He’s still something of an insider’s tip, this 21-year-old cellist. Yet by the time he won first prize at this year’s International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki, Kian Soltani had joined the top rank of today’s new generation of cello soloists, acclaimed for his deep musical passion and complete mastery of the instrument. His earlier first prizes include the Karl Davidoff International Cello Competition in Latvia as well as the International Antonio Janigro Competition in Croatia. In 2013 the Kronberg Academy awarded Soltani the Leyda Ungerer Music Prize.
Born in Bregenz, Austria into an Persian family of musicians, Kian Soltani was only twelve when he was accepted into the class of Ivan Monighetti, with whom he continues to study at the Basle Music Academy. Other strong influences have come from his studies at the International Music Academy of Liechtenstein as well as from renowned artists such as Sol Gabetta, Wolfgang Boettcher, Valter Despalj, Frans Helmerson, Gerhard Mantel, David Geringas, Pieter Wispelwey, Jens Peter Maintz, Antonio Meneses and Bernard Greenhouse.
At the age of 19, Kian Soltani made his successful solo debut in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems.
His appearances as a soloist and chamber musician have included festivals and concerts with leading orchestras and at prominent halls in Europe, Asia and North America (the Vienna Musikverein, Hohenems Schubertiade, Kronberg Cello Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, iPalpiti Festival in Los Angeles, Eilat Chamber Music Festival in Israel, Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival, Next Generation Classic Festival in Bad Ragaz and the Sommets Musicaux of Gstaad). As a soloist, Soltani has appeared with such ensembles as the Zagreb Soloists, the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Arpeggione Chamber Orchestra, Basle Sinfonietta, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jyväskylä Sinfonia and the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and collaborated with conductors including David Geringas, Zlatan Srzic, Sebastian Tewinkel, Ivan Monighetti, Florian Krumpöck, John Storgårds, Yasuo Shinozaki, Jukka Iisakkila and Peter Csaba.
Kian Soltani’s first CD was a collaboration with his teacher Ivan Monighetti in Ireland, where he made world premiere recordings for the LCMS label of works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Franghiz Ali- Zadeh and other composers. The CD “Metamorphoses” appeared in October 2012.
Highlights of this and the coming seasons are a tour of Austria as well as concerts at the Kronberg Cello Festival and the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad.