“American-Brazilian cellist, Gabriel Martins, has been praised by critics and audiences for his sophisticated musicality and nuanced palette of colors.”
The Violin Channel
“Solo Bach is intensely personal – to perform, to practise and to hear – and I rarely find it completely satisfying in concert. However, Martins’s sense of style and unassuming approach, combined with his lithe, effortless ability on the cello, made this a deeply moving experience. I only wish he had played all six suites!”
“The soloist was Gabriel Martins, a 26-year cellist based in South Carolina. Once Martins starts playing, something transforms him. He becomes his instrument and the music. He seems to disengage from us mere mortals to enter a rapturous world of his own. He swoons, he exhales, he grimaces, he sways; he is so at one with the music that he is as thrilling to watch as he is to listen to. He left no emotional stone unturned in his performance.”
“Two new faces joined ChamberFest for the Kodály Duo — violinist Geneva Lewis and cellist Gabriel Martins — completely charming the audience with their lucid, attentive playing of this musically garrulous work. In the wrong hands (or ears), it could have sounded disjunct and unfocused, but the two musicians reacted immediately to sudden changes in the narrative. Even musical non-sequiturs sounded intentional. Their concentration was infectious.”
“Young cellist Gabriel Martins gave a rich, warm and highly nuanced performance of Robert Schumann’s “Cello Concerto” in a minor.”
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Cellist Gabriel Martins (b. 1998) has established himself as one of the world’s most compelling young musicians. His artistry has already been recognized through an extensive list of accolades including the Concert Artists Guild/Young Classical Artists Trust Grand Prize, the Sphinx Competition Gold Medal, the David Popper International Cello Competition Gold Medal, the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians Silver Medal, the Schadt String Competition Gold Medal, the Orford Music Award, and the Prague Spring Czech Music Fund Prize. These successes have led to a number of high-profile debuts including Wigmore, Carnegie, and Merkin Halls, 92nd Street Y, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, and the Arkansas, Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Russian State, Omaha, Pacific, Phoenix and São Paulo Symphony Orchestras. In 2022, The Strad Magazine declared his New York City recital debut to be “flawlessly played…a deeply moving experience” and Classic FM named him one of their “30 under 30” Rising Stars.
Lauded for his “rich, warm” and “mesmerizing” sound, Martins carries a concerto repertoire spanning every major work. In recital, his performances of the Bach Cello Suites have garnered particular recognition. Martins’ playing has been broadcast on NPR, WQXR, KUSC, WFMT, and more. His festival appearances include Aspen, Bard, Brevard, Chamberfest Cleveland, Four Seasons, Ravinia, and Yellow Barn.
Born of American and Brazilian heritage, Martins grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. He began playing the cello when he was five, studying with Susan Moses at the Indiana University String Academy. He went on to receive his B.M. as a Presidential Scholar at the USC Thornton School of Music with Ralph Kirshbaum. In his freshman year at USC, he won the school’s concerto competition as well as its Bach competition. He received his M.M. at the New England Conservatory of Music with Laurence Lesser. Martins now resides in South Carolina with his partner, violinist Geneva Lewis. In addition to performing, he also composes, arranges, and teaches. He plays a composite Francesco Ruggieri cello made in Cremona, c. 1690 and a François Nicolas Voirin bow made in Paris, c. 1880.