Camille ThomasCello Julien BrocalPiano

Camille Thomas

Gift Concert

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

Camille Thomas blends a brilliant command of the cello with a rare musicality in her passionate and compelling performances. “Camille Thomas has all the requisite technique and produces a sound I can only liken to drinking hot chocolate: delicious, warming, full of flavor” (Gramophone Magazine).


CHOPIN: Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4;
Prelude , Op. 28, No. 15 “Raindrop” (Arr. Franchomme);
Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 65;
Nocturne in B Minor, Op. posth. (Arr. Mischa Maisky);
Valse No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2 (Arr. Franchomme);
FRANCHOMME: Nocturne, Op. 15, No. 1;
Air Russe Varié, Op. 32, No. 2
DAVID POPPER: Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68


SAINT-SAËNS: The Swan from Carnival of the Animals

Artist Information

Performer Biographies

Optimism, vitality and joyful exuberance are elements of Camille Thomas’s rich and compelling personality. The young Franco-Belgian cellist, who signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon in April 2017, understands art’s power to bring people together, to unite individuals from diverse cultures, countries and backgrounds. Her charismatic artistry is driven by a passion for life and a desire to inspire others to open their hearts to the wonder and emotion of classical music. “I strongly believe that music has the power to enlarge the heart, to make you feel everything with more intensity,” she says. “Music gives hope for the beauty and greatness of the human soul.”

Voice of Hope, her second DG album, was set for international release on June 6, 2020. At its heart is the world premiere recording of Fazil Say’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra ‘Never Give Up’, the composer’s response to terrorist attacks on Paris and Istanbul, written expressly for Thomas, who gave its world premiere performance in Paris in April 2018. It is the first classical album recorded in partnership with UNICEF, reflecting the cellist’s desire to help others through her music.

Camille Thomas was born in 1988 in Paris. She began playing cello at the age of four and made such rapid progress that she was soon taking lessons with Marcel Bardon. She moved to Berlin in 2006 to study with Stephan Forck and Frans Helmerson at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik, and continued her training in the form of postgraduate lessons with Wolfgang-Emanuel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik in Weimar.

Camille is conquering the world stage at a staggering pace. She has already worked with such conductors as Paavo Järvi, Mikko Franck, Marc Soustrot, Darrell Ang, Kent Nagano, Stéphane Denève and with orchestras such as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Academia Santa Cecilia, the Sinfonia Varsovia, Staatsorchester Hamburg in the Elbphilharmonie, the Lucerne Festival Strings in the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Orchestre National de Bordeaux, and Brussels Philharmonic.

Camille Thomas plays the famous ‘Feuermann’ Stradivarius 1730 as a loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Named BBC Music Magazine's 2018 Revelation of the Year, Julien Brocal began learning the piano at the age of 5 and first performed at the Salle Cortot (Paris) at the age of 7. He was trained by Erik Berchot at the Conservatoire National de Région de Marseille and Rena Shereshevskaya at the École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot. He received support from the Zaleski Foundation, the Assophie association and the Safran Foundation during his training.

In January 2013, he was spotted by Maria João Pires during an advanced course at the Cité de la Musique (Paris). She subsequently invited him to take up an artistic residency at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium. She presented him in numerous concerts around the world, including at the Warsaw Philharmonic for the prestigious Chopin Festival, the Florence Opera in the Great Artists series, the Sheldonian Theatre (Oxford), the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium (Las Palmas) and the Philharmonie de Paris.

Following this introduction, he also gave numerous recitals around the world, including at Wigmore Hall (London), New York Town Hall, Piano Days de Flagey, Festival Classique au Vert, Piano aux Jacobins, Festival Chopin de Nohant and Tippet Rise Art Center in the USA (Montana), Cambridge Music Festival, Chopin Society (London) and NCPA (Beijing), filling in at short notice for renowned pianists Fazil Say and Nelson Goerner.

Highlights of the 2024–25 season include the autumn 2024 release of his third solo album, Here, dedicated to his compositions recorded at the Tippet Rise Art Center before the pandemic, a tour of the United States, and the release of a second album on Deutsche Grammophon with cellist Camille Thomas.

Julien is also a regular chamber music partner of cellists Lidy Blijdorp, Camille Thomas and violinist Rosanne Philippens, co-organizing with pianist Julien Libeer the Spanish chamber music festival “Pause Festival” in La Donaira, Andalusia.

Julien also works to promote music and the arts in unusual places, organizing workshops to introduce people to classical music, and educational projects for children in difficulty. He has contributed to the development of the Equinoxe children's choir, created by Maria João Pires, and is involved as vocal director in the Singing Molenbeek children's choir, which works in the schools of Molenbeek in Brussels.

Music is often identified as entertainment, but it is also a tool that Julien proposes as a vector of care and therapy. Together with Doctor of Emotional Psychology Ilios Kotsou, he is initiating regular Musical Breathing sessions, which will soon be distributed via an open-source mobile app.

His first album released in 2017 is dedicated to the repertoire of Frédéric Chopin with the 24 Preludes Op. 28 and Sonata No. 2, Op.35. The recording was unanimously acclaimed by the international press, with BBC Music Magazine calling it a "bewitching Chopin", awarding it 5 stars and presenting it as its best instrumental album of the month.

Artist Video

Camille Thomas Plays Ravel’s Deux mélodies hébraïques, 1. Kaddisch