Field of Art: Cellist
“Charismatic” (New York Times) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir recently made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for which the LA Times praised her for her “emotional intensity”. Following the release of her recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello, last season she performed in some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall.
A versatile cellist, Saeunn’s 2013-2014 season includes debuts as soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Quad City Symphony in Iowa; an inaugural season as cellist of the Manhattan Piano Trio including a debut performance at the Chautauqua Music Festival; a performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as cellist in the group Decoda; a performer in composer David Lang’s collected stories project at Carnegie Hall; and being named the 2013-2014 -in-Residence at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center in California.
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets and has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. She is a founding member of Decoda; a group that seeks to revitalize the world of chamber music through refreshing concert experiences, creative education, and community engagement.
Along with the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th century, Sæunn is constantly inspired by works composed in our time and enjoys working with living composers. In addition to working closely with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition “Bow to String”, she has premiered dozens of works, including new pieces by Peter Schikele, Paul Schoenfield, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir and Kendall Briggs.
Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the 2008 Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya L. Carey and Joel Krosnick.
Sæunn is a graduate of The Academy, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to students in the New York City Public Schools. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York, Stony Brook as a student of Colin Carr.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Sæunn lives in New York City.