Shauna Rolston – Cellist
Award-winning Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston is considered by peers and fans alike to be one of the most compelling and unique musical voices on the stage today. Since receiving a mini cello for her 2nd birthday, Shauna has appeared around the world, performing with such distinguished artists as Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Andrew Davis, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Keith Lockhart, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Hans Graf, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andrey Boreyko, and Menahem Pressler, as well as undertaking innovative collaborations with Veronica Tennant, Evelyn Hart, and Peggy Baker. She has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and was the featured artist at the 1988 Olympics.
Praised for her blazing technique and her ability to captivate the imagination and touch the heart of each audience member, Shauna continues to astonish and delight with her concerts, recordings, and world premieres. Her passion for the music of our time has led to the commission and creation for her of more than 50 new works for cello, including several concerti by Canada’s leading composers. She has also given the Canadian and North American premieres of works by Gavin Bryars, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Osvaldo Golijov, John Tavener, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Augusta Read Thomas, among many others.
Upcoming projects include multiple recordings, performances and commissions including cello concertos by Kelly-Marie Murphy, Heather Schmidt, Douglas Schmidt and Vincent Ho, a whistling concerto by Heather Schmidt, and three double concerti: one for improvising cello and contemporary jazz piano composed by and performed with Canadian jazz sensation David Braid, one for cello and piano composed by and performed with Heather Schmidt, and another for cello and flute by Karen Tanaka (commissioned by Radio France), as well as “Wildfire”, a film supported by an award from BRAVO directed by and featuring the music of, Heather Schmidt.
A recording artist since the age of 16, her most recent CD, “Dreamscape”, features Shauna as soloist with cello orchestra in arrangements of popular classical favourites. Upcoming releases include “Icicles of Fire”, featuring the music of Heather Schmidt written for Shauna with the composer at the piano, and the Bach and Britten solo cello suites.
The diversity of Shauna’s artistry is reflected in the many honours she has received throughout her professional career including an invitation to join the Governor-General’s State Delegation to Finland and Iceland, her appointment as Canadian Music Centre Ambassador for her commitment to the performance of Canadian music, and most recently, the Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance.
In addition to her busy concert and recording career, Shauna is a devoted educator. Much in demand as a guest master class artist, Shauna is also Professor of Cello at the University of Toronto. Shauna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Yale University and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music where she studied with the distinguished cellist and pedagogue, Aldo Parisot.