Kian Soltani was born in Bregenz, Austria in 1992 to a family of Persian musicians. He began playing the cello at the age of four and was only twelve when he joined Ivan Monighetti’s class at the Basel Music Academy, studying with him for eleven years, absorbing enduring lessons from the last person to study with Mstislav Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory. He made his international breakthrough at 19 with acclaimed debuts in the Vienna Musikverein’s Goldener Saal and at the Hohenems Schubertiade. He attracted further worldwide attention in 2013 as the winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki. Chosen as a Mutter Foundation scholarship holder in 2014, he completed further studies at Germany’s Kronberg Academy as a member of its Young Soloist Programme, as well as at the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein.
In addition to his work as concerto soloist and chamber musician, Soltani flourished as principal cello of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO), and in 2015 joined Daniel Barenboim as one of the soloists in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, performing the work with the WEDO in Berlin, at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals, at the BBC Proms in London, and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Having joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 2018 to take part in the Bernstein centennial gala concert, Soltani made his solo debut at the Berlin Staatsoper with Barenboim and the Staatskapelle, and went on to give a series of concerts in the US with Barenboim and the WEDO; these included his Carnegie Hall debut as well as appearances at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center and LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. He has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2017.
Soltani plays the London ex Boccherini 1694 Stradivarius, thanks to a generous loan.