RTVE, the Spanish Radio Television, dedicated a TV report to Asier Polo in its program ‘Atención obras’, recently aired on La 2 channel. In the interview, the public broadcaster highlighted the artist’s career since his very beginnings, the relationship with his cello –a Rugieri of 1689– or his recent National Music Award, among other topics.
On February 14, 2020, Asier Polo performed Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Galicia Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of maestro Michael Sanderling. His performance at the Opera Palace in A Coruña received a warm reception by the audience and critics, whose impressions we collect below.
Asier Polo has been awarded the National Music Award, the highest recognition granted by the Spanish Government through the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The jury has decided to grant the award to Asier Polo, “for his artistic excellence as a performer and for his long international career.” In addition to “his approach to the great repertoire”, the jury highlighted “his commitment to Spanish music and, especially, to contemporary music”. They also emphasized his “numerous musical recordings” and his “relevant teaching facet.”
The Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana welcomes Asier Polo as its new Professor of Violoncello. The incorporation will be effective as of the next academic year 2019/2020.
The Swiss Conservatory, based in the city of Lugano, gathers more than 30 years of history of musical excellence and maintains a close relationship with the renowned Orchestra della Svizzera italiana.
In his last concerts in Seville, Spain, and Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Asier Polo has attended several media, including two interviews for television which are now available on YouTube (and also down below).
In both of them, Asier Polo had the opportunity to cover different topics, providing his most personal vision about music, emotion, his instrument, the stages, his day to day, the pedagogy or his present and future projects, among many others.
The Fundación Baluarte, public institution of Navarra, Spain, in charge of the programming of the Palace of Congress and Auditorium of Navarra ‘Baluarte’, as well as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra (Navarre Symphony Orchestra), recently named Asier Polo as its Artist in Residence for the 2018/2019 season.
Asier Polo will be the protagonist of five programs, which will be developed in seven concerts throughout this season in several formats: recitals, chamber music concerts and performances together with the Navarra Symphony Orchestra, resident orchestra of the city of Pamplona main concert hall and one of the leading orchestras in Spain.
For the occasion, the Fundación Baluarte has commissioned a composition by Fernando Velázquez, specially written for Asier Polo. Likewise, the cellist will also hold another world premiere during his residency, by the composer from Zaragoza Jesús Torres.
The National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico (OSN) captivated the audience with the last program of its First Season 2018, in a true musical fiesta full of emotions, under the baton of its Chief Conductor, Carlos Miguel Prieto, and with the Spanish cellist Asier Polo, as guest soloist, who offered an emotional and intense evening.
The recital began with a masterful interpretation by the soloist of ‘Kol Nidrei’, adagio on Hebrew liturgical melodies for cello and orchestra, op. 47, from the German composer Max Bruch.
Later, the violoncello virtuoso, who has collaborated with the main orchestras all over the world, made the main cultural venue in the country vibrate to the maximum when performing the ‘Adagio con variazioni’ for cello and orchestra by the Italian Ottorino Respighi, work of effective and transparent instrumentation in which the author exhibits his deep knowledge of the technique of the strings, which gave Asier Polo many opportunities to show off.
When finishing his two participations, the applause and ovation of the audience, moved by his solemn but emotional interpretation, made him return to the stage in several occasions. The musician, who is currently professor at the Musikene Basque Country Higher Music Center, presented as “encore” ‘Jacqueline’s tears’, by the Judeo-German composer and cellist Jacques Offenbach.
Read the full chronicle here.
Last January, Asier Polo performed three out of the six Bach’s Cello Suites within the ‘Touching the Stars’ cycle of the Unicaja Foundation in Málaga. La Opinión de Málaga highlighted “the virtuosity and the technical demand (…) in the reading made by the Spanish cellist. To this we must add the particular sensitivity that Polo prints in his interpretations, which make them so special”. The Spanish newspaper praised the “technical roundness” and “the aesthetics built by Asier Polo throughout the concert”, which made his performance “a recital of great value”.
Read the full review here.
“The Newport recital debut of Spanish cellist Asier Polo enticingly promised a chance to hear the Shostakovich Cello Sonata for the second time in as many weeks, as well as an opportunity to check out an artist who has made a significant name for himself in Europe but not that much in the US. We were rewarded on both counts.”
You can read the full review in the Boston Musical Intelligencer here.
Asier Polo received glowing reviews for his performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto which opened the 2017 Quincena Musical in San Sebastián, with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Juanjo Mena.
“The highlight of the evening was without doubt Asier Polo’s performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto. One of the most famous works of the British repertoire, it’s also the work with which Polo made his professional debut as a soloist, when he was just 21. His profound knowledge of the score could be seen in so many details of his interpretation, and especially in the elegant manner with which Polo unified the contrasting passages of the concerto, that varied from lyrical passion to almost mystic intimacy.
It was a great performance that lasted right up to the encore, the “Preludio-Fantasia” by Cassadó, which he played with incredible beauty.”
(Mikel Chamizo, Gara)
You can read translations of all the reviews here.