PETER MARTENS

Peter Martens was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1971 and began his cello studies at the age of 8. Whilst still at school, he won a scholarship to participate in the World Youth Orchestra in Michigan U.S.A. where he led the cello section. He continued his studies at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, with Prof Heidi Litchauer from 1991 to 1993 where he also had master classes from William Pleeth, Ivan Monighetti and Heinrich Schiff. During this time he performed extensively as solo cellist for the Austrian Ensemble for Modern Music and as a member of the chamber orchestra, Salzburger Musici. His career as orchestral cellist saw him occupying principal positions in several South African orchestras as well as having worked with the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. He currently divides his time between the management of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival and the Endler Concert Series at Stellenbosch University, a busy chamber music and solo schedule as well as being an active family man.
His first concerto engagement was with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15. He has recorded for the South African Broadcasting Corporation as well as for “Cello Classics” of London with the sextet “I Grandi Violoncellisti”. He is a member of the Amici String Quartet and Bass-ically Brilliant with bassist Leon Bosch. Other chamber music activities include partnerships with the late Lamar Crowson, Nina Schumann, Luis Magalhães, Benjamin Schmid, Daniel Rowland, Tom Carroll, Suzanne Martens, Ivry Gitlis and members of the Osiris Piano Trio, Amsterdam. As Chamber Musician, he has participated in Festivals in Russia, Holland, Austria and Portugal as well has having performed in the U.K and U.S.A. In 2008 he formed the highly acclaimed Stellenbosch University Camerata, whose first CD recording released by TwoPianists Records won a SAMA in the only classical music category in 2010. Many South African composers including Hendrik Hofmeyr and Paul Hanmer amongst others have written for him, the most notable composition being the Cello Concerto by Allan Stephenson. This will be recorded for CD by Meridian U.S.A. in December 2010.
Peter plays on a Locky Hill Cello and is married to violinist, Suzanne Martens with two children.