is extremely musical and living proof that it's always possible to pursue
the years, audiences have embraced Cecilia Zilliacus’ equally tantalizing and
warm interpretations of everything from the great classical and romantic works
to contemporary chamber music and collaborations across genres – from the most
prominent symphony orchestras, conductors and composers in Europe, to jazz
musicians, folk musicians, singer song-writers and many others.
with fellow musicians and communication with the audience are catchwords in the
projects she pursues or initiates.
to dwell in contexts where the point is that it’s me who’s bringing my
distinctiveness to the table – just as the other musicians are bringing theirs
– and that our work together becomes more than the sum of the individual
Zilliacus’ efforts to draw attention to lesser-known composers, both male and
female, have led to a very broad repertoire. She often greets her audiences
with compositions written specifically for her.
Cecilia Zilliacus recurring collaborators are internationally active musicians
like Lise Berthaud, Bengt Forsberg, Håvard Gimse, Philippe Graffin, Christian
Ihle Hadland, Svante Henryson, Paavali Jumppanen, Jakob Koranyi, Roland
Pöntinen, Kati Raitinen, Christoffer Sundqvist, Torleif Thedéen, Janne Thomsen,
Oliver Triendl, Lena Willemark and many others.
Zilliacus has made a number of acclaimed recordings, several of which have been
rewarded with Swedish “Grammis”. The most recent Grammis, 2019, was awarded for
her recording of Amanda Maier’s compositions together with Kati Raitinen and
Bengt Forsberg. Previous Grammis have rewarded recordings made together with
pianist Bengt-Åke Lundin and string trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen.
her superlative recording of Nielsen’s Violin Concerto last year (reviewed in
March 2016) Cecilia Zilliacus presents something totally different. Or is it?
Not entirely. The earthiness that made her Nielsen so idiomatic is ever-present
on this fascinating and unusual recording in which the language of Nordic folk
music provides the predominant aesthetic (...)
The Strad, 2017, commenting the
record, Dansa (Cecilia Zilliacus and Lena Willemark, BIS)
featuring pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, Svante Henryson and Sven-David
the conductors Cecilia Zilliacus has worked with are Anja Bihlmaier, Daniel
Blendulf, Andrey Boreyko, Baldur Brönniman, Olari Elts, Eivind Gullberg-Jensen,
Daniel Harding, Anna-Maria Helsing, Okko Kamu, Eri Klas, Susanna Mälkki,
Kristiina Poska, Joseph Swensen, Arvo Volmer and Benjamin Wallfisch.
a soloist, she has performed with most Swedish symphony orchestras as well as
with many Nordic and European orchestras, including BBC Wales, the National
Symphony Orchestra of Estonia, The Radio Symphony of the Netherlands and the
it should be, with a real soloist, this was indeed an artistic statement and
presentation, rather than merely a technical achievement."
Lars Hedblad in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet 30 May
2010, on Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, Royal Stockholm
Philharmonic, conductor Susanna Mälkki, Stockholm Concert Hall.
Zilliacus is the artistic director of Katrina Chamber Music on Åland as well as
of the Korsholm Music Festival in Finland. She’s also a driving force in the
Swedish string trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen which has been awarded a number of
prizes. The trio are artistic directors of the Stockholm Concert Hall’s chamber
music series, ”Äntligen måndag” (Monday, at last).
leadership is characterized by an open and spirited inducement to creative
processes. She has played a large role in the inflow of Nordic and European
composers to Stockholm and Finland.
the composers who have written expressly for Cecilia Zilliacus and for the
string trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen are B Tommy Andersson, Dai Fujikura, Mats
Larsson Gothe, Fredrik Hedelin, Madeleine Isaksson, Daniel Nelson, Mika Pelo,
Sven-David Sandström and Lotta Wennäkoski.
Zilliacus received her education in Stockholm and Cologne. She is a professor
at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and a member of the Royal Swedish
Academy of Music. Her violin of many years is a N. Gagliano from the Järnåker
career took off in 1997 with her victory in the Royal Swedish Academic of
Music’s prestigious competition the Soloist Prize as well as first prize in the
Nordic Soloist Biennial in Trondheim. Moreover, in 1997-1998, she was
designated Artist in Residence at Sweden’s public radio. In the season of
2001-2002 she was selected as Sweden’s representative in the
international Rising Star project – a collaboration between Stockholm
Concert Hall, Kölner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall New York, Concertgebouw
Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Wien and other leading concert houses across the globe.
Zilliacus credits her teachers with a large part in her success – from her
childhood teachers Maje Bergman and Ulla Magnusson in the municipal music
school to many important lessons with Sven Karpe. Other important contexts were
music camps in the Ostrobothnian region of Finland and master classes with
Milan Vitek, Sylvia Rosenberg and Franco Gulli among others, as wells as
studies with Harald Thedéen and Mihaela Martin at the music colleges of Stockholm
and Cologne respectively. She is now keen on closing the circle and passing her
knowledge on to her students, striving to give each and every student the tools
allowing them to develop on their own and bring their skills to new levels.