Gemma Rosefield..

Classical Source, David Truslove
Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts 2017

An unaccompanied cello recital featuring Sally Beamish, John Joubert and J. S Bach…and the central panel of Hans Abrahamsen’s Sonata (Storm and Still). In the latter, Gemma Rosefield proved an ideal executor of its striking ferocity and lyric beauty;...playing as compelling as this…. the radiance of Rosefield’s tone. She was richly expressive, ardent and intimate in the folk-inspired Gala Water by Beamish. Equally convincing was Joubert’s Divisions on a Ground – an ingenious work that, like her account of Bach’s Suite in G (BWV1007), confirmed Rosefield as a class act.

One looked for fresh superlatives for the Leonore Trio’s recital – bold in scope and expressive range and with playing of bewitching musicality even in the challenges of John McCabe’s fiendish Sonata for Cello and Piano given by Gemma Rosefield and Tim Horton….. it was Schubert’s B-flat Piano Trio (D898) with violinist Benjamin Nabarro that simply mesmerised.


Musical Opinion, Paul Conway
Presteigne Festival August 2017

Violinist Benjamin Nabarro, violist Rachel Roberts and cellist Gemma Rosefield revelled in Brown’s glorious melodies and profoundly idiomatic writing. Further performances and a recording, preferably with these artists, should be arranged with all possible dispatch…

The three musicians we had already heard, now playing as the Leonore Trio, tore into the music (Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor Op 25) with knuckle-whitening abandon, especially in the concluding rondo which positively zinged with Hungarian panache. It is important to state that this virtuosity was entirely at the service of the music, the talented players giving us a view of the score that was authentically and profoundly Brahmsian.

Deservedly cheered to the rafters, the Leonore Trio’s coruscating, bravura account revitalised a staple of the repertoire and constituted, to my mind, the highpoint of the entire festival – no mean feat.

GRAMOPHONE Magazine December 2015

Leonore Piano Trio
- Lalo Piano Trios
The spirits of both Mendelssohn and Schumann haunt Edouard Lalo’s three piano trios. In the third of them there is also a hint of something weightier in the manner of Brahms, but none of them reveals any vestige of influence from Lalo’s native France.

Lalo is principally known these days for his five-movement Symphonie espagnole, a violin concerto that capitalises on his own knowledge of the instrument as violinist in the Armingaud Quartet, which was at the forefront of reviving France’s interest in chamber music from the mid-1850s onwards. As these luminous performances of the piano trios reveal, Lalo looked to Germany for his inspiration at a time when there was not much in France to be inspired by in the realms of chamber music.

But the influences are lightly worn: nods to Mendelssohn and Schumann in terms of gesture, texture and melodic contour – as, for example, in the song-without-words-like slow movement of the First Trio in C minor – can be heard coursing through this music, but there is something of Lalo’s own in the lightness of touch, the elegance and what his biographer Georges Servières called the ‘chaste tenderness free of sentimentality and a burning passion relieved of unwholesome eroticism’. The burning passion is ignited more in the third of the trios than in the other two, and it is something that the Leonore Trio harness to striking effect. The suavity of playing is another key factor in lending all three trios the polish and panache that they merit.

Geoffrey Norris
The Argus

The lengthy applause said it all.

Each audience member was captivated by the orchestra’s recital of works by Elgar, Tchaikovsky and Schubert.

This introduced the performance perfectly and the strength of sound filled the room. But it was young guest solo cellist Gemma Rosefield’s in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme Op. 33 who gripped visitors. 

Her unwavering passion through every movement was magnificent. The speed and deftness in which she used her 1704 former Prince Regent instrument was astounding. Emotion poured from her through the performance, from her facial expressions, to the tips of her fingers and her feet.

It was exhausting, intense and exciting to watch.... >>> more >>>

When Gemma Rosefield played Tchaikovsky’s ‘Variations on a Rococo Theme’ she evoked his genius in ballet. She brought the music to life in a playful, spontaneous way on a cello once owned by the Prince Regent....


“Stanford’s Concerto strikes my ear as sharing many similarities with Lalo’s D-Minor Concerto of just four years earlier. The solo cello part sounds nasty, with lots of virtuosic passagework, much of which lies high up on the instrument’s A string, and with the orchestra playing a largely declamatory role as the cello weaves, bobs, and gyrates its way through its obstacle course. For sure, the piece fulfils Hyperion’s criteria for a “Romantic” concerto. It has everything you could want – sweeping melodies, dramatic urgency and pyrotechnics aplenty.” “…Gemma Rosefield, an attractive young artist,… has what it takes to navigate Stanford’s minefield and to emerge the other side of it unscathed and with an air of calm, cool confidence about her that says, “see, that’s how it’s done”.” “…Based on this recording, I look forward to hearing her a lot in the future; she is a major new cello talent.” “This is one gorgeous CD. Rosefield, as already stated, is on her way to becoming a major star in the cello world. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Andrew Manze is in top form, and Hyperion’s recording may not be gold-plated, as some discs are these days, but the sound it delivers is pure sterling silver. This is a must-have for anyone who loves Romantic music for cello and orchestra.” (Jerry Dubins,
“It is heartening to see this disc in the catalogues. Gemma Rosefield… is the soloist. A young cellist in the early stages of her career it is good that she has been given this opportunity to excel...
Quite delightfully played by Rosefield the F major Rondo is undemanding with a number of light and appealing melodies…
A beautiful atmosphere is created by Rosefield in the molto adagio (Cello Concerto)
The lyrical and virtuosic Rosefield performs the dance-like Rondo, finale impressively, imparting a warm appeal…
Cellist Rosefield provides consistently splendid playing and could not have been given more sensitive support than the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Manze. Lovers of the late-Romantic should not hesitate with this Hyperion release. “ (Michael Cookson, MusicWebInternational) website
"... Gemma Rosefield plays magnificently, addressing the technical hurdles with assurance, her sterling musicianship and beautiful tone shaping the poetic episodes with sensitivity. This is good and likeable music. The concerto is rounded off with a ruminative slow movement and an amiable, rhythmically chirpy finale, the latter introduced with some typically distinctive and expressive writing for wind instruments. ... As suggested, Gemma Rosefield plays marvellously, all boxes ticked. She is afforded animated and sensitive accompaniments under Andrew Manze’s sympathetic guidance. To complete a fully annotated release that may well be musically revelatory, and is certainly first-class in its execution, the recording is tangible, excellently balanced and naturally sounded." (Classical
'Rosefield plays with disarming character and freshness; her technique, too, is enviably sure and tone beguilingly rounded … Admirable sound and truthful balance; another Hyperion winner!' (Gramophone)
'Stanford's sturdy, Brahmsian Cello Concerto and the folksong-rich Third Irish Rhapsody are the highlights here, superbly played by Gemma Rosefield' (BBC Music Magazine)
'[Ballata and Ballabile] shows Stanford at his most elegant and melodious … The performance is refined and strongly characterised by Rosefield and the orchestral accompaniment under Andrew Manze is well caught in the lucid and warm recording. Anyone with an interest in Stanford should hear this most attractive disc, presenting an aspect of his output that is all put unknown and given committed advocacy here' (International Record Review)
'The giant is the well-crafted Cello Concerto in D minor, which cellist Gemma Rosefield plays with warm-hearted poeticism and unfussy sensibility … Rosefield, with impeccable support from Andrew Manze and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, makes an equally good case for the Rondo in F, the lyrical Ballata and Ballabile, and the melancholic Irish Rhapsody' (The Scotsman)
'Rosefield plays Stanford's music with a real feeling for period style, using graceful portamentos and displaying a deep lyricism … Rosefield's solo entry in the Cello Concerto is immediately notable for its graceful, delicate phrasing … her tone is full but not forceful … [she] never sacrifices beauty of tone in the bravura passages, and her playing of the Irish Rhapsody no. 3 exudes tenderness' (The Strad)
'The cello writing is superbly idiomatic, the orchestration deft and imaginatively coloured … Gemma Rosefield obviously has the technique to burn and is sensitive to mood and atmosphere … Andrew Manze brings unexpected authority to proceedings' (Classic FM Magazine)
Reviews for:
The Romantic Cello Concerto, Vol. 3 – Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) -
The Complete Works for Cello & Orchestra

Gemma Rosefield (cello),
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Manze (conductor)

"The highlight of the evening was a riveting performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto from Gemma Rosefield, whose way with the solo part was intensely expressive yet never overburdened by solemnity. Her tone was beautifully consistent, combining directness with an intimately compact sense of scale. Perhaps finest of all was Rosefield's way with the introduction to that last movement; she let her sound melt into the silences that punctuate the solo part, providing a perfect example of her total command of this music.", Reviewer: Andrew Morris - 5 February 2011
Elgar Cello Concerto - Forest Philharmonic Orchestra / Conductor: Andrew Gourlay.
A Review PDF file: Celebration of Nazi show camp's incredible culture (2.5 pages, please scroll)

Sheffield Telegraph - 19 May 2011
Ensemble 360 with Gemma Rosefield
“The wonderful rich tone produced by Gemma from her Gagliano cello of 1704 provided an incredible contrast to Shostakovich’s bleak modernism (Cello Sonata in D minor, Opus 40), and Simon’s cool mastery… completed an artistic triumph. The artists played the Strauss Cello Sonata in F, Opus 6 with great virtuosity and enjoyment, their ensemble quite brilliant, avoiding trespassing or pushing, and injecting the dynamism needed to lift this work to the composer’s conceptual plane. Paganini’s Variations on a theme of Rossini… was a real show stopper. We cannot wait to have them back.”
30 October 2010
David Erdman,
Saffron Walden & District Music Club Friends’ School, Saffron Walden.
Beethoven, Shostakovich, Strauss, Paganini with Simon Lepper (Piano)

“The Wathen Hall has hosted many distinguished performers and recitals…and a notable addition was provided by the cello and piano recital from Gemma Rosefield and Katya Apekisheva. Gemma’s strong musical personality and her obvious enjoyment of the music enabled her to create an immediate rapport with the audience (Beethoven)…the drive and elan of the players brilliantly capturing the edgy brio of the writing…the commitment and technical skill on display resulted in a gripping experience! Katya’s warm tone provided a secure base for Gemma’s intelligent exploration of Schumann's far-reaching cello lines. Both players accurately captured the spirit and structure of this intriguing and satisfying work. The understanding of the essence of the music (Mendelssohn, Second Movement) offered an enchanting interlude. The serious slow movement inspired some of the most eloquent playing of the evening, Rosefield strong and secure in the higher registers. Both players were  absolutely at one in this work and the high-spirited  rondo brought the evening to a brilliant conclusion. A successful concert requires the obvious basics - good music, performers and surroundings. All met, naturally. Other factors however, less clear-cut and predictable, play their part. On this occasion it was the rapport between performers and audience that stood out the players seeming to create an almost physical bridge across the intervening space."

The Pauline Magazine, Autumn 2010
Beethoven: "Judas Maccabeus" Variations, Schumann: Fünf Stücke im Volkston,
Mendelssohn: Sonata in D Major - with Katya Apekisheva (piano)
2012 2011
“This recital was outstanding. It comprised works we were unlikely to hear again, live, for quite a long time – nor played anything like so well or with this degree of intensity, style and dedication…With outstanding panache and vigour, and sensitivity, they played as one. One could have danced to the Beethoven.”, December 2009
The Red Hedgehog with Tamsin Waley-Cohen
“The members of this trio…successfully met the challenge of playing with perfect ensemble…Rosefield’s strong and beautiful tone provided perhaps the outstanding memory of the concert.”
Watford Observer, October 2009
Cepicky, Rosefield, Dussek Trio
“If you ever get the opportunity to hear cellist Gemma Rosefield, seize it…the Hampstead musician is making waves on the London and international concert circuit…Gemma brought fun and enjoyment to the piece, infecting the other string players with her enthusiasm.”
Hampstead & Highgate Express, May 2009
Wihan Quartet
“Those threads are tied together in spellbindingly evocative writing for clarinet and cello, equistely realized by Catriona Scott and Gemma Rosefield, ably accompanied by Michael Dussek at the piano."
Hampstead & Highgate Express , May 2008
Cavatina at Midnight
“Another full house at the Holywell Music Room…Rosefield’s performance was quite enthralling, and she was clearly immersed in the music, playing with her eyes shut almost throughout, she transmitted this love of the music to the audience…Beethoven was worried about a problem with balance…Rosefield and Dussek managed to get this about right however, and their performance of this piece was reminiscent of the Barenboim-Du Pré recording of the same work."
Cherwell, 24 February 2008
Beethoven and Chopin G Minor Cello Sonatas
“Helping to make it a particularly memorable concert was young cellist Gemma Rosefield on her first appearance with the BPO. She took on Saint-Saens' passionate Cello Concerto No 1 with great gusto…Rosefield's excellent rendition is sure to give her a special place in the affections of Dome aficionados and it was easy to see why she has been invited to give this year's Jacqueline du Pre Memorial concert at the Wigmore Hall in March…Wordsworth has been a fan since he performed with her at Guildford in 2005 and Dome regulars will be hoping it does not take as long to persuade her to make a return visit to Brighton.”
Littlehampton Gazette, January 2008
Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1, Brighton Dome, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, Barry Wordsworth, Conductor.
“Rosefield’s dark mahogany tone brought out all the eloquence of some skilful traditional writing (Prospero’s Isle – James Francis Brown)…Their performance of the Shostakovich Cello Sonata, already fine, promises greatness.”
The Guardian, January 2008
PLG Young Artist with Nicola Eimer
“From the very first heart-wrenching notes of the main theme it was obvious that Elgar’s Cello Concerto was to be the highlight of the BBC Concert Orchestra’s superb concert at Chichester Festival Theatre. Gemma Rosefield displayed all the emotional beauty of this unhappy and haunting masterpiece. She captured the majestic wistful drama and anger of this truly exceptional work. It was a tremendous challenge for her because everybody who loves this concerto will inevitably compare her interpretation with that of Jacqueline du Pre. She brought a fresh dimension to the music as she made the cello convey every intense human emotion. Together with the violent outbursts, the lyrical, sad and quiet moments stayed with me for many hours.”
Chichester Observer, November 2007
Elgar Cello Concerto, Chichester Festival Theatre,
BBC Concert Orchestra, Barry Wordsworth, Conductor
“An unforgettable afternoon recital…Gemma Rosefield, cello, has played in Weymouth before. She was very good and now she is exceptional.”
Dorset Echo , November 2007
“Gemma Rosefield’s performance was sensitive and restrained, technically most accomplished and effective. I shall remember her cool, yet impassioned phrasing, gratefully.”
Classical Source, September 2007
Elgar Cello Concerto, Hampstead Parish Church,
New Professionals Orchestra, Rebecca Miller, Conductor

“Gemma Rosefield’s cello, itself a marvel of sustained lyricism, achieved an eerie otherworldliness in the plaintive Vocalise."
London Evening Standard, May 2007
Nick Kimberley, Messiaen “Quartet for the End of Time”
“The jury’s decision was unanimous that Gemma was the most complete young artist. This was revealed in her performance of the slow movement of the Beethoven D major Sonata, which requires great maturity and understanding as well as ability. Gemma showed all of these qualities.”
The Strad, March 2007
Pierre Fournier Award, Wigmore Hall
“Rosefield is a brilliant cellist, totally unable to contain her joy when playing lighter passages, and suitably dark at other times.”
Watford Observer , September 2006
“Prospero’s Isle was proof, when placed in the context of a more mainstream programme, that there is still space for the unique voice in contemporary music. There was nothing self-consciously clever-clever about Brown’s writing: his four-part, single-movement piece had a grand, elegiac quality that was perfectly suited to its Shakespearean theme. Gemma Rosefield (its dedicatee) made intelligent sense of its clear narrative in what was the most notable performance of the evening. The expansiveness of her playing and resonant tone defined the dynamic quality of the concert’s chamber music; in the Brown it was as intrinsic to the score as the notes themselves.”
The Strad, July 2007
Hampstead and Highgate Festival
“Rosefield’s tone was most ravishing and her dancing rhythms rounded out a joyful evening.”
South Wales Evening Post, July 2006
Gower festival

"J.C. Pennetier retrouvait F. Sauzeau et la jeune – remarquable – violoncelliste Gemma Rosefield pour un Trio op.114 de Brahms, ardent, d’une précieuse et subtile harmonie, d’un engagement musician sans faille.”, Dominique Dubreuil, February 2006
Les Musicades, Lyon
“Cellist Gemma Rosefield stands out – a young cellist I look forward to hearing more of. Her lyrical, cantabile playing is truly magical. She soars, she floats, she is operatic, she makes you weep. Simple pieces such as the Jarnfelt Berceuse become great masterworks under her bow.”
Stringendo (Australia), October 2005
ABRSM Cello Syllabus Recordings, Grades 4 and 6
“For those who find Jacqueline Du Pre’s performances of this work over-sentimental, Gemma Rosefield’s playing will have been particularly pleasurable. More in the mould of Beatrice Harrison, she gave a beautifully understated and thoroughly sensitive rendition accompanied considerately by the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra. This managed to avoid histrionics and the clichés that have become attached to one of the finest works to come from these shores. This concerto is the apotheosis of Elgar’s work. To understand and interpret so insightfully such an unforgiving concerto is surely an indication that Ms Rosefield is worthy of the accolades that many have bestowed upon her.”
Surrey Advertiser, October 2005
Elgar Cello Concerto, Guildford Cathedral.
Barry Wordsworth, Conductor.

“The second half began with David Popper’s rarely encountered Hungarian Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. Gemma Rosefield proved to be an assured and delightfully spontaneous soloist.”
Musical Opinion, September 2005
LSCO, St. John’s Smith Square, London.

“Dussek, a most accomplished accompanist and chamber musician, and Rosefield, a young musician of remarkable maturity, combined well…a partnership that displayed ample character and offered detailed and exhilarating performances. Rosefield is not a player to be overshadowed or intimidated and she took every advantage of the character of the sonatas which are dazzling showpieces and exploit the middle and high melodic registers.”
Hampstead and Highgate Express, February 2005
Beethoven Cello Sonatas, Duke’s Hall,
Royal Academy of Music, London.

LSCO, St. John’s Smith Square, London.

“Among the other high spots, Gemma Rosefield tapped into the full gamut of emotions underlying Judith Weir’s small-scale masterpiece Unlocked in a deeply-felt rendering.”
Tempo, January 2005
Presteigne Festival 2004

“I felt her spellbinding performance was very much as Elgar himself would have conceived it, beautifully phrased and quite mellow.”
The Sevenoaks Chronicle, December 2004

“…Equally amazing was the playing of the cellist of the Fidelio Piano Quartet, Gemma Rosefield, in the Trois Strophes for Cello Solo by the distinguished  living French composer Henri Dutilleux – a work that makes world class soloists blanche, but which she carried off with superb aplomb.”
The Hereford Times, Roger Nichols, September 2004

“A full house for this final concert of the sixth Hampstead & Highgate Festival, and rightly so. Here, for Haydn’s early C major cello Concerto, 22 year old Gemma Rosefield, a pupil of Ralph Kirshbaum and member of the Fidelio Piano Quartet, played it – she’s a name to watch out for. Her crisp rhythmic playing in the outer movements and her spinning of the finest of lines in the Adagio confirm she is deeply musical.”
Classical Source Concert Reviews, Festival Finale, May 2004

“Rosefield is turning out to be a spirited and lively artist who enjoys taking risks…"
The Basler Zeitung, March 2004 – Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, February 2004

“Gemma’s tone is beautifully rich and deep, and her technical prowess excellent….A right royal ‘cello treat'.”
The Dorset Echo, February 2004

“Gemma Rosefield began with Barber’s early Cello Sonata…making sense of its tangled emotional character, gripping the audience from the beginning with passion and poise. Her connection with the very fabric of the music confounded any attempt to focus individually either on her complete technical command of the instrument, or her forcefully convincing musician-ship. In Bruch’s Kol Nidrei she became a great storyteller of Jewish fable. Rosefield is still in her early 20s and has time on her side...and she is already developing into a mesmerising musical treasure.”
The Strad, January 2004 – Wigmore Hall Debut Solo Recital, October 2003

“A warm hearted cello sound is hard to beat, and when Gemma closed her eyes and launched into one long phrase after another her listeners were drawn out of themselves into another world.”
Dolgellau Music Club, December 2003

“…Bruch’s Kol Nidrei was a deeply poignant lament, with a coda exquisitely rendered in a half-tone sigh…while Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s surreal take on Rossini’s Figaro aria displayed wit and virtuosity in equal measure. With artists of this calibre, Monday nights at the Wigmore Hall will never be the same again."
London Evening Standard – Barry Millington, November 2003

“Gemma Rosefield’s sweet, vibrant projection of the cello solos was ravishing.“
Music and Vision, May 2003, Brahms Piano Quintet with Steven Kovacevich

“The soloist for the Elgar Cello Concerto was Gemma Rosefield…Her playing was astonishing: she brought out all the poignancy and passion of the work in a self-effacing performance that ranked with the best.”
The Bucks Herald, May 2003

“The future of music-making in Britain is pretty safe if Gemma Rosefield and Simon Lepper are anything to go by. The pair gave a dazzling recital…both are mature beyond their years…Ms Rosefield has a big cello sound which was stunning... her bow seemed hardly touch the strings… her playing was strong and refined.”
The Brighton Argus, May 2003

“…the cellist was a highly responsive partner coaxing some beautiful sounds from her instrument. This performance was full of life and rhythmic vitality interspersed with some tender moments…The whole concert demonstrated the considerable talents of this excellent duo and both should make names for themselves in the future”.
Bristol Evening Post, April 2003

“Gemma Rosefield showed that even at the tender age of twenty, she has developed into a truly remarkable chamber-music player. The security she lends to the performance, together with her innate musicality and technical excellence, means that anything she takes part in is bound to be enhanced by her presence."
Culture Kiosque, May 2002

“Excellent intonation and an exquisite style, borne out of unerring technique, brought an elegiac quality to the Adagio and polished playing to the whole of Haydn’s C major Cello Concerto from Gemma Rosefield. Her own Cadenzas added to a deeply felt and committed performance that captivated the audience.”
Musical Opinion, December 2001

“A beautiful and mature performance…Rosefield’s playing is distinguished by a sensitive quality of tone, coloured by a multitude of nuances.  Already endowed with a track record of successes, she must surely be destined to make her mark on the international circuit."
Culture Kiosque, February 2000

“Eighteen year old Gemma Rosefield, from London, gave a heartfelt reading of Bruch’s meditation on the Jewish chant ‘Kol Nidrei’.  Her eminent control, her fine contrast between light and shade and her broad, expressive brush strokes made this a deeply affecting performance…the sheer sophistication and depth of understanding she revealed were inspirational."
The Strad, October 1999