Choose artist...
Camille Thomas

The Chopin Project

Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: April 28, 2023

Press Release

Read press

Artist Details

Read bio


1 Chopin: Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 8: I. Allegro con fuoco 11:17  
2 II. Scherzo. Vivace 07:09  
3 III. Adagio sostenuto 05:52  
4 IV. Finale. Allegretto 05:28  
5 Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65: I. Allegro moderato 16:58  
6 II. Scherzo. Allegro con brio 04:57  
7 III. Largo 03:50  
8 IV. Finale. Allegro 06:43  
9 Introduction and Polonaise, Op. 3: I. Introduction. Largo 03:20  
10 II. Alla polacca. Allegro con spirito 06:01  
11 Franchomme, Chopin: Grand Duo concertant B. 70: II. Allegretto 01:54  
12 II. Allegretto 01:54  
13 III. Andate cantabile 05:15  
Show all tracks

It’s simple: Camille Thomas has not one memory without music. Nor any memories without a cello either, come to that matter. From the age of four, when she first asked if she might play an instrument, it was a cello, and only a cello, that she wanted to learn.  Right from that very moment, it seemed so obvious that she was destined to meet the cello. The young girl literally had a passion for this instrument and she was a quick learner, first joining the Choir of Radio France’s Maîtrise school, and then beginning her music studies. And, also obviously, her passion was confirmed, so much so that this young Franco-Belgian quickly felt a desire that was to be satisfied elsewhere. She left Paris for Berlin. “I could feel a need to leave my comfort zone. Russian art fascinated me: Dostoyevsky in literature; Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky notably for such vibrations in the sounds. So leaving to go to Berlin,” she remembers, “was a little like getting closer to them...”

That the young cellist was precociously gifted leaves no doubt. Her musical education was still unfinished when, at the age of fifteen, she gave her first concerts, won her first competitions, and played in the most prestigious venues of Berlin and elsewhere. And then came the release of a first album early in 2014. She would earn a nomination in the category “Instrumental soloist revelation” at the “Victoires de la Musique” awards in France, and then win the “New Talent of the Year” award from the European Broadcasting Union (the radio equivalent of the Eurovision Contest.) And her career continued with the release of a second album. Her international consecration would come in 2017. Deutsche Grammophon had not signed a cellist for twenty years (and never a female cellist!), and now the prestigious label had offered Camille Thomas an exclusive recording-contract. It was a childhood dream come true, and two albums were released, one of them the very well-received “Voice of Hope" in 2020. But just before that, fate would take another hand in the future of Camille Thomas…

She is a cello virtuoso, and had always greatly admired the work of Chopin. Even if the latter had composed essentially for piano, one of his late pieces of music had been the famous Sonata for Cello and Piano op. 65, and Camille had been working with that piece for many years. She knew it well enough to have learned that the Polish pianist and composer had dedicated opus 65 to his friend, the cellist Auguste Franchomme. So you can imagine how amazed Camille was when, one morning in 2019, she received an email from the Nippon Music Foundation saying they were willing to lend her the 1730 Feuermann Stradivarius, one of the most beautiful cellos in the world. And it was the instrument that had belonged to… Franchomme! As Camille says, “It was an incredible thing to happen, and naturally I had no alternative but to make a record devoted to Chopin... and to this sonata in particular. But I didn’t have anything more precise about that in my mind until lockdown came, and that would give us some time...”

That inevitable hiatus lasted for months, and Camille would put them to advantage by turning to social media, where she regularly posted videos of herself playing on rooftops in Paris. It would become her way of continuing to share the music that people were missing so much in the absence of live concerts. The images of Camille had a rare poetry to them, and they quickly spread worldwide. Given that most of our cultural life remained cloistered after lockdown came to an end, Camille had another idea, one that would also go round the world: “Seeing all those places for art that remained closed, just when we needed more than ever to feed our souls, to go out and find beautiful things... it all made me terribly sad. So I contacted all the museums in Paris and asked if I could come to play, and be filmed by Martin Mirabel’s cameras. There was the Louvre, the Grand Palais, the Arab World Institute, the Château de Versailles… We were given access to twelve absolutely incredible places, and they were all deserted! It was no doubt one of the most powerful experiences of my whole life.”

Go to artist details