Bartholomew LaFollette - Cello

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 on the Champs Hill label, with Gramophone praising its "technical finesse and interpretative insight" and The Strad describing "The dolce at the end of the Adagio is heart-wrenching."

 

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, Norway.

 

Most recent performances have included a live radio broadcast of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic (on 6 hours notice), chamber music appearances with Nicola Benedetti, as well as a series of concerts with the acclaimed Danish String Quartet around the USA and Canada. Bartholomew also joined the Sitkovetsky Trio on tour throughout Australia where they recieved reviews such as "When LaFollette played the theme first heard in the piano, with a glassy faraway look and invested it with soulful meaning, the audience was in the trio's thrall." June 2019 saw Bartholomew perform at Anthony Marwood's and Richard Lester's beloved Peasmarsh Festival, as well as a return to La Mariette in France, and earlier this year Festival de los Siete Lagos, Argentina.

 

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

 

As a YCAT artist (Young Classical Artists Trust) from 2007-2011, Bartholomew gave numerous performances at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, Royal Festival Hall, 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.

 

Born in Philadelphia, Bartholomew LaFollette has lived in Britain since the age of 13. He trained at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and later the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. At the age of twenty-six he was appointed Professor of Cello at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Bartholomew is artistic director of the Marryat Players International Chamber Music Festival, now in its fifth year, which takes place in Wimbledon Village.

 

Bartholomew plays a Giovanni Dollenz cello from 1841 and an F.X.Tourte from 1790 for which he is particularly grateful to the Stradivari Trust.