Our music world has undergone subtle and profound changes during the course of my career. It has become less of an art than a business and we musicians have had to adapt to a much more commercial industry in order to survive. We are living in an age now where PR, social media and YouTube presence has become more important than excellence, devotion and commitment to any musical ideals.
Against this background it has become ever more important for me to uphold a life of musical rigor and diligence, both for my own peace of mind and as a vain attempt to set an example for my students (and my children). I have always loved the process of practicing just as much as the end of playing concerts. The effort that goes into sculpting a musical phrase holds endless fascination for me; every morning is spent behind my cello, the only question being whether it happens before or after the equally important six mile daily run. If I am able to begin each day with these two activities before anything else can distract me then the augurs are good for the rest of the day.
My musical mantra has always been “clarity and depth”, and the necessity that every note has meaning and purpose. To this end I have remained faithful, even while recognizing that (as one of my musical colleagues once teased me) “you don’t get paid for practicing”. I have a beautiful Gofriller cello which I have owned since 1983, why would I not love practicing?
Colin Carr appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. He has played with major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Montréal and all the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. Conductors with whom he has worked include Rattle, Gergiev, Dutoit, Elder, Skrowasczewski and Marriner. He has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms and has twice toured Australia.
With his duo partner Thomas Sauer he has played recitals throughout the United States and Europe including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Wigmore Hall in London. 2016 sees them playing a program of Britten and Adès for both the Chamber Music Societies of New York and Philadelphia. Colin has played complete cycles of the Bach Solo Suites at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Gardner Museum in Boston and in Montreal, Toronto, Ottowa and Vancouver.
As a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio, he recorded and toured extensively for 20 years. Chamber music plays an important role in his musical life. He is a frequent visitor to international chamber music festivals worldwide and has appeared often as a guest with the Guarneri and Emerson string quartets and with New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Recent CD releases include the complete Bach suites on the Wigmore Live label and the complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations on the MSR Classics label with Thomas Sauer. Colin is the winner of many prestigious international awards, including First Prize in the Naumburg Competition, the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award, Second Prize in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition and also winner of the Young Concert Artists competition.
He first played the cello at the age of five. Three years later he went to the Yehudi Menuhin School, where he studied with Maurice Gendron and later William Pleeth. He was made a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1998, having been on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston for 16 years. In 1998, St. John’s College, Oxford created the post of “Musician in Residence” for him, and in September 2002 he became a professor at Stony Brook University in New York.
Colin’s cello was made by Matteo Gofriller in Venice in 1730. He makes his home with his wife Caroline and 3 children, Clifford, Frankie and Anya, in an old house outside Oxford.