Alexander Malofeev

Alexander Malofeev
Alexander Malofeev, pianist (b. 2001, Moscow). Photo by Liudmila Malofeeva

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cellist Sebastian Fritsch wins Tonali 2018

Sebastian Fritsch performs at the Tonali final at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie

The 21-year-old German cellist Sebastian Fritsch took home the first prize and audience prize in Hamburg competition with performance of Schumann concerto

Sebastian Fritsch, from Stuttgart, is the winner of the 2018 Tonali competition, taking the €10,000 first prize, plus additional €3,000 audience prize.

Fritsch, who studies with Jean-Guihen Queyras at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, performed the Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor in the final at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie concert hall, with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen conducted by Joshua Weilerstein.

He also won the Mariinsky Orchestra special prize, which will see him perform as part of The Stars of the White Nights festival in St Petersburg.

Runner-up Bryan Cheng, and third placed Manuel Lipstein won €5,000 and €3,000 respectively.

Held annually, the Tonali competition concentrates each year on one of three instruments: violin, cello and piano. Open to musicians residing in Germany between the ages of 16 and 21, the contest includes community performance elements, matching each of its 12 finalists with a different local school.


Sebastian Fritsch, born in Stuttgart in 1996, has been studying cello with Professor Jean-Guihen Queyras at the University of Music Freiburg since 2014, where he was awarded a scholarship from the Helene Rosenberg Foundation. He also receives a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein, and participates in the intensive music weeks held there.

The young cellist has gained further musical insights from working with musicians such as Jens Peter Maintz, Wen-Sinn Yang, Maria Kliegel and Lucas Fels. He also continues to work with Lisa Neßling, who has taught him for many years.

Sebastian Fritsch has been a finalist and won prizes in various national and international competitions. As a soloist he has already performed Haydn's cello concertos, Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, the Saint-Saëns cello concerto and the Dvorak cello concerto with orchestras including the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Matthias Foremny. He has also been invited to perform at the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam, the Salzburg Festival, at the opening of the Illertissen Music Festival "Junge Talente – Stars von Morgen" and at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

The young cellist met his chamber music partners Rosa Wember (violin) and Robert Neumann (piano) in the class for exceptionally gifted young musicians at the Stuttgart School of Music. Together with Rosa Wember, he founded the "Stuttgarter Kammerduo" in 2010, with which he has performed in several countries, including the USA, Italy and Germany. In 2015 the duo accompanied the Vienna Boys' Choir on tour and were accepted into the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation's "Live Music Now" scholarship programme.

Sebastian Fritsch plays a Thorsten Theis cello built in 2015.

Source: (September 2016)

More photos

See also

Sebastian Fritsch plays Robert Schumann and Bohuslav Martinů (HD 1080p)

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