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Umberto Clerici

Principal Cello

Garry & Shiva Rich Chair


Umberto Clerici began studying cello at the age of five with Antonio Mosca in Turin, later attending the classes of Mario Brunello, David Geringas and Steven Isserlis.

In 2007, he received the Soloist Diploma at the Augsburg and Nurnberg University (Germany) with Julius Berger.

Umberto debuted at the age of 17, playing Haydn's D Major cello concerto in Japan. From 2002 he began a fully-fledged solo career with an array of renowned orchestras including St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Philharmonia Wien, Brighton Philharmonic, Russian State Orchestra of Moscow, I Pomeriggi Musicali (Milan), Zagreb Philharmonic, ORT-Orchestra della Toscana (Florence), State Orchestras of Istanbul and Ankara. He has collaborated with conductors like Alexander Dmitriev, Aldo Ceccato, Christoph Poppen, Lu Jia, Dimitri Sitkovetzki, Barry Wordsworth, Ola Rudner and Lukas-Peter Graf.

Having already won at international competition (including the Janigro Competition in Zagreb and the Rostropovich Competition in Paris), Umberto became only the second Italian cellist (after Mario Brunello) to have won a prize at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (2011).

Umberto has performed as soloist at some of the most prestigious concert halls including Carnegie Hall in New York, Musik Verein in Vienna, the great Shostakovich Hall of St. Petersburg and Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome. In 2003 he debuted at the Salzburg Festival and in 2012 he performed Tchaikovsky's “Rococo” variations with the Orchestra of the Teatro Regio in Turin conducted by Valery Gergiev.

He recorded concertos, solo and chamber music and, in 2017, released two new solo recordings with ABC Classic.

In 2014 Umberto was appointed as Principal Cello of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra after 4 years as Principal Cello at the Teatro Regio, Turin.

He is Cello Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Salzburg Mozarteum.

Umberto plays a 1722 Matteo Goffriller from Venice and a 1758 Carlo Antonio Testore from Milan.