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David Cohen

  • Cellist


David Cohen reviews

"The lavishly talented David Cohen has been Principal Cello of the Philharmonia Orchestra since 2001 and has impressed in that role In tackling the Everest of cello concerts, Dvorak's, Cohen scaled its heights impressively and ardently, and also with a poise and rhapsody, without imposing on the music. the concerto had been as well-prepared as the overture and symphony (meticulously); rarely has it been so apparent as to how the writing for woodwinds and horns complements the cellist and what a feast it is in itself. This was a wonderfully integrated performance (beautifully balanced, Dohnanyi occasionally visibly restraining the brass), one of teamwork and virtuoso solos…that revealed the work's depth and scale as well as its craft, heart, nostalgia, stirring rhetoric and sadness." Classical Source, 2009

"It was an uplifting first half but no doubt the star of the show was still to come as 28-year-old Belgian cellist David Cohen showed just why as an up and coming teenager he had impressed the mighty Rostropovich enough to be offered a place in the cello sextet the great man was organising to tour Germany with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Cohen, the youngest principal cello to be appointed by the Philharmonia Orchestra when he took up the position in 2002, played Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme with his heart and it captivated the Dome faithful. BPO oboe supremo Alun Derbyshire and flautist Christine Messiter both did well to keep pace with his wonderful virtuoso playing and Cohen acknowledged the fact when he presented his bouquet to the excellent Messiter. That was a mighty act to follow but what better than Mozart to send the audience out into the damp night air with a spring in their step?" (Philharmonia/Brighton Dome) 2008

"… Witold Lutoslawski's Cello Concerto, written for Mstislav Rostropovich in 1970, has been taken up by surprisingly few colleagues. Perhaps the dedicatee was a hard act to follow, or perhaps it is just that Lutoslawski has gone out of fashion since he died in 1994, but as presented by the orchestra's principal cellist David Cohen it won over and thrilled its listeners. While the composer used to play down the dramatic metaphors with which he once described it to Rostropovich, the music unfolds like a gripping narrative. The soloist plays for several minutes, until the trumpets launch an aggressive series of interruptions. Then he has to raise his game as the full orchestra picks a fight. In a final show of defiance, the orchestral music becomes deliberately grotesque, in a way that belies Lutoslawski's usual delicate touch and sounds dated. But the cello's role remains fresh and affecting. (Philharmonia/Queen Elizabeth Hall) Independent, March 2007

" Cohen gave a deeply moving, highly accomplished and wonderfully musical reading. Embracing the technicalities with masterful ease, he empathised totally with both conductor and accompanying musicians, conveying all the emotions of Elgar's fine composition without resorting to any of the excessive physical histrionics we sometimes associate with concerto soloists....a truly unique musician." (Worthing Symphony Orchestra) 2007

"A real musical sensation….expertly performed in a performance which had everything, life, feeling, accuracy and a real sense there here were two great musicians enjoying what they were doing." Leicestershire Mercury 2006

"Cohen demonstrated considerable abilities as well as poetic and mature qualities…the audience was holding their breath for five long seconds after the last chord" Classical Source, 2005

Cohen’s musicality and his prizewinning virtuosity…” The Times, 2004

"From where i was sitting the cello part resounded sonorously throughout, subtlety of phrasing and finesses were apparent." Rutland Times, 2003

"David Cohen gives a warm, rich and mellow in tone account of Lalo's concerto, his playing demonstrates total commitment, combining vitality with expressive feeling in the most spontaneous manner." The Strad, 2002

"David Cohen performs with striking style and a wonderfully expressive reading of Bach's cello suites. His tone colour was warm and full yet never overdone, articulation was immaculately clean, phrasing was perfectly judged and his control of the lightning string crossing and running scales in the gigue was beyond reproach. Schubert's arpeggione sonata had an irresistible lightness of touch, coloured with real passion in the more intense moments." The Strad, 2001