Lionel Cottet joins the Orchestra as 1st cello soloist on 1 September 2022.
Born in Geneva in 1987, Lionel Cottet studied at the Juilliard School in New York, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Hochschule in Zürich and the Conservatoire Supérieur de Genève with Joel Krosnick, Clemens Hagen, Thomas Grossenbacher and François Guye.
Appointed principal cellist of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra) in 2016, he also leads a career as a soloist and chamber musician on the greatest international stages: Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonic, and Vienna Musikverein. He has performed with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Russian National Orchestra conducted by Pletnev, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne (the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra), the Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen and the Musikkollegium Winterthur Orchestra. As a chamber music enthusiast, he has performed at the most important festivals: Marlboro, Bergen, Verbier, and Gstaad, alongside artists including Perlman, Uchida, Levit and in a duo with Schwizgebel-Wang. He has also played with the 12 cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker (the Berlin Philharmonic) as well as within this legendary orchestra.
A winner of numerous international competitions (Lutosławski Competition in Warsaw, Brahms Competition in Austria, and Astral Artist Auditions in Philadelphia) and a finalist in the Eurovision Competition, he is also a laureate of the Swiss Ambassador's Award, a Soloist of the Migros Culture Percentage and a scholarship holder of the Leenards and Wilsdorf foundations.
As a true ambassador of music, Lionel Cottet participates in various awareness-raising programmes for schools and communities that have limited access to classical music. He plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello from 1852.