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christian elliott cello


Canadian cellist Christian Elliott enjoys a diverse career as chamber musician, soloist, arranger, and composer. Upon the recommendation of Steven Isserlis, and after a brief trial period, Christian joined the Zehetmair Quartet in 2014, renowned for its performances from memory.


Christian has played with the Quartet at Europe’s most celebrated venues including the Lucerne Festival, London Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Barcelona Palau de la Música, and at the Edinburgh International Festival.


From 2016 to 2022 Christian served as Principal Cellist of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, with whom he appeared as soloist and director, and is a regular guest principal cellist with orchestras throughout the U.K. He has given concerto premieres of works by Ian Wilson and Kevin Malone, and his performance of Barber's cello concerto at 24 hours' notice was praised as "note-perfect, displaying obvious feeling for its neo-Romantic idiom".

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Christian is also the cellist of the Phoenix Piano Trio, whose latest disc The Leipzig Circle has met with critical acclaim. He is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals throughout the U.K. and Europe, collaborating with musicians such as Jörg Widmann, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Florian Donderer, Philippe Cassard, Emmanuel Ceysson, Brett Dean, the Hebrides Ensemble, Huw Watkins, Jacqueline Shave, Nicholas Daniel, Tim Ridout, the Sacconi String Quartet, and Red Note Ensemble. Christian also has a recurring duo with pianist Robin Green.

As a composer, Christian premiered his own string sextet composition at the Wigmore Hall in July 2012, commissioned to commemorate the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar’s 40th anniversary. Other commissions include a work for the Francoise-Green Piano Duo and a solo viola work for Ruth Killius. Christian was invited to perform his own solo cello pieces and multi-track arrangements at the Spike Alternative Cello Festival in Dublin in February 2020, and at the Harrogate International Festival in July 2023 in a programme entitled Android Summer.

Christian is deeply passionate about integrating music into communities, participating in workshops at secondary schools and giving performances at hospitals, care homes, meditation centres, and food banks.


In a new artistic collaboration with Cumnock Tryst and Sir James Macmillan, Christian will be participating in workshops for young composers and musicians, and will be involved in new initiatives and projects with Cumnock Tryst unveiled in 2024.


Christian offers a transcription and arrangement service, notating music by ear from recorded samples on request. To request this service please get in touch. He also records for film and television; his playing will be featured on an upcoming series by AppleTV.


Born in Ottawa, Christian began his musical studies with his father, guitarist Garry Elliott, at the age of nine. When he was 13 he had the opportunity to learn the cello with Pawel Szymczyk-Marjanovic. He furthered his studies with Don Whitton and Thomas Wiebe, before taking his Bachelors degree at McGill University in Montreal with Matt Haimovitz. While studying at McGill University, Christian played with the Lloyd Carr-Harris String Quartet, touring Canada, the U.S.A., Italy, and the U.K. after winning Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2005. Subsequently he studied at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music with Hannah Roberts and Ralph Kirshbaum, taking part in masterclasses with Steven Isserlis, Frans Helmerson, Bernard Greenhouse, and Miklós Perenyi.

Photography by Gerard Collect, Marshall Light Studio, Alison Hutcheson

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