Colin Carr



Competition Winner

Born: 1957 (Liverpool, U.K.)

Colin Carr, winner of the 1981 Naumburg Cello Award, is renowned as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and educator, has showcased his talents on stages across the globe. He has performed with prominent orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony, along with those in major cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montreal, and others in Australia and New Zealand. Distinguished conductors like Rattle, Gergiev, Dutoit, Elder, Skrowasczewski, and Marriner have all collaborated with him.

Carr is a regular feature at the BBC Proms and has undertaken two tours across Australia. Alongside his duo partner, Thomas Sauer, Carr has delighted audiences in the United States and Europe with recitals in places like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Wigmore Hall in London. In 2016, they presented a program of Britten and Adès to the Chamber Music Societies of both New York and Philadelphia.

Known for his interpretation of the Bach Solo Suites, Carr has performed the complete cycles at prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall in London, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Gardner Museum in Boston, and various locations in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

For two decades, Carr contributed as a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, recording and touring extensively. He is a regular feature at international chamber music festivals and has made frequent guest appearances with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York.

His recent discography includes the complete Bach suites under the Wigmore Live label and Beethoven's complete Sonatas and Variations with Thomas Sauer on the MSR Classics label.

In addition to winning the Naumburg Cello Award, Carr is also the recipient of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, the Second Prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition, and the Young Concert Artists competition.

Carr began his studying the cello at the age of five, later studying with Maurice Gendron and William Pleeth at the Yehudi Menuhin School. In 1998, he became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, following a 16-year tenure at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The same year, St. John’s College, Oxford appointed him as their "Musician in Residence". Subsequently, in September 2002, he accepted a professorship at Stony Brook University in New York.

As part of his Naumburg prize, Colin Carr was given a commissioned work, Richard Wernick's Sonata for Cello and Piano, Portraits of Antiquity, that received its premiere on December 9, 1983 in Alice Tully Hall. (See review below)

Excerpt from The New York Times review, December 9, 1983

Concert: Colin Carr, Cellist

"Colin Carr, the young British cellist who won the Naumburg Competition two years ago, paid a visit to Alice Tully Hall Monday night. Mr. Carr's playing was versatile to the point of contradiction. In the Bach Solo Suite in C, for example, all the resonant possibilities of modern cello sound were summoned...the Debussy Sonata, on the other hand, was deft, tightly controlled and especially notable for its delicately tuned harmonics.

Richard Wernick's Sonata for Cello and Piano: ''Portraits of Antiquity'' had its first New York performance here. With its grim, wide-leaping lines, Mr. Wernick's music..was  an attractive touch of mystery in the slow movement's finger cymbals and plucked piano strings and also some nicely transparent sound colors in the finale.

The other pieces were Schumann's ''Fantasiest"ucke'' (Op. 73) and the Mendelssohn Duo Sonata in D. Mr. Carr played them forcefully, as did his elegant-sounding partner at the piano throughout the evening, Julian Jacobson." Bernard Holland


1981 Cello Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

Richard Wernick: Portraits of Antiquity: Sonata for Cello and Piano

Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

1981 Philip Naumburg Solo Recording Prize (Colin Carr)

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