“The warmth and specificity of expression in this disc are such that nobody’s winter should be without it.” Gramophone | La Vida Breve Album
Through an exquisite nuance fresh to the classical music scene, Nadège Rochat enlivens stages worldwide, including Tonhalle Zurich, Vienna’s Musikverein, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Mariinsky Theater II St. Petersburg. As a soloist and in recitals, Nadège is equally adept at performing great pieces of the standard cello repertoire as she is at rediscovering forgotten composers and music from around the world. Rochat is a performer and recording artist, with several first prizes and two very different CDs. The first recording features French music for cello and orchestra, while the second is the product of her “La Vida Breve” project with Guitarist Rafael Aguirre, which focuses on Spanish and South American classical music.
Nadège Rochat is a Franco-Swiss cellist born in Geneva in 1991. She began learning cello at the age of 4 with her aunt Fabienne Diambrini, and later joined the Conservatoire of Geneva as a pupil of Daniel Haefliger. Moving to Cologne at the age of 15, she studied at the Musikhochschule under professor Maria Kliegel. In 2015, Nadège graduated from the Masters programme at the Royal Academy of Music under professor Robert Cohen. Through an Academy internship, she currently serves as pedagogic assistant within the cello department at the Royal Academy of Music.
Solo engagements with orchestras range from venues such as the Konzerthaus Dortmund to the Victoria Hall Geneva. Rochat has been featured with the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Dortmund Philharmonic, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, and the NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk Orchestra), among others. These solo appearances complement recitals in the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Beethoven Haus Bonn, and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Her duo project with guitar “La Vida Breve” took her to Carnegie Hall in New York, the Gasteig Munich, and Vienna’s Konzerthaus.
Nadège’s awards in national and international competitions include first prizes in Swiss and German national competitions for youth (2006, 2007, and 2009), the SUISA foundation Prize for the interpretation of contemporary music (2003 and 2006), and the Klassik Preis of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) for the interpretation of Beethoven 3rd Sonata for Cello and Piano (2009). More recently, Nadège has claimed second prize in the “Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI” international competition (2013), the First Prize, Jury Prize, and Public Prize in the ProCello competition of the Musikhochschule in Cologne (2013), and the May Muckle Prize for Cello at the Royal Academy of Music in London (2015).
Always seeking a deeper understanding of her instrument and music in general, she has participated in numerous masterclasses by musical personalities such as Anner Bijlsma, Christoph Richter, Heinrich Schiff, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Itamar Golan, and Colin Carr.
Nadège gratefully receives scholarship from Dr. Werner Carl Dörken Stiftung and the Mozartgesellschaft Dortmund. Her studies are supported by the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”.
Her first CD (2012) featured the first cello concertos of Edouard Lalo and Darius Milhaud respectively, recorded with the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen under Ola Rudner. In January 2015, together with Spanish guitarist Rafael Aguirre, she released “La Vida Breve,” comprised of her own arrangements of Spanish and South American pieces for cello and guitar. “La Vida Breve” was broadcast throughout European radio (Radio Stephansdom Vienna, Radio Classique Live-Paris, Hessischer Rundfunk, Radio Berlin Brandenburg, etc.)
Outside music, Nadège is passionate about oriental dance as well as Arabic, Asiatic, and European philosophies, as well as the role of permaculture as a means to sustainability. Since the age of 13, the influence of oriental belly dance has awakened a growing interest in foreign cultures in general. It was the arabo-andalusian dance—with its origins in the Moorish occupation of Spain—that introduced Nadège to the Flamenco culture specifically. And so dancing serves the counterpart to playing the cello. Over the last few years, she has also developed a growing interest in permaculture: “…the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems…” (Graham Bell). Nadège strives to apply permaculture principles to her day-to-day life.