About Gabriel Schwabe
German cellist Gabriel Schwabe has been among the fastest-rising stars of his instrument, earning critical comparisons to such greats of the past as Emanuel Feuermann, in whose namesake competition a Schwabe win touched off the young player's impressive run of contest victories. Schwabe was born in Berlin in 1988; his background is German and Spanish. His mother was a piano teacher, and he absorbed a great deal of music in her studio when students came for lessons, and soon took up the piano himself. He later switched to the violin and was finally drawn to the cello, enrolling at the University of the Arts in Berlin, where he studied with Catalin Ilea. Schwabe moved on to the Kronberg Academy and the teaching of Frans Helmerson, and he took master classes with Janos Starker, Gidon Kremer, and Gary Hoffman. Even as a teen, Schwabe was winning important competitions: after the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann in 2006, he won the German National Music Competition the following year and the Pierre Fournier Award in London in 2009.
Both concerto appearances and chamber music performances have been represented in Schwabe's concert career since then. He has played the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and has appeared with Britain's Philharmonia Orchestra as well as the resurgent NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. In chamber concerts he has collaborated with such A-listers as Isabelle Faust, Christian Tetzlaff, Albrecht Mayer, Lars Vogt, Kirill Gerstein, Jonathan Gilad, and Nicolai Gerassimez, with whom he gave his recital debut at London's Wigmore Hall in 2010. Schwabe has appeared at major festivals in Europe and beyond, including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, Kronberg Festival, Amsterdam Biennale, and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Signed to the Naxos label in 2015, Schwabe released a Brahms recital with pianist Nicholas Rimmer. His relationship with Naxos is an exclusive one, and a 2017 album devoted to the complete works for cello and orchestra of Camille Saint-Saëns won critical praise. In 2018, Schwabe released a recording of Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129, with the Royal Northern Sinfonia under conductor Lars Vogt. ~ James Manheim