Mats Lidström

Mats Lidström

Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and solo cellist with the Oxford Philomusica.

As an international soloist and chamber musician, Mats Lidström has gained a reputation for performances of great insight and virtuosity. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, currently living in London, Mats combines performing with teaching and composing.

Mats studied with Ms.Maja Vogl at the Gothenburg (Göteborg) Conservatoire for six years before continuing with Leonard Rose for four years at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts (1977-81).

Additional cello coaching with Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker and Lynn Harrell. Also coaching in renaissance music with Suzanne Bloch, daughter of composer Ernest Bloch.

Mats plays the ‘Grützmacher’ Rocca (Joseph Antonius Rocca 1857)

Appointed professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1993 (Honorary Associate in 1998),Mats Lidstrom has given masterclasses at conservatories in San Francisco, Cleveland and Oberlin, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, the UK and Sweden. Prior to the Royal Academy, he taught at the Gothenburg University, Sweden.

Mats is the founder of the annual summer course EXPANSION for cellists, which aims to be less of the standard ‘masterclass’ and more about providing the students with technical fundament needed for expressing musical ideas. Hence the motto: ‘Imagination promises musical expression, but a solid technique delivers it’. 


As a soloist he has performed and recorded with some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche S.O.Berlin, Czech Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony, with conductors such as André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Litton, Maxim Shostakovitch and Leif Segerstam.


As a chamber musician, Mats has performed in many of the major halls, including Alice Tully Hall and The Y (New York City), Théâtre du Châtelet and Cité de la Musique (Paris), Musikverein (Vienna), Gulbenkian (Lisbon) , Berwald Hall in Stockholm, the University Hall ( hall of the Nobel Peace Prize) in Oslo, and the Barbican-, Wigmore-, Queen Elizabeth- and Royal Festival Halls of London.


Mats has worked as Principal Cellist with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Swedish Opera and the Norrköping S O (Sweden). In addition he has worked as guest-principal with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia and St. Martin’s-in-the-fields of London, The Scottish BBC and Royal Scottish National Orchestras,The Royal Concertgebouw, Los Angeles and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, Bergen Philharmonie, Bournemouth- and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, and the major symphony orchestras of Sweden. Mats is currently the solo cellist of Oxford Philomusica, a shared position with fellow cellist Peter Adams.

Mats is a coach for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, also appearing with them as their soloist at The Barbican in 2013 and 2014.


His research of the neglected but beautiful repertoire for his instrument, has resulted in several highly acclaimed and award-winning CD’s (including ‘Record of the Month’ and Record of the Week by the BBC Music Mag. and The Guardian, the French Diapason d’Or for the research of the music by Charles Koecholin). He appears as soloist and chamber musician on EMI, Deutsche Grammophone, Decca, BIS, Hyperion,  Musica Sveciae, Opus 3, Caprice Records, as well as on his own label 

The Decca recording of music by Rachmaninoff with V Ashkenazy, released in 2013, continues with Shostakovitch scheduled for September 2015.


Mats’ compilation of orchestral excerpts for Boosey&Hawkes, The Orchestral Cellist, prompted the founding of his own publishing company (distributed worldwide by Spartan Press). Besides his own compositions and transcriptions, it offers the series if Bach was a cellist which lives the fantasy that everything Bach wrote was intended for the cello (the series currently include concertos for one and two cellos, a version for cello and piano of the Italian Concerto and a set of 10 encores transcribed from various Bach works). Its aim is to make cellists focus on more Bach than the solo suites and the gamba sonatas.

Also published by is his The Essential Warm-up Routine for Cellists, how to warm-up all facets of cello-playing on a daily basis. His 200 page scale book The Beauty of Scales is made possible through a research grant from the Royal Academy of Music (in addition to the standard scales, the book contains chapters on how to practise scales, as well as a selection of additional scales, such as pizzicato-, artificial harmonic-, and blues scales). Currently under way is a compilation of etudes from past cello masters called Heritage.

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