Russian cellist Natalia Gutman received her early musical training from her grandfather Anisim Berlin and Professor Galina Kozolupova, and later from the late musicians, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, pianist Sviatoslav Richter, and her husband, violinist Oleg Kagan. Maestro Richter once expressed his admiration for Natalia Gutman saying: “... she is an incarnation of truthfulness in music.”
In 1967 Natalia Gutman won the Munich ARD Competition (where in 2005 she was a member of the jury), launching her international career. Since then she has performed on all continents with orchestras such as Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Munich and St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and many more. Festival appearances include the Salzburg Summer Festival and the Berliner and Wiener Festwochen. Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Bernhard Haitink, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Yuri Temirkanov, Sergiu Celibidache, Mstislav Rostropovich and Kurt Masur are among the many conductors who favour Natalia Gutman.
Another major interest of Natalia Gutman is chamber music. Her regular musical partners have included Martha Argerich and Elisso Virsaladze, Yuri Bashmet, Alexei Lubimov, Sviatoslav Richter and Oleg Kagan. She has premiered many contemporary works; in that regard, Alfred Schnittke dedicated a sonata and his first Cello Concerto to her. The complete Bach solo suites have been presented by Ms. Gutman in Moscow, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona and other places.
In 2006 Natalia Gutman has in dedication to Robert Schumann performed his cello concerto in Milan, Valencia, Cologne, London, Taipei and Florence. One of the Shostakovich concertos (again in honour of his 100th birthday in 2006) were scheduled for Caracas, Tel Aviv, Monte Carlo, Warsaw, Athens, Vienna, the Netherlands and France (in Bretagne she will perform both pieces in once concert). In Paris with Orchestra Philharmonique she has performed the Lutoslawski concerto and in Lille the Dutilleux concert to round up the 2006 repertoire.
The year 2007 started in Sevilla, where the artist again performed the Schumann concerto with Claudio Abbado and Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra at the festival Iberoamericano on January 2nd. Orchestra concerts were additionally scheduled in Lisbon, Istanbul, Boston, Montreal, Italy, Netherlands, Taiwan, Manchester, Germany and Switzerland. She also performed during several chamber music tours with Elisso Virsaladze (Spain, Belgium, Italy and Germany) as well as in Trio with Kolja Blacher and Elisso Virsaladze (Spain, Luxembourg and Germany).
In 2008 another quartet tour with Yuri Bashmet, Viktor Tretjakov and Vassily Lobanov included many European cities. Visits to Taiwan, Canada, the US and many European countries completed the year. In 2009 Ms. Gutman performed the Prokoviev Sinfonia Concertante, the Shostakovich 1st concert, the Dutilleux cello concerto and many other orchestra pieces in cities like Ankara, Parma, St. Petersburg, Boston, Reykjavík, Stuttgart, Darmstadt and others. Chamber music she performed in the USA, Taiwan and Europe. In August she played a summer festival tour of European Union Youth Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy. Autumn is dedicated to the Bach suites which will be performed in numerous concerts.
She has recorded the Shostakovich Concertos No. 1 and 2 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov for RCA/BMG-Ariola. Then followed a recording contract with EMI for the Dvorak Cello Concerto and other works with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. 1992 saw the release of the Schumann and Schnittke Cello Concerto with the London Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur. 2007 she again recorded the Schumann concerto with Claudio Abbado in Italy. As of late Natalia Gutman frequently records for Life Classics, a small company dedicated principally to the group of musicians associated with Oleg Kagan.
Being dedicated to young musicians Natalia Gutman is giving master-classes worldwide – she has been a professor for many years in Musikhochschule Stuttgart and is still teaching in Moscow. Each year at the beginning of July, Natalia Gutman invites internationally renowned artists, to the International Musikfest am Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps, a chamber music festival that she founded in 1990 with Oleg Kagan and dedicated it to him after his death. Last summer the festival was held for the 20th time already.
In May 2005 German federal president Köhler bestowed on Natalia Gutman the highest German decoration, “Bundesverdienstkreuz Erster Klasse” and in 2006 the artist was nominated to become a “fellow of the Royal College of Music” in London.