A World-Class Artist
During each of his performances, Thor Sigurdson brings audiences to the limits of their emotions with his relentless musical passion. He began appearing as solo cellist with orchestras when he was 15. Here's a partial list of cello concertos he has performed with orchestra thus far: Beethoven Triple Concerto, Bloch Schelomo, Boccherini-Gruetzmacher Bb Concerto, Dvorak Concerto, Haydn Concerto in C, Concerto in D, and Sinfonia Concertante, Lalo Concerto, Saint-Saens Concerto, Schumann Concerto and Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations.
In addition, he appears regularly as recitalist and chamber musician. Over his career, he has collaborated in chamber ensembles with renowned solo artists from across the globe, including:
~ pianists Frances Veri, Ilana Vered, Kevin Kenner, Steven Graff, Gerald Rizzer, and Susan Merdinger
~ violinists Michaela Paetsch, Mathias Tacke, Renée-Paule Gauthier, Dmitri Pogorelov, Olga Kaler, and Michael Jamanis.
~ violists David Bursack, Richard Fleischmann, and Rebecca Young
~ clarinetists Todd Levy, Todd Palmer, and Elizandro Garcia-Montoya
Lastly, Thor has been leading musicians from the podium ever since he began conducting studies at Interlochen back in his high school days. He believes that musicians from all backgrounds deserve the opportunity to play it their very highest level. To achieve this, he's dedicated to helping people listen to each other with more precision and more consistency - something that too often can be overlooked, and result in needlessly flawed performances and frustrated players. Focusing on basic orchestral techniques enables musicians to express even more of their passion and commitment to the music. There's always excitement when Thor is a part of this process.
Boccherini Concerto with Waukegan Symphony (10/22/17) with Encore: Piatti 7th Caprice (at 22:32)
“Cellist [Thor] Sigurdson should be singled out for his evocative, firm, poised playing.”
The New York Times, Will Crutchfield
“Western Springs resident [Thor] Sigurdson's rich and full cello gave us Bach's Suite No. 6 in D Major.”
The Chicago Tribune, Nancy Hirsch
"Sigurdson is a dynamic player. He carves out phrases passionately. His technique is more than respectable; his tone is juicy."
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Tim Smith
"Sigurdson interpretó Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, logrando una extraordinaria fusión con la música, que le permitió transmitir al público sus sentimientos y su notable sensibilidad musical."
(Sigurdson interpreted Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, achieving an extraordinary fusion with the music, which allowed him to convey to the public his emotions and his remarkable musical sensitivity.)
Viva Semanal (Miami), Bianca Ardizones
“My only reservation about the evening was that we didn’t hear enough of the playing of Mr. Sigurdson. His work here in the past has always had an extraordinary musicality to it, in his sound, his phrasing, and particularly in the elegant finesse of his most intricately detailed bow strokes, so that it has always been a delight to hear him play.”
Key West Citizen, Harry Schroeder
"Sigurdson’s skillful technique, lovely tone, and obvious musicality brought out the beauty of the melodic Haydn work."
Hinsdale Doings (Chicago), Elise Parsons
"Sigurdson’s opening cello solo was ravishing in its tonal beauty and musicality."
Coral Gables Gazette (Miami), Lawrence Budmen
“The lovely cello solo [in the Poet and Peasant Overture] was delivered with rich-toned authority by [Thor] Sigurdson.”
Music and Vision Online Magazine, Lawrence Budmen
"Listeners who’d lost the [Mendelssohn] octet's line of logic or feeling need only glance at cellist [Thor] Sigurdson for a moment and study his eloquent face and body language as he interacted mentally with the other musicians to put us right back on track."
The Miami News, John Eldridge
“A true highlight of the evening was cellist [Thor] Sigurdson. Stunning, accurate, and stylistically correct are only some appropriate adjectives to describe this beautiful performance.”
Daytona Beach News-Journal, Paul Langston
“Sigurdson’s performance of Martinů’s Second Cello Sonata was red-hot. He effortlessly pivoted from sweeping passion to skipping fleet-footedness, bringing out the first movement’s emotive shifts without sounding disjunct. The Largo that followed is superficially tranquil, yet Sigurdson’s interpretation bristled with a tension that never quite let up until the sigh-like final note, which Sigurdson sustained at length in a hyper-controlled, single bow stroke.”
Chicago Classical Review, Hannah Edgar
"[Thor] Sigurdson looked inspired and concentrated, as he always looks when playing his cello. Being a talented cellist noticeable for his sincere attitude to music and deep emotional response to each composition that he performs, Sigurdson added his own colors and passion to Mendelssohn's composition. His face said it all - he didn't exist in our universe while he was playing. He was in the beautiful world of music, and he was ruling in that world."
Daily Herald, Natalia Dagenhart
"Sigurdson's disciplined but evocative musicianship was a model of how to play the cello."
KeysNews.com, Harry Schroeder
Recent and Upcoming Performances
Sun, May 14, 3pm ~ International House at University of Chicago, Hyde Park, IL
Tues, May 16, 7:30pm ~ Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL
Martinu Cello Sonata #2, Shostakovich Piano Trio #2, with The Chicago Ensemble
Sun, Nov 19, 5pm ~ Zion Lutheran Church, Hinsdale, IL
Bach 4th Cello Suite, Schubert Arpeggione Sonata, Villa-Lobos Jet Whistle, more, with flutist Lisa Goethe-McGinn and guitarist
Jason Deroche, in support of the WSMC.
Wed, Dec 6, 7:30pm ~ Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, IL
Fri, Dec 8, 7pm ~ Family Piano Company, Waukegan, IL
Sat, Dec 9, 6:30 ~ Merit School of Music, Chicago, IL
Sun, Dec 10, 3pm ~ Northbrook Public Library Auditorium, Northbrook, IL
Sheridan Solisti Trio: Brahms B Major Piano Trio, Mendelssohn C Minor Piano Trio, Piazzola Four Seasons Trio, with pianist
Susan Merdinger and violinist Michaela Paetsch
Sunday, March 25, 2pm ~ Sigurdson House Concert, Ann Arbor, MI
Bach 5th Cello Suite, Improvisations with guitarist Yuni Shoshke-Rayzl.
Thu, June 6, 7pm ~ NCC Classics Series at Northside Community Church, Ann Arbor, MI
Bach Suites: #2 in D Minor, #4 in E-flat Major, and #5 in C Minor
Thu, July 11, 7pm NCC Classics Series at Northside Community Church, Ann Arbor, MI
Bach Suites: #1 in G Major, #3 in C Major, and #6 in D Major
Wed, July 31, 7pm ~ Music For Everyone Benefit Concert at First Reformed Church, Lancaster, PA
P Schickele Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano
L Beethoven Trio in B-flat Major (Archduke), Op 97