Amanda Forsyth, cello

The effusive critical acclaim for cellist Amanda Forsyth’s playing and technique is as varied as the range she displays as an internationally in-demand soloist, chamber musician and principal cello of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. Critics have praised her vibrant, assertive and energetic sound while also hailing her as a warm, lyrical, articulate and gracious musician. In all roles, she is noted as a performer of distinction and dedication with impeccable technique and command.

In January 2014 Ms. Forsyth will tour the US as a featured soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with concerts in Newport News, VA, Fairfax, VA, Louisville, KY, Carmel, IN, Los Angeles, CA, Palm Desert, CA, Santa Barbara, CA and San Diego, CA. She will make her Carnegie Hall debut in March 2014 with the Israel Philharmonic, traveling with the orchestra to perform in West Palm Beach, FL.

In addition to frequent performances and tours with the Royal Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, she regularly performs with such orchestras as Orchestre Radio de France, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra including their summer tour of Mediterranean island venues in 2011. In the US she has performed with the San Diego, Colorado and Grand Rapids Symphonies and toured with the Dallas Symphony in both Texas and on its tour of Florida, and with the Oregon Symphony. She made her debut at the Moscow Conservatory in 2009 returning with the Moscow Virtuosi in both Moscow and St Petersburg in 2011 for performances that were filmed for national television broadcast. In June 2012 Ms. Forsyth appeared with the Mariinsky Orchestra in St Petersburg conducted by Valery Gergiev and was reengaged as part of the reopening of the hall in 2013. Her performances with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra have earned critical acclaim and she has performed return engagements in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sichuan, Shenyang and Beijing.

Ms. Forsyth returns to her position as principal cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra for the 2013-14 season following a year-long sabbatical. She will be the featured soloist in March 2014 performing a double concerto composed by her late father, Dr. Malcolm Forsyth. She has performed and recorded her father’s compositions throughout her career, winning a Juno Award in 1997 for her recording of his cello concerto Elektra Rising.

As a founding member of the Zukerman ChamberPlayers she has visited Germany, Israel, Italy, Finland, Holland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Turkey, and cities such as London, Vienna, Paris, Belgrade, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Warsaw and Barcelona, and performed for the Petra Conference for Nobel Laureates in Jordan. In addition this ensemble has had a series in New York at the 92nd Street Y and has performed several South American tours. In March 2013 Ms. Forsyth returned to Asia with the ensemble for concerts in Taiwan, China and Japan followed by concerts in Santa Monica, CA and Scottsdale, AZ Summer festival appearances included Ravinia, Tanglewood, Verbier and Edinburgh in 2013. She has appeared regularly at Japan’s Miyazaki Festival and in May 2011 she appeared in gala fundraising concerts following the Japanese earthquake disaster. In late 2013 Ms Forsyth will return to Australia for performances with the Sydney Symphony, the West Australian Symphony and the Adelaide Symphony.

Born in South Africa, Ms. Forsyth moved to Canada as a child and began playing cello at age three. She became a protégé of William Pleeth in London, and later studied with Harvey Shapiro at the Juilliard School. After two seasons with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra she became the youngest principal ever selected by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra–a post she occupied for six years. She was appointed principal cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1998.

Ms. Forsyth’s recordings appear on the Sony Classics, Naxos, Altara, Fanfare, Marquis, Pro Arte and CBC labels. In 2002 she was the subject of the Bravo! Canada television documentary Amanda Rising: The Amanda Forsyth Story. The program followed Ms. Forsyth’s life from her early years as a young South African immigrant to her later success on the international music scene. In 2007 Ms. Forsyth featured prominently on Wynton Marsalis’s soundtrack for The War, Ken Burns’s widely-acclaimed World War II documentary filmed for PBS.

Outside of the concert hall, Ms. Forsyth is an enthusiastic and accomplished combat karate practitioner who currently holds her red belt in the sport. Ms. Forsyth performs on a rare 1699 Italian cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore.