Lynn Harrell’s presence is felt throughout the musical world. A consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor and teacher, his work throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia has placed him in the highest echelon of today’s performing artists.
Mr. Harrell’s half-century career has brought him to many leading orchestras including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and the National Symphony. In Europe he partners with the orchestras of London, Munich, Leipzig, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Zürich, and Tel Aviv. He has also performed extensively in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Among others, some esteemed conductor-collaborators throughout Mr. Harrell’s career include James Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, Michael Tilson Thomas and David Zinman.
In recent seasons, Lynn performed domestically with the symphonies of Atlanta, Sydney, and Detroit, and the Metropolian Opera Orchestra to close the season at Carnegie Hall. Abroad, he played alongside the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, China and Seoul philharmonics, Duisberg Symphony, and the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira. He toured North America and Europe with the Mutter-Bronfman-Harrell Trio to venues including Carnegie Hall, the Maison Symphonique de Montreal, the Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus, and Dresden Staatskapelle. His international engagements include adjudicating the XV Tchaikovsky International Competition, concerts with the Seoul Philharmonic and Eliahu Inbal, Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, and performing in the Verbier, Hong Kong International Chamber, Aspen, La Jolla, Eastern Music, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Scotia festivals.
In March 2013 Mr. Harrell premiered Augusta Reed Thomas’ cello concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach, which he then reprised at the 2014 Aspen Festival under Christian Arming, and with the Detroit Symphony and Hannu Lintu in 2015. Two months later, the 92nd Street Y featured Lynn Harrell with the Tokyo String Quartet in their final New York appearance. Lynn has performed at such music festival as Grand Teton and Tanglewood and his ongoing relationship with the Aspen Music Festival spans across over 40 years of summer concerts. In the summer of 1999 Mr. Harrell was featured in a three-week “Lynn Harrell Cello Festival” with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
On April 7, 1994, Lynn Harrell appeared at the Vatican with the Royal Philharmonic in a concert dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. As the Vatican’s first official commemoration of the Holocaust, this historic event was attended by both Pope John Paul II and the Chief Rabbi of Rome. That year Mr. Harrell also appeared live at the Grammy Awards with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, performing an excerpt from their Grammy-nominated recording of the complete Beethoven String Trios (Angel/EMI).
A majorly accomplished recording artist, Lynn Harrell’s extensive discography of more than 30 recordings include the complete Bach Cello Suites (London/Decca), the world-premiere recording of Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Sir Neville Marriner (London/Decca), the Walton Concerto with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI), and the Donald Erb Concerto with Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony (New World). Together with Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mr. Harrell won two GRAMMY© Awards – in 1981 for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio and in 1987 for the complete Beethoven Piano Trios (both Angel/EMI). Also with Mr. Ashkenazy and Pinchas Zukerman, Mr. Harrell recorded the Schubert Trios (London/Decca), released in February 2000 and the Brahms Trios (EMI) in 1994. His May 2000 recording with Nigel Kennedy, “Duos for Violin & Cello,” received unanimous critical acclaim (EMI). More recently, Mr. Harrell recorded Tchaikovsky’s Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo Theme, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Gerard Schwarz conducting (Classico).
In June 2010, along with his wife violinist Helen Nightengale, Lynn founded the HEARTbeats Foundation, a 501(c) charity. Based in Los Angeles, the HEARTbeats Foundation strives to help children in need harness the power of music to better cope with, and recover from, the extreme challenges of poverty and conflict. Mr. Harrell serves as a board officer and Artist Ambassador, a capacity that allows him to work directly with children in need.
Mr. Harrell plays a 2008 Dungey cello. He makes his home in Santa Monica, CA.