Heinrich Schiff

Austrian Cellist and Conductor (Gmunden, 1951 - Vienna, 2016 )

Heinrich Schiff taught cello to Gautier Capuçon, Richard Harwood and Victor Julien-Laferrière. He left behind the definitive recordings of Bach's Suites and concertos by Schumann and Shostakovich.

After studying with Tobias Kühne and André Navarra, Heinrich Schiff began his solo career, playing in Vienna and London in 1971. Afterwards, he performed with the most prestigious orchestras in the world, on stage and at festivals in Europe, North America and Japan. He played alongside famous conductors such as Abbado, Celibidache, Chailly, Dohnanyi, Eschenbach, Gielen, Haitink, Harnoncourt, Jansons, Masur, Rattle, Salonen, Sawallisch, Sinopoli, Tennstedt and Welser-Most.

Heinrich Schiff increasingly devoted himself to conducting in the last twenty-five years of his career. He conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Philharmonia, the Orchestre de Paris, the Oslo and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Munich Philharmonic. He acted as Principal Conductor or guest conductor for orchestras such as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Northern Sinfonia, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Winterthur Musikkollegium, the Linz Brucknerorchester and the Vienna KammerOrchester.

Heinrich Schiff left behind a rich catalogue of definitive recordings of important cello repertoire: Vivaldi and Haydn, as well as Lutoslawski and Zimmermann are all included. His recordings of Bach's solo cello suites and Shostakovich's concertos won awards, but he was always very interested in playing twentieth and twenty-first century works, which he performed live and recorded. He collaborated with Luciano Berio, Hans Werner Henze, Ernst Krenek, Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Matthias Pintscher, Wolfgang Rihm and Hans Zender, among others

Six Landmark Dates in the Life of Heinrich Schiff 

  • 1961: Started learning the cello 
  • 1986: Started to conduct 
  • from 1990 to 1996: Worked as Artistic Director of the Northern Sinfonia 
  • from 1996 to 1999: Conducted the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra 
  • from 2005 to 2008: Conducted the Vienna Chamber Orchestra 
  • 2012: Retired from his career as cello soloists

Six Key Works by Heinrich Schiff 

  • J.S. Bach : Suites for Solo Cello (EMI Classic)
  • D. Shostakovich : Concertos for Cello (Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Maxim Shostakovich, DECCA)
  • A. Dvořák : Concerto for Cello (Vienna Philharmonic, André Previn, PHILIPS)
  • R. Schumann : Concerto for Cello (Berlin Philharmonic, Bernard Haitink, PHILIPS)
  • L. van Beethoven : Works for Cello and Piano (Till Fellner, BRILLIANT CLASSICS)
  • Duos from Bach to Ravel ( Frank Peter Zimmermann, ECM)