born in Kazan grew up in Moscow. At the age of five she received first cello lessons from by her grandfather Anisim Berlin, a famous violinist and student of the legendary Leopold Auer. Apart from Galina Kozolupova, her teacher for almost fifteen years, the most significant influence on her musical personality Natalia Gutman owes to Mstislav Rostropovich, to Sviatoslav Richter, her fatherly friend, and to her late husband, the violinist Oleg Kagan.
Among many other awards Natalia Gutman received 1967 the First Prize in the Munich ARD Competition - a prize which marks the beginning of her international career. Since then she has performed on all continents with orchestras such as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich and St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the London Symphony and the Concertgebouw Orchestra and many more. Famous conductors the artist has worked with include Claudio Abbado, Sergiu Celibidache, Bernhard Haitink, Dmitri Kitajenko, Kyrill Kondrashin, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Yevgeny Svetlanov and Yuri Temirkanov. In recent years Natalia Gutmans concert schedule has been focussing on Europe and, in particular, on France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. In 2000 the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with Claudio Abbado is scheduled with Strauss’ Don Quichote for the opening of ‘Berliner Festwochen’ and the Salzburg and Luzern Festivals as well as for the BBC Proms in London.
Another vivid interest of Natalia Gutman is in the field of chamber music; her regular partners have included Martha Argerich, Elisso Wirssaladze, Vassily Lobanov, Alexei Lubimov, Evgeny Kissin and Sviatoslav Richter as well as the Yuri Bashmet, Isaac Stern and her husband, Oleg Kagan. She has given recitals with the complete Bach Solo Suites in Moscow, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona and other places.
The artist’s repertoire comprises almost all of the literature for violoncello with special emphasis on contemporary music where she often played first performances. Together with Oleg Kagan she has premiered Schnittke’s Concerto grosso No. 2 for Violin, Violoncello and Orchestra (1985) which the composer dedicated to the congenial couple. Also Schnittke’s first Cello Sonata (1978) and his first Concerto for Cello and Orchestra have been dedicated to Natalia Gutman.
Apart from her extensive activities in international concert life, she devotes herself to the young generation. Together with Claudia Abbado she initiated the ‘Berlin Encounters’ where young musicians are playing chamber music together with the ‘stars’. Since 1991 she has been teaching at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart. Each year at the beginning of July Natalia Gutman invites her artist friends to join her at the International Musikfest at the Lake of Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps, a festival which she founded 1990 together with Oleg Kagan. After Kagan’s death the festival has been continued in his memory and under his name.
Since the early 90ties live performances of Natalia Gutman have been published on Live Classics. The Label is now editing the NATALIA GUTMAN Portrait SERIES where her art and its development from the beginnings to the present day will be documented.