The career of award-winning cellist Jan Vogler is marked by a balance between a strong classical foundation and a drive to push creative and sonic boundaries. After joining the Staatskapelle Dresden as principal cello at age 20, the youngest player in the history of the orchestra to hold that position, he honed his skills with the ensemble for more than a decade before leaving to take up a solo career. Vogler has since performed with renowned conductors and internationally acclaimed orchestras around the world, with music ranging from staples of the repertoire to new commissions.
Driven by the collaborative process between musician and composer, Jan has premiered works by Grammy-nominated Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian, with the WDR Sinfonieorchester led by Semyon Bychkov, and Dresden composer Udo Zimmermann, with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Kristjan Järvi. Along with his wife, violinist Mira Wang, he has also given the world premieres of two double concertos: in 2010, they premiered Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner John Harbison’s Double Concerto with the Boston Symphony under the baton of Carlos Kalmar, and last season gave the premiere of Grawemeyer Award-winner Wolfgang Rihm’s Duo Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
The 2017-18 season sees Vogler circling the globe with characteristic adaptability. Following the North American premiere of his project “New Worlds” with actor Bill Murray, Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Perez, Vogler brings the musical-literary program to the Chicago Symphony Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall among other notable venues. In the fall of 2017, Vogler reunites with regular recital partner Martin Stadtfeld, and tours the Brahms Double Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In the spring, Vogler returns to Dresden to resume his post as Intendant of the Dresdner Musikfestspiele.
During the spring of the 2016-17 season he performed the Britten Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra led by young Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno, and presented the same piece in Taiwan with Lan Shui leading the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. In Korea, Vogler played the Dvořák Concerto with the KSB Orchestra led by Yoel Levi. He reprised his recorded account of the Schumann Concerto with Ivor Bolton and the Dresden Festival Orchestra in Hamburg’s magnificent new Elbphilharmonie, before taking it to St. Petersburg for a performance with the Mariinsky Orchestra led by Valery Gergiev. After performing Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo in December with Eliahu Inbal leading the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, he played the piece again at Venice’s Teatro la Fenice with up-and-coming Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber, and he joined Spanish conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech for the Elgar Concerto with both of the ensembles he helms: the Staatskapelle Halle in Cologne and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. On the recital stage Vogler collaborated on repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Shostakovich with three celebrated pianists: Hélène Grimaud, Lise de la Salle and Martin Stadtfeld, with whom he toured Germany during the 2015-2016 season.
Highlights of recent seasons include concerts with the Boston Symphony conducted by Andris Nelsons, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra led by Alain Altinoglu, the Dresden Philharmonic with Juanjo Mena, the Leipzig Radio Orchestra led by Kristjan Järvi, and the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg under the baton of Ivor Bolton. Vogler has also performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
A prolific recording artist who records exclusively for the SONY Classical label, Vogler released the multi-faceted Tchaikovsky in 2016, a disc that includes not only the Variations on a Rococo Theme, with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony led by Andrés Orozco-Estrada, but also the “Souvenir de Florence” String Sextet and Vogler’s arrangement for cello and orchestra of Tchaikovsky’s Sérénade Mélancolique. Later that year, the versatile cellist released a historically-informed performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto played on gut strings, with the Dresden Festival Orchestra under Ivor Bolton. Vogler’s wide-ranging discography also includes Concerti di Venezia with the La Folia Baroque Orchestra, a transcription of Schumann’s Dichterliebe with celebrated French pianist and regular recital partner Hélène Grimaud, the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the New York Philharmonic under David Robertson, concertos by Elliott Carter and Udo Zimmermann with conductor Kristjan Järvi and the Bavarian Radio Symphony, and his critically lauded recording of Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, which earned him a 2014 ECHO Klassik award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
Vogler followed in the footsteps of great cellists Julius Klengel, Gregor Piatiagorsky and Emanuel Fuermann, studying the style of the German Cello School, a tradition he brought with him when he first came to the Marlboro Festival from East Berlin in 1988. This experience served as the foundation for the Moritzburg Festival, which he founded in 1993 with Kai Vogler and Peter Bruns. While emphasizing innovation and experimentation, the Festival is also home to the Moritzburg Festival Academy, a two-week workshop for young musicians. Vogler’s dedication to musical excellence continues in his role as Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival, convening great artists from diverse cultural traditions.
In addition to a rich performance and organizational career, Vogler continues to seek inspiration from new sources, drawing from experiences with musical colleagues, composers, and other artists. Voglers most recent project, “New Worlds,” brings together chamber music and literature for a multi-disciplinary experience of poetry, prose, and songs from around the world. Vogler performs with violinist Mira Wang, pianist Vanessa Perez and actor Bill Murray. Discover “New Worlds” with Jan Vogler, Bill Murray and Friends.