B i o g r a p h y
The German born cellist Robert Wheatley is a versatile musician. Having been brought up with classical music, he soon developed a passion for jazz, contemporary music and improvisation.
Robert is at heart a chamber musician. He is a member of numerous ensembles including the contemporary music ensemble S201, the Emmeline Quartet, Crimson Sunbird and Theater Filidonia, a collective of young artists consisting of musicians, dancers, actors and installation artists.
Performances have taken him all over the world. He has visited South Korea in 2018 and 2019 appearing at Youngnam Contemporary music festival and the Daegu Contemporary music festival, Nasz Festival in Poland, Beethovenfest Bonn in Germany, as well as many other national and international stages.
He values very much the relationship between composer and performer. Robert has enjoyed meeting and working with Erollynn Wallen, Günther Steinke, Bernd Bleffert, Peter Gahn, Gordon Kampe, Tamon Yashima, Matthew Brown as well as performing countless premieres by young composers. He formed a close musical partnership with film composer and guitarist Loy Wesselburg, with whom he regularly collaborates.
Born in 1996 in Langenfeld, to a German mother and English father, the family moved to Manchester in the UK in 1999. It was a musical household, his mother teaching piano and his father being a keen amateur trumpet player, so musical education began early. He started to learn the cello and the piano at age 6 at the Royal Northern College of Music’s Junior Strings Project, run by Penny Stirling and subsequently joined Chethams School of Music in Manchester aged 10. He learned cello with Barbara Grunthal and Gillian Thoday, and piano with Helen Krizos. It was during this time that he began exploring the realms of improvisation and contemporary music.
Robert continued his cello studies with Prof. Christoph Richter at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany where he delved further into contemporary music as well as becoming a member of the university’s Impr%rchester, a free improvisation band lead by Michael Niesemann, who had a big impact on his musical development.
He has recently graduated from the RNCM in Manchester having studied under Nicholas Trygstad, as well as receiving guidance in baroque cello from Susan Shepherd and in improvisation from Steve Berry and Iain Dixon. In September 2019 he was offered a place on the RNCM string quartet studio with his string quartet, the Emmeline Quartet.
He has received artistic mentorship from renowned musicians such as Xenia Jankovic, Ralph Kirschbaum, Andreas Reiner, The Elias Quartet, Barbara Maurer, Stephan Braun and Alban Gerhardt.
Teaching plays a very important role in his work and he is passionate about working with and inspiring the younger generation. He is currently employed by One Education and teaches a small group of cellists at Chorlton music centre. His early training in piano has given him the ability to work as an accompanist for his students. Since 2014 he has been a regular member of the teaching faculty at South Creake Strings, a summer music course run by Katie Wearing comprising of orchestral and ensemble playing.
Aside from playing the cello, he is a keen and skilled arranger. He has arranged and successfully had performed arrangements for cello ensemble and string quartet, ranging from film music to jazz and funk.
Robert wouldn’t be where he is today without his passion for Chinese martial arts, which he has been training intensely since he was 9 years old. Performances at national and international competitions as well as travelling to China for training add to his list of experience.