Mats Lidström, cellist
Mats studied with Maja Vogl at the Gothenburg Conservatoire for six years before continuing with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins for four years at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts. He has studied chamber music with Claus Adam, founder-member of the Juilliard String Quartet (and a student of Emmanuel Feuermann), Alexander Schneider (violinist with the legendary Budapest String Quartet), Misha Schneider (student of Julius Klengel), Joseph Fuchs and William Lincer (principal violist of the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini and Bernstein for 29 years). He had further cello coaching with Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker and Lynn Harrell; and also coaching in renaissance music with Suzanne Bloch, daughter of composer Ernest Bloch.
Mats plays the ‘Grützmacher’ Rocca (Joseph Antonius Rocca 1857).
Appointed professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1993, and an Honorary Associate in 1998, Mats Lidstrom has given masterclasses at conservatories in San Francisco, Cleveland and Oberlin, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, the UK and Sweden. He previously taught at Gothenburg University.
Mats is the founder of the annual summer course EXPANSION for cellists, which aims to be less of the standard ‘masterclass’ and more about providing the students with technical fundament needed for expressing musical ideas. Hence its motto: 'Imagination promises musical expression, but a solid technique delivers it'.
As a soloist he has performed and recorded with some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche SO Berlin, Czech Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Symphony, with conductors such as André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Litton, Maxim Shostakovitch and Leif Segerstam.
As a chamber musician Mats has performed in many of the major halls, including Alice Tully Hall and The Y (New York City), Théâtre du Châtelet and Cité de la Musique (Paris), Musikverein (Vienna), Gulbenkian (Lisbon), the Royal Palace and the Berwald Hall of Stockholm, University Hall (hall of the Nobel Peace Prize) in Oslo, and Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, the Purcell Room, The Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, and both St Paul’s and Southwark Cathedrals in London.
Mats’s research of neglected repertoire for his instrument has resulted in several highly acclaimed and award-winning CDs. Awards including Record of the Month and Record of the Week by the BBC Music Magazine and The Guardian, and the French Diapason d’Or for his research on the music by Charles Koechlin). He appears as soloist and chamber musician on EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, BIS, Hyperion, Musica Sveciae, Opus 3, Caprice Records, as well as on his own label CelloLid.com.
Mats has made appearances on TV and radio throughout Europe, Japan, South America and the US (including guest appearances on Andy Warhol’s TV show Interiors), and several times as guest on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.
Mats has worked as Principal Cellist with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Swedish Opera and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. In addition he has worked as guest-principal with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia and St Martin in the Fields, The Scottish BBC and Royal Scottish National Orchestras, The Royal Concertgebouw, Los Angeles and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, Bergen Philharmonie, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, and the major symphony orchestras of Sweden. Mats is currently solo cellist with the Oxford Philharmonic and Soloists.
Mats is a coach with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, appearing with them as their soloist at the Barbican in 2013 and 2014.
Mats’s compilation of orchestral excerpts for Boosey & Hawkes, The Orchestral Cellist, prompted the founding of his own publishing company CelloLid.com. Besides his own compositions and transcriptions, it offers the series if Bach was a cellist which lives the fantasy that everything Bach wrote was intended for the cello (the series currently include concertos for one and two cellos, a version for cello and piano of the Italian Concerto and a set of ten encores transcribed from various Bach works). Its aim is to make cellists focus on more Bach than the solo suites and the gamba sonatas.
Also published by CelloLid.com is his The Essential Warm-up Routine for Cellists, how to warm-up all facets of cello-playing on a daily basis. His 180 page scale book The Beauty of Scales was made possible through a research grant from the Royal Academy of Music (in addition to the standard scales, the book contains chapters on how to practise scales, as well as a selection of additional scales, such as pizzicato-, artificial harmonic-, and blues scales).
Compositions include Rigoletto Fantasy for cello and orchestra on Verdi’s opera, Interlude for string quartet and orchestra, Maze of Love for voice, piano and orchestra, Marche Triomphale for two pianos and percussion (GSO 2012 Commission), Carnival in Venice for violin and two cellos (EMI), My Heart Is In The East Raoul Wallenberg In Memoriam for solo cello (performed at the centenary celebrations and at the Swedish Parliament and members of the US Congress and as a ballet performed in 2014 at the Cadogan Hall in London), René Descartes in Stockholm, for solo recorder, The Sea Of Flowers Is Rising Higher, elegy for solo cello in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales (Hyperion), Christmas Cookies for mezzo-soprano and 3 cellos, Suite for solo cello.
Mats’s pieces for cello and piano include Suite Tintin - 9 scenes from The Adventures of Tintin (cellolid.com), four sets of pieces for young players (Spooky Pieces, Traffic, Ballroom Dances and Hotel Suite), Concert Suite (extract from his melodrama The Stamp King, premiered at the Wigmore Hall in December 2010, narrated by Sir Terry Waite), Through Windows of Of Thine Age, a Swedish rhapsody (for Prime Minister Olof Palme, premiered at the WIgmore Hall December 2011), four Love Songs, and Le Cygne, in honour of Camille Saint-Saëns. Aphrodite's Rock, a Mediterranean souvenir for solo cello was published in February 2015.
Of the many transcriptions for cello as well as other instrumental combinations, composers include Bach, Schumann, Kreisler, Scriabine, Gershwin and Cole Porter. For his Suite de Pulcinella (cello and piano version of the 1949 orchestral score), Mats has obtained a performance license from the Stravinsky Estate. Currently in preparation for publication is a suite for cello and piano of Rameau's Castor et Pollux through research of both the 1737 and 1754 versions. Mats’s transcription of Air vif from Les Boréades has been recorded for Hyperion.
Mats was the Artistic Director of the festival From Sweden in London in 2004-5, the greatest undertaking for Swedish classical music abroad by the Swedish Government with a total of 35 concerts in the major venues of London.
His ancestor on his father’s side, Rickard Dybeck, wrote the Swedish national anthem.