Antonio Meneses is represented by Rayfield Allied United Kingdom and sundry territories.
Assistant Artist Manager:
Meneses communicates the joy of the music rather than the challenge to the cellist. His straightforward, nononsense interpretation allows Bach to speak for himselfGeorge Pratt, BBC Music Magazine
Born in Brazil into a family of musicians, Antonio Meneses began his cello studies at the age of ten. He won the first Prize at the 1977 International Competition ARD in Munich and was awarded first Prize and Gold Medal at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
Antonio Meneses has performed with most of the world’s leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre National de France, New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, collaborating with such eminent conductors as von Karajan, Abbado, Sir Andrew Davis, Neeme Järvi, Muti, Rostropovitch and Jansons amongst others.
Throughout his career, Antonio Meneses has recorded with many of the classical industry’s leading artists and orchestras, including two discs with the Berlin Philharmonic/von Karajan (Strauss: Don Quixote and Brahms Double Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter). For the AVIE label, he has recorded the Six Bach Suites for Solo Cello; the complete works for Cello and Piano by Schubert and Schumann with Gérard Wyss; a Beethoven disc with Menahem Pressler; Haydn’s Cello Concertos and the Concertino by Pereira with the Royal Northern Sinfonia; and more recently, a CD of Elgar/Gál Cello Concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia/Claudio Cruz (May 2012), which was nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best Classical Instrumental Solo’. His first recording with Maria João Pires The Wigmore Hall Recital was released in September 2013 for Deutsche Grammophon.
Highlights in 2015/16 included a tour with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, performances in South America, solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall, London and with Maria João Pires in Japan, Europe and at the Puerto Rico Festival.
The beginning of this season sees Antonio Menses perform with Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Fundaçao Gulbenkian.
Antonio Meneses plays a Matteo Goffriller cello made in Venice ca. 1700.
CD Review: Works by Cassadó, Kodály
(AVIE: AV2351), November 2015
Antonio Meneses is truly the bel canto hero of the cello world: no matter how virtuosic or gnarly the music, he sings it with a sonorous beauty of tone and uncompromised resonance only achieved by a chosen few.Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine
A performance that has been crafted down to the tiniest detail, the swirling finale in particular confident and polishes, with every technical trick in the cellist’s book pulled off with panache.Rob Cowan, Gramophone
His mastery is founded on a rhythmic swing that brings with it a generosity of spiritPeter Quantrill, The Strad
Grammy Award-nominated cellist Antonio Meneses’ dazzling virtuosity in on display in the Suite for Solo Cello by Gaspar Cassadó, and two works by Zoltán Kodály [...] Antonio Meneses' brilliance is demonstrated again.Presto Classical
CD Review: Capriccioso / Works for Solo Cello by Piatti, Duport and Popper
(AVIE: AV2328), May 2015
Antonio Meneses has the gift to turn flaxen cloth into shimmering silk.Joanne Talbot, The Strad
… his depth of tone and colour makes Meneses’s survey an excellent reference. […] His performance is informed by the same spirit as the contrasting and thoughtful Ysaye unaccompanied violin sonatas, and creates music out of studies in virtuosity that is a perennial challenge for all musicians. […] His many facets as a musician have been emblazoned across his commanding recording of the Bach Suites and the poetic phrasing in his Haydn: here […] he manages to maintain a thoughtful elegance and unfussy control that brings out the innate beauty of the music at the same time as displaying the multifarious elements of his own artistry.Caroline Gill, Gramophone Magazine
Meneses’ passionate advocacy and beautiful, soft-grained toneMichael Dervan, The Irish Times
Meneses revitalizes what has been dismissed as “mere” competition repertory – music by Jean-Louis Duport, Jean-Pierre Duport, Alfredo Piatti, and David Popper – in order to grant these works well-deserved status in the history of Romantic cello composition’. This ‘highly personal disc’ has caprices rendered with a ‘sweetly lyrical cello tone.Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition
..we get a wonderful artist like Antonio Meneses pouring heart and soul into off-brand merchandise like the 12 Caprices of Alfredo Piatti [...] how beautifully Meneses plays, with a robust, vibrant string tone and nimble technical command across the entire range of the instrument.Joshua Kosman, SFGate
Meneses values the Caprices as technical exercises but also salutes their poetic qualities, and both these elements - the rigorous technique supporting a projection of the varied and expressive qualities inherent in the music - are ones he evokes in his highly persuasive account. [...] Meneses now offers the most persuasive fusion of technique and poetry in the formidable Caprices.Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International Online
An all Beethoven Concert at the Wigmore Hall
with Augustin Dumay and Maria João Pires
Meneses’s refined cello sound [...] the spooky elegance of Meneses’s playingMartin Kettle, The Guardian
the sensitive and thoughtful playing of MenesesIvan Hewett, The Telegraph
The celebrated slow movement of the Ghost was huge, terrifying, because of the imaginative commitment, Dumay taking his tone down to threadiest nothing, Meneses burying himself in the middle, to let the other two risk all in pursuit of something glimpsed in the dark. [...] What a joyful day of music-making.Ismene Brown, theartsdesk.com
The Beethoven Triple Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
With Augustin Dumay, Maria João Pires and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
Lines sang beautifully, and his tone was simply ravishing.Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International
CD: The Wigmore Hall Recital, with Maria João Pires (piano)
Deutsche Grammophon Classics DG 479 0965
Listeners familiar with the […] master of the silver-throated cello Antonio Meneses will no doubt greet this new live release of their joint recital at Wigmore Hall on January 3rd, 2012 with enthusiasm. What they may not have anticipated, […], is the breathtaking quality of this partnership, with its rare fusion of artistic ideals and hand-in-glove collaboration between two seasoned virtuosi of distinct yet compatible temperaments. […] Respond he does, and eloquently, beckoning toward the rich terrain that lies ahead. […] To their great credit, Pires and Meneses weave a gripping narrative that unfolds inevitably during the course of three movements, each vivid in its delineation. Their sonorities are exquisitely matched. Forward motion is so precise that it seems a joint response to common stimuli. […] Certainly, his eloquent framing of the principal theme at the outset contains all the heroism and vulnerability that will unfold during the course of this Allegro non troppo. I honestly don’t know a cellist before the public today whose sound is more satisfying. It seems to emanate from some unnameable region deep within human experience. Vibrato is always discreet and reserved as but one of an array of expressive devices. Even in moments requiring tremendous power, the sound never grows aggressive. We remain riveted to his argument by its sheer beauty of his sound and his commandingly intelligent musicality. Bluntly, we cannot keep our ears off Meneses and it is not extravagance to say that singers would do well to attend him.International Record Review, Outstanding
This live recording of Schubert, Brahms and Mendelssohn pieces captures the remarkable artistry of cellist Antonio Meneses and pianist Maria João Pires. That they speak the same language, musically as well as verbally, is fully manifest in the intimate, conversational nature of the playing, the way in which ideas are shared and shaped instinctively. [...] Meneses’s timbre is beautifully consistent in its warmth and security. The [Arpeggione Sonata's] central Adagio finds Meneses and Pires communing with particular eloquence, with the span of the cello’s long lines delicately supported by telling harmonic touches in the piano’s accompaniment. But all three movements testify to their sensitivity to the music’s scale and expressive vocabulary [...] finding a common but uncommonly compelling voice for Brahms’s passion, assertiveness and serenity. Mendelssohn’s Song without Words Op 109 encapsulates all the elevated qualities that make the disc so special.The Telegraph*****
You’ll wonder what took DG so long to issue this quite exceptional recording [...] I haven’t heard a more riveting performance in years [...] On paper, just another classical release. In your ears, an inimitable experience. Why wasn’t I there?Norman Lebrecht Album of the Week ****
This was without doubt a spellbinding concert. Brazilian Antonio Meneses is a one-off, with a technique of such refinement that he seems to conjure before us an instrument free of gruffness, buzzing or angular imbalances. What better foil for the fragile thread of gold he draws from his cello than the luminous purity of Maria João Pires’s pianism? Their long familiarity with this repertoire results in a sense of quiet entrancement and shared rediscovery. Schubert’sArpeggione is rendered radiant, mesmerising. Both artists are unfailingly precise and elegant, breathing rather than forcing life into sound, without missing the opportunity to etch a phrase more sharply than needed. Seamless control of the line is paramount, and a sense of the organic whole ever-present. It’s an exquisite programme... An Olympian calm underlies Meneses’s reading of the first Sonata... Their ensemble is fabulously supple.BBC Music Magazine (performance **** / recording *****)
Elgar/Gál - Cello Concertos
With the Northern Sinfonia, Claudio Cruz, conductor. AVIE – AV2237 (2012)
Meneses has obviously immersed himself in the challenging solo part to produce a performance of considerable insight and confidence, distinguished by beautiful, aristocratic tone and great sensitivity to the work’s many and sometimes mercurial changes of mood. [...] Meneses invests the work with its full measure of elegiac dignity and poetry - aided, as in the Gál, by the sensitive and responsive playing from the Northern Sinfonia. [...] I would rate this one of the best current versions of the Elgar available [...] Altogether a very strong disc.Calum MacDonald, International Record Review
a superb first recording of [Gál’s] Cello Concerto [...] Fortunately, it could hardly be more eloquently served than here: the commanding Brazilian virtuoso Antonio Meneses surmounts every hurdle with ease [...] Meneses proves immensely assured, big-hearted protagonist, and he forges a winningly characterful partnership with Cruz and the Northern Sinfonia [...] a hugely sympathetic and impressively stylish display. Boasting crystal-clear yet warm-toned sound, this enterprising issue can be welcomed with open arms.Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone
The Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses, accompanied by the Northern Sinfonia under Claudio Cruz, is eloquent and persuasive in the first recording of Hans Gál Cello Concerto.The Times
Meneses' account of Elgar bears up well. From the opening bars he makes it clear that this is going to be a thoughtful, musicianly interpretation. It avoids surrendering to any temptation towards melodrama or showmanshipMusicWeb International
Gloriously impassioned first outing on disc for Han Gál’s Concerto. It’s coupled with majestic ElgarBCC Music Magazine
The opening Allegro moderato has a rhapsodic quality and a taxing cadenza that Meneses plays with tremendous technical assurance and abundant heart. The brief but beautiful Andante features a superb dialogue between the cello and oboe that plays like a double concerto. Meneses and the unnamed oboe soloist take flight in this beautiful idyll and its one of the great moments on the recording. The closing Allegretto is jaunty with a lengthy cadenza that pushes the soloist to explore the full range of the instrument. Meneses triumphs here with another display of virtuosity. This is a marvelous concerto and I can’t understand why it’s not played more often, thankfully Meneses proves to be its great champion. [As for the Elgar Cello Concerto] I am impressed with Meneses’s easy virtuosity. His playing in the quicksilver second movement is breathlessly exciting and the gorgeous cantabile line he spins in the Adagio is beautifulAriama.com
Wigmore Hall recital with Maria João Pires
Schubert Arpeggione Sonata, Brahms 3 Intermezzi, Mendelssohn Song without words and Brahms Cello Sonata No.1
Every twist in the kaleidoscope was executed with extreme finesse…Meneses exposed the dark glory of his cello’s lowest register; dynamics swelled and ebbed like ocean waves; and there was muscle in the finale’s contrapuntal argument.Geoff Brown, The Times
Meneses’ warm sound…a majestically laid-back account of Brahms’s first cello sonata, followed by a Bach Pastorale which showcased the mellow amplitude of Meneses’ sound.Michael Church, The Independent
a player of aristocratic reserve, able to turn a melody with lovely grace…[the Arpeggione Sonata] sits perilously high for the cello, but Meneses tiptoed round its awkward corners with fastidious exactness…his warmly eloquent understatement…close to perfection.Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph
The new year opened in style at Wigmore Hall last night with Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses…Meneses and Pires admirably captured both the surface beauty and the heartache beneath…deeply expressive.Barry Millington, London Evening Standard
Meneses’s natural poise…lent [Brahms’s Cello Sonata No 1] an elegant sheen.Hannah Nepil, Financial Times
Beethoven Cello Sonatas and JS Bach Cello Suite No.1, Maria João Pires, Wigmore Hall
13 April 2011
a performance which brought a real sense of community, of intimately shared music-making. Nobody coughed. I didn’t look at my watch once. And, at the end, I didn’t even want to go home.Hilary Finch, The Times
luminous quality enhanced his stylish rendering of Bach’s First Cello SuiteBarry Millington, London Evening Standard
Haydn and Pereira, Northern Sinfonia,
AVIE AV2176, August 2010
Antonio Meneses’s naturally lyrical style proves perfect for Haydn’s cello concertos, and his technical prowess serves the challenges of the passagework with impressive fluidity. His rather self-effacing virtuosity achieves the ultimate object of allowing the music to speak for itself. (…) Meneses offers a brilliant account of the solo part (Pereira) and again harnesses the orchestral forces with precision in a clear recording.Joanne Talbot, The Strad Magazine
Soirées Internationales (Villa-Lobos, N Boulanger, Camargo Guarnieri and Martinů) Celina S
AVIE 2162, 2009
Meneses (himself and ‘international Brazilian” plays con amore with warm tone (…) Overall, a well-planned and lovingly played recital.Phillip Scott, Fanfare Magazine
Meneses and Szrvinsk have no rivals in Mozart Camargo Guarnieri’s lyrical and vivid First Sonata (1931) but it is hard to imagine the work done better. Recommended.Guy Rickards, Gramophone
Meneses’s fine tone and classical bearing as he takes over the soprano part contribute to a more Bachian experience than usual.Robert Maycock, BBC Music Magazine (Four stars)
Photo Credit: Clive Barda
Photo Credit: Clive Barda
Photo Credit: Clive Barda
Photo Credit: Studio fotografico Gielle
Photo Credit: Studio fotografico Gielle
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