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Amanda Forsyth

Amanda Forsyth

principle cello

Acclaimed as both soloist and chamber musician, Juno Award-winning cellist Amanda Forsyth has earned praise from audiences and critics alike. Ms. Forsyth has appeared with orchestras throughout the world including the Chicago, Colorado, Grand Rapids, Montreal, Phoenix, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphonies, Barcelona, Gulbenkian, Calgary and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, Israel Sinfonietta, National Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Russian National Orchestra, London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and BBC Proms in London.  Ms. Forsyth became principal cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1998 where she is featured as a soloist frequently in Ottawa. She is also a founding member of the Zukerman ChamberPlayers.

Amanda Forsyth’s career has included collaborations with many eminent artists including Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Joseph Kalichstein, Jaime Laredo, Louis Lortie, Yo-Yo Ma, Garrick Ohlsson, Jon Kimura Parker, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree and Pinchas Zukerman.  She has worked with many esteemed conductors such as Lawrence Foster, Alan Gilbert, Bernhard Gueller, James Judd, Oliver Knussen, Roberto Minczuk, Mikhail Pletneyev and Bramwell Tovey, among others.

During the 2008-2009 season, Ms. Forsyth performed with the Colorado and Grand Rapids Symphonies and toured with the Dallas Symphony in both Texas and on its tour of Florida.  Overseas, she performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Radio de France and appeared with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Spain and made her debut at the Moscow Conservatory, with Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She returned to China for performances in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sichuan, Shenyang and Beijing.

With the Zukerman ChamberPlayers she visited Germany, Israel, Italy, Finland, Holland, New Zealand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, performed for the Petra Conference for Nobel Laureates in Jordan and embarked on a second South American tour. In addition, the ensemble continues its series at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Summer 2008 marked Amanda Forsyth's eighth season as a guest artist at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

In late 2009-2010 she has return engagements with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, New York and Florida and will appear with the English Chamber Orchestra in Azerbaijan and with the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra and Madison Symphony Orchestras.

Born in South Africa, Ms. Forsyth moved to Canada as a child and began playing cello at age three. She became a protégé of William Pleeth in London, and later studied with Harvey Shapiro at the Juilliard School. After two seasons with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra she became the youngest principal ever selected by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra – a post she occupied for six years.

Amanda Forsyth’s recordings appear on the Sony Classics, Naxos, Altara, Fanfare, Marquis, Pro Arte and CBC labels. With the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, she recorded the Juno Award-winning cello concerto Electra Rising by composer Malcolm Forsyth, the cellist’s father.  Soaring with Agamemnon – a collection of cello compositions by Gavin Bryars, Malcolm Forsyth and Arvo Part – was released by Marquis Classics. She recorded the Mozart Flute Quartets for CBC Records with NACO principal flute Joanna G’froerer, violinist Martin Beaver and violist Pinchas Zukerman which was named Opus Magazine’s “Best Canadian Chamber Music Recording of 2001.” In 2002, Amanda Forsyth was the subject of the Bravo! Canada television documentary Amanda Rising: The Amanda Forsyth Story. The program followed Ms. Forsyth’s life from her early years as a young South African immigrant to her later success on the international music scene.

Recently, Ms. Forsyth was featured prominently on Wynton Marsalis’ soundtrack for Ken Burns’ The War, a widely-acclaimed World War II documentary filmed for PBS.

Amanda Forsyth performs on a rare 1699 Italian cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore. 


"The warm resonating sound and effortless technique from Forsyth was astounding."

American Record Guide


"Every soloist-especially every young female cellist-has to contend with the long shadow of Jacqueline Du Pré, whose performances and recordings remain touchstones. The remarkable performance by Amanda Forsyth banished comparisons. Projecting a big, burnished timbre, the young Canadian showed herself in sympathy with Elgar's work."



July 2009