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Biography

Hailed by the Times as ‘a prodigious talent, that could blossom in any direction she chooses,’ and by renowned composer John Williams as ‘an extraordinary actor and consummate musician,’ Sophie Kauer’s cello playing is characterised by the ‘beautiful, sensual depths’ of its tone (Die Zeit), ‘impeccable technique and deep musicality’ (Richard Balcombe). With her debut EP, Unsung, recently released by Deutsche Grammophon, she became the youngest artist to reach no 1 on the Classical On-Demand Audio Streaming Chart. She is a Classic FM ‘Rising Star,’ and was chosen by the Times as the Classical Breakthrough nominee for the 2023 South Bank Sky Arts Awards. She was named ‘One to Watch’ by People Magazine and a ‘Rising Star of Stage and Screen for 2023’ by the Evening Standard. 

Sophie came to international attention when she was selected from hundreds of cellists worldwide for a leading role in the film TÁR, written and directed by Todd Field and starring Cate Blanchett. Sophie’s performance was praised as ‘a standout’ (The Face), ‘scene-stealing’ (Variety) and ‘star-making’(TotalFilm) and won her the Huading Best Supporting Actress award. Sophie played live in the film alongside the Dresdner Philharmonie, with her solos from the Elgar cello concerto described as ‘terrific’ by Leonard Slatkin, and by the Telegraph as ‘one of the highlights of the film’. She also later recorded music for the soundtrack album with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Natalie Murray Beale. Released by Deutsche Grammophon, it went to No.1 in the US Classical Billboard chart. 

Recent and upcoming highlights include solo and chamber music performances at the Stage+ Bach300 Festival in Leipzig, alongside Lang Lang, Daniel Hope and Albrecht Meyer, also broadcast on ARTE, Festspillene in Bergen alongside Amalie Stalheim, Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 with Ensemble Esperanza and Alondra de la Parra at the Paax GNP Festival in Mexico, the Elgar Cello Concerto with Gordon Hamilton and the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Shostakovich Cello Concerto no. 1 with Sergey Smbatyan and the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and Rebecca Miller and the Royal Orchestra Society, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with Phillip Ellis and Surrey Mozart Players and solo and chamber recitals in Oslo as part of the Kalkmølla Kulturstasjon, Blaafarveværket, FRAM and Rotary concert series in Oslo Konserthus. She also co organised a chamber music festival celebrating works by female composers at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. 

Sophie has performed live on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, ZDF’s MOMA Cafe and RBB as well as having been interviewed widely in the international print and broadcast media including the Times, Telegraph, New York Times, Die Zeit, Arte Magazin, Aftenposten, Gramophon, Strad, The Face, BBC News, SWR3, NRK, TV4, BR-Klassik, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Sveriges Radio and NRK radio. She receives a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and participates in the Intensive Music Weeks and activities offered by the Academy. She is also a Hattori Foundation Junior Award recipient, Dextra Musica Artist and has been fortunate to receive masterclasses from Andreas Brantelid, Henrik Brendstrup, Thomas Carroll, Vilde Frang, Alban Gerhardt Johannes Goritizki, Anssi Karttunen, Henning Kraggerud, Jacob Shaw, Kian Soltani, Troels Svane and Raphael Wallfisch. 

Born in London in 2001, to a British-German family, Sophie began playing the cello aged 8 and, just 18 months later, was accepted into the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music where she held a scholarship and had won all available prizes by the age of 16. From 13 to 18 years old she was also a private student of distinguished cello professor, Melissa Phelps and leading collaborative pianist and coach Alison Rhind. She is currently studying at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, in the class of world-renowned cellist Torleif Thedeén. She also receives contemporary music coaching from Peter Herresthal and duo coaching from Per Lundberg.

Sophie plays a modern cello made by Ragnar Hayn in 2020. 

 

642 words
© Sophie Kauer, June 2024
Not to be altered without prior permission. 

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