Matthias Balzat – Cellist
New Zealand born Matthias Balzat (1999) has established himself as an international soloist and chamber musician. His competitive success includes first prizes in the 69th ROSL Annual Music Competition, Sieghardt-Rometsch Instrumental Concerto Competition, International Wallace Cello Competition, Sir Edmund Hillary Gold Medal Award, New Zealand National Concerto Competition (both 2014 and 2017) Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year (New Zealand), PACANZ, as well as 2nd Prize in the Gisborne International Music Competition, and many more. Matthias has extensive performance experience as a soloist, such as with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Opus.125, Sinfonietta Köln, St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Robert Schumann Hochschulorchester, Opus Orchestra, and NZ National Youth Orchestra among others. Collaborations with conductors include Guy Noble, Benjamin Northey, Rüdiger Bohn, Leh-Qiao Liao, Peter Scholes, Peter Walls, Cornelius Frowein, Hamish McKeich and more.
Participation and performances at prestigious festivals all over the world include the Aspen Music Festival, Villa Pennisi in Musica, Classiche Forme, Miesbach Kammermusikfestival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Lake District Summer Music Festival, Martinborough Music Festival and Wilma and Friends. Matthias has enjoyed numerous Masterclasses and chamber music collaborations with notable names, such as Daniel Müller-Schott, Johannes Moser, Wenn Sinn Yang, Wolfgang Schmidt, Richard Aaron, Li Wei Qin, Phillipe Müller, Brannon Cho, Avos Quartet, David and Diego Romano, Alessandro Deljavan, Benjamin Baker, Daniel Lebhardt, Gould Piano Trio and many more.
Matthias is currently enrolled in the prestigious Konzertexamen degree at the Robert Schumann Hochschule für Musik in Düsseldorf under renowned soloist Pieter Wispelwey, where he also completed his Master of Music. James Tennant was his previous teacher in New Zealand, with whom he completed his Bachelor of Music at the age of 17 at Waikato University. Matthias is also a member of Ares Piano Trio.
“The music was in his body, his fingers and his brain as if it could be no other way. The cello seemed like an extension of his body and, for the first time any cares I had about the acoustic, the instrument, the work, the age of the player, or anything else, totally disappeared“Tony Ryan – Radio New Zealand
“Cellist Matthias Balzat verzauberte das Publikum im Konzerthaus zum Haus mit anspruchsvoller Kammermusik“Rheinische Post
“Pianistin und Cellist stellten sich im hingebungsvollen und virtuosen Spiel als hervorragend eingespieltes Duo mit Temperament, Leidenschaft und Feingefühl vor“Rheinische Post
“This critic, however, would also be remiss in not naming one Matthias Balzat. The other cellists would have been at home in a professional orchestra, but Balzat would handle the concerto lead in a concert and be praised for his performance. Were I ever to need a conduit for feelings I could not express in words, I would call on Balzat. His fluency and sensitivity lifted the whole performance.“Sam Edwards – Stuff NZ
“The passionately-sounded ‘cello line was addressed with great feeling and beautifully-modulated tones from soloist Matthias Balzat, whose performance overall was, to put it mildly, both brilliant and commanding“Peter Mechen – Middle C