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Bartholomew LaFollette

 

violoncello

   

 

"LaFollette is an easy and graceful performer, and showed a rhythmically nimble facility of movement. He was as free in touching the heartstrings as he was in dashing off dazzling runs."

Irish Times, National Concert Hall, Dublin with the Irish Chamber Orchestra

 

Biography

 

"Technical finesse and interpretative insight." Gramophone 2017

“The dolce at the end of the Adagio is heart-wrenching." The Strad 2017

Bartholomew LaFollette has a rich and varied career as an international solo cellist and chamber musician. His debut CD of Brahms’s Sonatas for Cello and Four Serious Songs, with pianist Caroline Palmer, was released to great critical acclaim in October 2017 on the Champs Hill label.

As a YCAT artist (Young Classical Artists Trust) Bartholomew gave numerous performances at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, Royal Festival, and Bridgewater halls. He went on to win first prize at The Arts Club's and Decca Records' inaugural Classical Music Award. Bartholomew was also the first recipient of the Irish Chamber Orchestra's Ardán Award.

Hailed by the Irish Times for being “as free in touching the heartstrings as he was in dashing off dazzling runs”, Bartholomew's highlights with orchestra include performances of Dvořák's Cello Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Walton and Elgar Cello Concertos in the Barbican Hall, as well as appearing as soloist with the City of London Sinfonia. He has also performed Brahms’s Double Concerto with Daniel Stabrawa and the Poznań Philharmonic in Poland, Elgar's Cello Concerto at the Sibelius International Music Festival in Helsinki and Shostakovich 1 with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. This year Bartholomew made his Romanian debut at the 'Vibrate!' festival in Brasov in June.  July and August saw a tour with the Danish String Quartet in the USA and Canada, as well as playing and teaching in courses (La Mariette & The Thinking Musician) and concerts in France and Italy. Plans for next year include a debut recital in Argentina.

Bartholomew’s musical collaborations have included Anthony Marwood, Christian Tetzlaff, Alina Ibragimova and András Keller. He works with the award-winning Doric String Quartet with whom he recorded Eric Wolfgang Korngold's string sextet for the Chandos label.

Born in Philadelphia, Bartholomew LaFollette has lived in Britain since the age of 13. At the age of twenty-six he was appointed Principal Cello Teacher at the distinguished Yehudi Menuhin School. Bartholomew is artistic director of the Marryat Players International Chamber Music Festival, now in its fourth year, which takes place in Wimbledon Village.

 
WHEN LAFOLLETTE PLAYED THE THEME, FIRST HEARD ON THE PIANO, WITH A GLASSY FARAWAY LOOK AND INVESTED IT WITH SOULFUL MEANING THE AUDIENCE WAS IN THE TRIO’S THRALL

LAFOLLETTE GETS THE GONG FOR HIS MELTING TONE AND SUPERB LYRICISM, AND FOR MAKING THE AUDIENCE CHUCKLE INWARDLY WHENEVER HE SAVAGELY LIBERATED LOOSE BOW HAIRS WITH HIS TEETH
- Gillian Wills, Limelight Magazine

EXPRESSIVE AND ARTICULATE, LAFOLLETTE PERFORMED LARGELY FROM MEMORY; CLEARLY ENJOYING THE ACOUSTIC OF THE ELISABETH MURDOCH HALL HIS MUSIC-MAKING WAS NOTABLY FREE, IMAGINATIVE AND INTELLIGENT
- David Barmby, Limelight Magazine
— Reviews after a Musica Viva tour of Australia as guest cellist of the Sitkovetsky Trio. July 2017
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Bartholomew LaFollette and Caroline Palmer: Debut CD on the Champs Hill label out now!

 

 

Reviewed by The Strad Magazine, November 2017

"...and here [he] plays these sombre works in Daniil Shafran's arrangement, shading his sound with all the subtle nuances of the human voice."

"The opening of the F major Sonata soars inspiringly... The dolce at the end of the Adagio is heart-wrenching."

"The recording, made in the music room at Champs Hill in Sussex, is of a very high quality, with every detail of the timbre of LaFollette's 1841 Dollenz cello rewardingly audible."
 

Reviewed by Gramophone Magazine, October 2017

"Technical finesse and interpretative insight."

"Where the E minor sonata is darkly lit and melancholic, the F major sonata is boldly ardent. LaFollette and Palmer revel in the distinction."

"The cellist’s supple phrasing, variegated tone and sensitivity to harmonic incident draw one directly into the music’s interior drama."

Available on iTunes or listen on Spotify

 

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