Olivia Gay’s uses “the sharpness of her bow to makes the sound bloom,” (Diapason) creating a “warm and rich tone.” (Libération) both on her recordings and in performance. Performing pieces from Bach to Vasks, her repertoire spans the entirety of the spectrum of works for cello with a particular emphasis on the creation of new works with contemporary composers. With two recordings and a busy recital schedule, Olivia is one of France’s most prominent emerging cellists with engagements both in Europe and abroad including recent performances at Carnegie Hall, Salle Cortot (Paris), and the Salzburger Festspiele.
Olivia begins her 2020/21 season at the Festival de Taverny, playing a unique program with accordionist Basha Slavinska. Her next engagement is at the Festival « les heures musicales de Binic »*, where she performs as part of a trio with Armine Varvarian et Vadim Tchijik. In December, she performs at the Théâtre saint Bonnet de Bourges*, followed by a performance at La Schubertiade de Sceaux in the Spring with pianist Pierre – Kaloyann Atanassov. Concerts at the Festival Printemps musical de LRSY (with Tristan Pfaff, Blandine Staskiewicz and Juliette de Massy), and the Festival Eure Poétique (with Basha Slavinska), round out her season. In the summer, she is programmed to play at several festivals including the Festival des Tourelles, the Festival Sainte Victoire, Festival Chopin and the Festival Music’halles.
Olivia explored her passion for the interpretation of contemporary music, on her debut album, Horizon[s], which includes some of the first recordings of pieces by Philippe Hersant, Pēteris Vasks and Thierry Maillard. Télérama commented, “We love it…here is a debut album that doesn’t lack in audacity.” while Libération added, “ an ambitious and original program.” On her second album, Origine[s], Olivia explores another topic which captivates her imagination: the origins of cello repertoire. By placing repertoire by Schumann, Kodaly, Boulanger and Piazolla next to folk songs which inspired the repertoire, the listener is taken on a fascinating journey. France Musique declared, “This is how scholarly and popular resonate in a very successful program.”
She has collaborated in concert and in her recordings with many celebrated musicians including pianists Jean-François Zygel, Vanessa Wagner, Laure Favre Kahn, Celia Oneto Ben Said, Celimène Daudet, Simon Ghraichy, accordionist Basha Slavinska, the Van Kuijk quartet, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Orchestre des Jeunes du Centre, orchestre Pasdeloup, orchestre de chambre La Folia, Orchestre Jan Talich de Prague, and the Philharmonie Südwestfalen.
Olivia grew up near Mulhouse where she began studying the cello at an early age. She continued her studies in Strasbourg and Paris under the tutelage of Marc Coppey, Paul Meyer and Éric Le Sage and the Quatuor Ysaye, before traveling to Germany where she studied with J. G Queyras at the Musikhochschuke in Stuttgart and Freiburg and finished her studies in the performance class of Johannes Moser. She was the laureate of multiple competitions including the Leopold Bellan International Competition (1st prize), the A. Glazounov Competition (1st prize), and the Concours International de Cordes de Gerardmer (1st prize and audience prize), among others.
Olivia plays on a 1733 Montagnana cello, on long-term loan from the Beare’s International Violin Society.
* concerts rescheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic