Esther Saladin, a young Swiss cellist and scholarship alumna of the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie, is a multi-facetted musician indeed: As soloist and chamber musician, her performances run the gamut from the standard repertoire to 20th-century classical music and 21st-century works. Her artistic pursuits give pride of place to freely improvised music and projects transcending fixed definitions of segments or styles. In addition, Esther Saladin performs as the cellist of the Améi Quartet, which devotes itself primarily to premiering and reciting contemporary works.
Raised in a family of musicians in Zurich, she began taking cello and piano lessons while still a toddler. Her first formative teachers were Reto Cuonz and Rebecca Firth (cello), as well as Lorenz Rey and Margie Wu (piano). Her early solo recitals, which featured cello concerti by Camille Saint-Saëns and Joseph Haydn as well as Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch, gave Esther Saladin significant encouragement, spurring her on in her desire to pursue a musical career.
Esther Saladin then went on to study under Conradin Brotbek at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart until 2012, while gaining additional, valuable insights from master classes with Wen-Sinn Yang, Claude Starck, Martina Schucan, and Emilio Colon. Also in 2012, she graduated with honors from the State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart, earning a Master’s Degree in Cello Contemporary Music. This was followed by a highly formative year as member and scholarship student at the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Esther Saladin has earned prizes and awards in a number of competitions; these include the First Prize at the Jecklin Kammermusiktreffen in Zurich 2003 and, more recently, the 2012 Sponsorship Prize from the Polytechnische Gesellschaft foundation (together with the Améi Quartet, formerly known as the IEMA Quartet), as well as Second Place at the 2013 Boris Pergamenshikov Prize for Chamber Music.
Her current projects include concerts at the Tonhalle in Zurich; at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe; in collaboration with the radio stations WDR and Deutschlandfunk Köln; at the Cologne Philharmonic; at the Staatstheater in Wiesbaden (with the Ensemble Modern); at the Gaudeamus Music Festival in Utrecht (Netherlands); and at the Teatro Comunale di Bolzano (Italy). These concerts were conducted by the likes of Marc Kissóczy, Massimiliano Matesic, Johannes Kalitzke, and Christof Brunner. As in the past, her musical endeavors continue to be enhanced and stimulated by collaborations with composers such as Nicolaus A. Huber, Helmut Lachenmann, and Manfred Stahnke, as well as many emerging, young composers.
Esther Saladin currently lives and works as a freelance musician in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.