April 28, 2009
DALLAS (SMU) – Sebastien Hurtaud, a 29-year-old virtuoso studying for the Artist Certificate in cello at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, won first prize in the 7th Adam International Cello Festival and Competition held recently in Christchurch, New Zealand. He also won the special Bach Prize for best performance of a work by Bach.
Hurtaud won the top prize in the competition, which is considered one of the most prestigious in the world, with a performance of Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto, Opus 107, accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony under the baton of maestro Werner Andres Albert. He was chosen the winner by a distinguished five-member international jury including Frans Helmerson of Sweden, Alexander Ivashkin and Natalia Pavlutskaya of Russia, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt of Germany and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi of Japan.
Hurtaud is a student of Andres Diaz, Associate Professor of Cello at the Meadows School and international recording artist.
A native of La Rochelle, France, Hurtaud graduated from the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris and the Manchester Royal Northern College of Music, winning awards at both schools. He also has attended master classes with Rostropovich, Alexander Rudin, and many other world-renowned cellists. Active as a soloist and chamber musician since the age of 15, he has performed in major concert halls and international festivals in Europe, Asia, New Zealand and the U.S. and by invitation with numerous orchestras. In 2008, he won third place in the Naumburg International Cello Competition.
First prize in the Adam Cello Competition includes a cash award, a recording contract with Naxos, and a performance contract with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Approximately 100 cellists from around the world applied to play at the week-long competition, which is held every other year. Twenty were selected to compete. Former prize winners have gone on to careers as leading performers and teachers worldwide.
Sebastien Hurtaud will present a free recital at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 3 in O’Donnell Hall, Room 2130 of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. For more information, call 214-768-1951.