Cellist GABRIEL MARTINS has established himself as one of the world’s most enthralling young artists, with a deep commitment to the timeless masterpieces of classical music. His artistry has already been recognized through an extensive list of accolades including the 2020 Concert Artists Guild – Young Classical Artists Trust Grand Prize, the 2020 Sphinx Competition Gold Medal, the David Popper International Cello Competition Gold Medal, the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians Silver Medal, the Schadt String Competition Gold Medal, the Orford Music Award, and the Prague Spring Czech Music Fund Prize. These successes have lead to a number of high-profile debuts including Wigmore, Carnegie, and Merkin Halls, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, and the Arkansas, Memphis, Indianapolis, New Russian State, Pacific, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras. According to legendary cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, he has “revealed heart, passion, intellect, and a finely-nuanced palette of colors in a compelling manner worthy of a seasoned artist.”
For Martins, great masterpieces require great patience and solemnity in order to reveal their true, extraordinary capabilities. His powerful belief in this is what drives his distinctive, emotive performances. In 2021, Martins gave his first complete Bach Suite Cycle, in collaboration with Kaufman Center and the Alphadyne Foundation, where he played all Six Cello Suites back to back in New York City. In the spring of 2022 he will debut his first complete Beethoven Cycle, in collaboration with pianist Audrey Vardanega and the Lakes Area Music Festival, performing and recording all of the works for Cello and Piano. In addition to his commitment to the great classics of the cello repertoire, Martins composes his own works and arranges many others. His “Songs of Solitude” received their World Premiere in the spring of 2021 in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library, and his new cello arrangements of Bach’s Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas have received high acclaim and a feature in The Strad Magazine. Martins’ performances have been broadcast on NPR, WQXR, KUSC, WFMT, and more. He is also a passionate educator, teaching privately and giving a number of masterclasses. He served as a teaching assistant both at the IU Jacobs School of Music and the USC Thornton School of Music, and his students have gone on to achieve major success in competitions and performances around the world.
Born of American and Brazilian heritage, Martins grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. He began playing the cello when he was five, studying with Susan Moses at the Indiana University String Academy. He went on to receive his B.M. as a Presidential Scholar at the USC Thornton School of Music with Ralph Kirshbaum. In his freshman year at USC, he won the school’s concerto competition as well as its Bach competition. He received his M.M. at the New England Conservatory of Music. His festival appearances have included Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, where he was also selected to tour with Miriam Fried, and the Aspen Music Festival, where he won the Concerto Competition. He plays on a composite Francesco Ruggieri cello made in Cremona, c. 1690 and a François Nicolas Voirin bow made in Paris, c. 1880. Martins resides in Boston, Massachusetts with his partner, violinist Geneva Lewis.
About our Rising Stars
ChamberFest Cleveland’s Rising Stars are recognized for their extraordinary talent. They are invited to deepen their connection to the art of chamber music by immersing themselves in the festival, rehearsing side by side with the leading chamber musicians of our time, and performing in a professional concert setting for discerning audiences and critics alike.