Christine Walevska

Christine Walevska has been center stage in the cello world ever since her first international concert appearances at the age of eighteen. Those early triumphs inspired the sort of accolades normally reserved for star performers of mature years. Typical of the tributes was the comment by the Los Angeles music critic Patterson Greene: “She parallels on the cello the singular persuasiveness of Fritz Kreisler on the violin.”

The first to spot her remarkable talent was her father, a dealer in rare violins and cellos. He not only became her first teacher, he set her on the path, at the early age of thirteen, to studying with the celebrated Gregor Piatigorsky.

That was only the beginning. When she was sixteen she won a French government scholarship to study with the great Maurice Marechal at the Paris Conservatoire. Two years later she became the first American ever to win first prize there in both chamber and cello music.

Her rise was meteoric, beginning her career in Germany where in her second season she played 45 concerts in that country alone. Following a series of International triumphs, including heralded appearances at Buenos Aires’ famed Theatro Colon, where she performed a Recital, the Brahms double concerto with Henryk Szeryng and the Dvorak cello concerto in the same week to rave notices, there soon followed a round of appearances that sounded like a roll-call of the great European cities.

Over four decades of concertizing across the globe she has played with orchestras throughout Germany, the United States, France, in every corner of Spain, Poland, Mexico, Central and South America,(where she has brought music to every big city or small, wherever there is a concert hall with an orchestra or piano to accompany her) in Holland with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Hague, in the Concertgebouw, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, Vienna, Italy, Prague, Cuba, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dresdener Philharmonic, concerts in Japan, Honk Kong, China and Taiwan.

Her playing was greatly admired by Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Grumiaux. Arthur Rubinstein said of her. “… Christine Walevska has the most sensuous tone I have ever heard on the cello… She is the only cellist, who takes my breath away…”

Claudio Arrau, yet another from the ranks of great pianists, said: “… Christine Walevska is the world’s greatest cellist..”

Many composers have dedicated works to her, including Aram Kachaturian, Ferde Grofe (title: “Christine”), Jose Bragato and Ennio Bolognini, who wanted her to be the only cellist to continue to play his compositions.

The violinist, Josef Suk, Dvorak’s great grandson, wrote to her and stated that her interpretation of Dvorak’s cello concerto was the greatest he had ever heard. He invented her to play it at the Prague Spring Festival and she has played since with the Suk Chamber Orchestra in the concerts: “Jewels of the Prague Castle.”

The recording she made with the London Philharmonic of the Dvorak concerto was celebrated in a book by Prof. Fabio Uccelli: El Commiato de Anton Dvorak, (Dvorak’s Farewell), published in Florence. Entirely devoted to analyzing this work in depth. The book analyzes phrase by phrase her interpretation with that of Rostropovitch. Because of this book, during the Dvorak anniversary year, 2004, she had a wave of invitations to play the concerto everywhere from Beijing to Brazil. She played to the concerto three times with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The book is dedicated to Christine Walevska as: “the world’s greatest interpreter of Dvorak’s cello concerto.”

In 2015 the Museum of Chimei in Taiwan, with a generous grant, sponsored a recording in Montreal. The five CD boxed set titled ”The Walevska’s Legendary Recordings” has all seventeen cello concertos, which were originally produced by Phillips.

From 2016-18, she gave concerts in Carnegie Hall with Jerzy Stryniak, as well as in Lugano and Varignana Music Festival with Alexander Romanovsky. In 2016, she was the honoree for the National Women’s History Museum, in Washington D.C. and given an award inscribed “Women Making History.” In December 2017, during her Asian tour, she was made “The Honorary Artist of The Guangzhou Opera House”.

She will tour Asia in March 2019, and a CD recording, entitled “Christine Walevska and Argentine Friends,” will be released by “Fundacion El Sonido y El Tiempo Internacional”.  The Argentine compositions on this CD were performed in Los Angeles and New York during 2018.