Michael Petrov

The award-winning cellist Michael Petrov has captured audiences and critics alike with his “captivating musical temperament and a direct eloquence, as if speaking through his instrument” (Die Welt). An ECHO Rising Star in the 2015/16 season, Michael has graced the stages of major concert halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Cité de la Musique Paris, Musikverein Vienna, Budapest Palace of Arts, Kölner Philharmonie, and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg. His talent has also taken him to prestigious venues like Carnegie’s Weill Hall and to festivals such as the Los Angeles Cello Festival, with tours extending to China and Argentina.

As a soloist, Michael has performed with the Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, and CBSO Youth Orchestras, alongside the Munich Chamber and English Chamber Orchestras. He has collaborated with esteemed conductors including Edward Gardner and Rory MacDonald. Notably, in 2013, he showcased Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante at the Barbican under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.

Michael’s appearances as a soloist feature memorable performances such as Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Barber Concerto with the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Haydn’s Concerto in D with Sinfonia Cymru. A highlight of his career includes giving the first performance of JR Heath’s Cello Concerto since 1962 at St. John’s Smith Square, celebrating the centenary of cellist Kenneth Heath.

A passionate advocate for chamber music, Michael was a key member of the Trio Isimsiz, a group that has received critical acclaim and won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award in 2018. Their debut CD was released in 2017, and they are a regular feature at prestigious venues and festivals, including the Wigmore Hall, Snape Maltings, Trondheim Chamber Music Festival, Kölner Philharmonie, and the Théâtre des Abbesses in Paris.

Originally from Bulgaria, Michael’s formative years were spent at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under the guidance of Louise Hopkins, where he won the Gold Medal in 2014 and the Wigmore Hall Prize in 2017. His early promise was recognized by the Young Classical Artists Trust in 2013 and underscored by his achievements in competitions, securing 2nd Prize at the 2012 International Brahms Competition in Austria and 1st Prize at the 2011 International Suggia Competition in Porto.

Michael has benefited from masterclasses at the Kronberg Academy with luminaries such as Bernard Greenhouse, David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, and had the privilege of a public lesson with the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich. He plays on a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello dated 1694, kindly loaned by a private individual.