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Xavier Phillips

Xavier Phillips is a French cellist known for his critically acclaimed recordings of Beethoven, Offenbach, and Shostakovich. Also dedicated to passing on his knowledge to younger generations, he is a professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Sion in Lausanne, and a guest lecturer. He was born in Paris, in 1971, and he began learning the cello at six years old from Jacqueline Heuclin. From 1986 to 1989, he continued his cello studies with Philippe Muller at the Paris Conservatory. After his graduation, he won top prizes in several competitions including the Rostropovich competition in Paris. This led to a 12-year-long period of mentorship and collaboration with master cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. Phillips’ career as a recording artist began in 1997 with the release of Magnard: Sonata for cello in A; Trio and Prokofiev, Chostakovitch, Schnittke: Cello Sonatas, and he made his debut with the Orchestre de Paris in 2001. With violinist Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, he recorded several albums in the 2000s, including Kodály: Duo, Op. 7; Sonate, Op. 8, Armenia, and Maurice Ravel: Impressions. Phillips also performed as a guest soloist with many major ensembles in Europe and North America, including the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Orchestra. He became a professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Sion in Lausanne in 2013, and he also teaches masterclasses at other locations and establishments. His 2015 release Dutilleux: Symphony No. 1; Tout Un Monde Lointain; The Shadows of Time with Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony earned three Grammy Award nominations. That same year, he also released Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello & Piano with pianist François-Frederic Guy, which received the Gramophone Editor’s Choice designation. In 2016, he collaborated with David Grimal and Les Dissonances on Shostakovich: Cello Concerto; Symphony 5, and he also released Offenbach: 6 Cello Duos with cellist Anne Gastinel. His most recent recordings include Brahms: Trio, Op. 114; Sonatas, Op. 120 from 2021, and the 2023 release Fauré: L'Oeuvre pour Violoncelle et Piano.
© RJ Lambert /TiVo
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