"a reflective and highly intelligent young man and a wonderful musician whom Bach would have appreciated."
"he reconciles the seemingly irreconcilable: virtuosity, good taste, knowledge and originality."
BBC Music Magazine
Isang Enders has established himself as a leading artist in search of new concepts and works for the violoncello. Born into a German-Korean musician family in Frankfurt in 1988, Isang Enders began studying with Michael Sanderling at the age of twelve. His playing has since been influenced by his studies with Gustav Rivinius, Truls Mørk, and above all, by the mentoring of the American cellist Lynn Harrell.
At the age of twenty, Isang Enders was appointed principal cello of the Dresden Staatskapelle, making him the youngest section leader in Germany. During his four years with the orchestra, he also co-founded the Gohrisch Shostakovich Festival alongside Tobias Niederschlag.
Isang Enders has performed with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, making his debut in the Music of Today Series at Southbank Centre and enjoyed collaborations with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker under eminent conductors including Myung-Whun Chung, Fabien Gabel, Christoph Eschenbach, Pablo Heras-Casado, Eliahu Inbal, Zubin Mehta and Vasily Petrenko.
He has recently performed Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto in both Stavanger and Paris, and performed the Korean debut of Dutilleux’s Cello Concerto as well the Shostakovich Cello Concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a dedicated chamber musician, he continues to work closely with the pianist Igor Levit, with whom he has toured extensively, as well as Kit Armstrong and Sunwook Kim. Isang Enders has strong relationships with international chamber music festivals such as Heidelberger Frühling, and the Marlboro Music Festival at the invitation of Kim Kashkashian.
Recent and forthcoming recitals include Beethovenfest Bonn, Koln Philharmonie, Rheingau Musik Festival, Musikalischer Sommer in Ostfriesland, and Schubertiade with Igor Levit.
He opens the 17/18 Season on tour with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul, and enjoys further collaborations with the München Symphoniker, Frankfurt Museumsorchester and Suzhou Symphony Orchestra with his debut at the São Paulo Symphony and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestras performing Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto under Ilan Volkov. He also joins the Sitkovetsky Trio, with concert highlights including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Netherlands Philharmonic and Wigmore Hall, London. Other chamber music collaborations include a new partnership with guitarist Thibaut Garcia on tour in Ireland with Music Network.
His highly-acclaimed and early recording of the Bach Cello Suites on Berlin Classics was a triumph. One critic describes him as a “reflective and highly intelligent young man”. Isang Enders is signed to Berlin Classics and SONY Music Entertainment and plays an instrument by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume (Paris, 1840).
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Strauss Don Quixote
Frankfurter Museumsorchester, Sebastian Weigle (March 2018)
Isang Enders, the new star on the cello scene, gave the stubborn antihero a confident voice and a youthful heart. A voice that, despite all the technical difficulties that Strauss gives to this complex character, remained light and avoided caricature.
Bernhard Uske, Frankfurter Rundschau
Schumann Cello Concerto Op. 129
Staatsorchester Darmstadt, Rubén Dubrovsky (October 2017)
[Schumann's] Romantic ideas truly burgeoned thanks to the exquisite soloist Isang Enders. The young musician, who grew up in Darmstadt, lent heartfelt expression to Schumann's "cantabile passages"…he commands the tricky passages, using the highest thumb positions with stupendous security. It has to be admired with how much calmness and concentration Enders merged his part with the players of the orchestra.
Klaus Trapp, Echo
The great clarity and concentrated intonation of his playing…With [Ender’s] masterful approach (marked by his subtle dose of vibrato and his exquisitely breathed phrasing), the extremely anti-virtuosic, yet demanding work comes across with a lightness which shows to best advantage in the lyrical double-stopping passages.
Axel Zibulski, Frankfurter Allgemeine
Strauss Don Quixote
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Vasily Petrenko (October 2016)
Isang Enders, playful and at ease, supports the singing line with sincere enthusiasm, without losing expression. The sound never really stops and the cello breathes in a whole new way: it develops in rough sounds (Variation I), reanimating the phrase with a sweeping bow and then colouring the softest sections with vibrato. Enders has all the means, it would seem, to adapt to the undulations of the music
Julien Hanck, Bachtrack
Bach Cello Suites CD
spotless performance…he’ll record them again and, hopefully, again.
Caroline Gill, Gramophone
he reconciles the seemingly irreconcilable: virtuosity, good taste, knowledge and originality…It’s a fascinating interpretation which is neither willful, nor does it ever retreat into lifeless purism.
Unsuk Chin, BBC Music Magazine
Isang Enders recording of the Bach Suites is an amazing document of musical maturity. Surely the young cellist will play these pieces differently in 10 or 20 years. That he could play them better or more convincingly than now can hardly be imagined. Isang Enders, a reflective and highly intelligent young man and a wonderful musician whom Bach would have appreciated.
Wilfrid Schäper, Radio Bremen
this is probably the most noble, elegant, perhaps even the most careful recording of the Bach Suites of the past years.
Clemens Haustein, Fono Forum
Isang Enders Repertoire
Triple Concerto Op. 56
“Schelomo” Hebraic Rhapsody
Concerto No. 9 in B flat major (original)
“Tout un monde lointain"
Concerto in B minor Op. 10
Rondo Op. 95
Silent Wood Op. 68/5
Concerto in E minor Op. 8
Concerto in C major Hob. VIIb: 1
Concerto in D major Hob. VIIb: 2
Kammermusik No. 3
Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 77
Concerto in D minor
Once Upon a Time
Concerto grosso per 3 Violoncelli
Concerto No. 1 in A minor Op. 33
Concerto in A minor Op. 129
Concerto No. 1 in E flat major Op. 107
Don Quixote Op. 35
Variations on a Rococo Theme Op. 33
Andante Cantabile Op. 11
Double Concerto PV411