this year’s Winchester Chamber Music Festival. More info

In 2018, Tim Posner became the first British cellist ever to be awarded a prize at the International Karl Davidov Competition in Latvia. Born in 1995, Tim has performed as soloist with orchestras including the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players with conductors such as Andrew Manze. Highlights of the 2022/23 season include a recording of Cipriani Potter’s Concertante with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the IMS Open Chamber Music tour and recital debuts in the Concertgebouw and Gstaad.

As a chamber musician, Tim plays in various ensembles and in 2010 founded The Teyber Trio with violinist, Tim Crawford and violist, Timothy Ridout, with whom he continues to perform internationally. He has performed at chamber music festivals including the IMS Prussia Cove (OpenChamber Music), Molyvos International Music Festival, Kronberg Chamber Music Connects the World, Musikdorf Ernen, Lewes, Peasmarsh and Cheltenham festivals. As a chamber musician hehas collaborated with musicians such as Sir Andras Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Lars Vogt, Alasdair Beatson, Anthony Marwood, and the Doric Quartet.

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