Isabel Gehweiler

The Juilliard-trained cellist Isabel Gehweiler first gained international attention at 19 as a prize-winner of the European Artistic Grant, one of Europe’s highest awards for young talent and previously bestowed upon artists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter and Sol Gabetta. Isabel received a classical training on the cello, gaining Master of Arts degrees with distinction as a soloist, in orchestral performance and in music pedagogy. However, since childhood she has specialised alongside in transdisciplinary projects such as Pop production (with Andreas Vollenweider, Gianna Nannini, Sina and various bands), theatre (including several productions with legendary Swiss director Christoph Marthaler) and as a film music recording artist (notably for ‘Cellule de Crise’ for Schweizer Radio Fernsehen 2021). Additionally, she is a regular performer in major ensembles and festivals for contemporary classical music, gives acclaimed performances incorporating improvisation and works in collaboration with dancers and light installations (for example with the Swiss collective ‘Projektil’).

In 2020, together with Andreas Vollenweider on the CD ‘Quiet Places (feat. Isabel Gehweiler)’, she placed at number 8 in the Swiss charts, no.45 in the German charts and no.5 in the Billboard charts in the Classical Crossover category. 

Through almost a thousand performances to date, Isabel has earned a reputation as a versatile and diverse musician of the highest calibre, appearing regularly in major festivals worldwide in Switzerland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, USA, Japan, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Slovenia and Austria. She is a recipient of the ‘Kunstpreis’ Artist Award by the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg (2011), the ‘Markgräfler Kulturpreis’ (2012) and the European Artistic Grant for emerging artists (2007). She has received scholarships from the Juilliard School of Music, the Rotary International Foundation, the DAAD, the arteMusica foundation, the Studienstiftung des Saarlandes, the Richard-Wagner-Society, Notenstein La Roche private bank, Vontobel private bank and the Covid-19 scholarship of the city of Zurich.

From 2016-2021, Isabel Gehweiler held the position of cello tutor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover and she is currently teaching as a tutor for improvisation and didactics at Zurich University of the Arts. She has also received training in the pioneering music physiology program in Zurich from Prof. Dr. Horst Hildebrand.

Her cello teachers were Katharina Gohl-Moser and Ivan Monighetti (Hochschule Basel, Precollege), Richard Aaron (The Juilliard School of Music, New York, Bachelor of Music), Gustav Rivinius (Hochschule für Musik Saarbrücken, orchestra diploma) and Thomas Grossenbacher (Zurich University of Arts, Master of Arts in Specialized Performance Soloist and Master of Arts in Music Pedagogy).

Isabel is also an active composer. From 2013-2017 she was ‘composer in residence’ for the SaltoCello Ensemble in Zurich and her compositions been performed in the US, Germany, Switzerland and Canada. In 2023 and 2024, several of her compositions are due to be given their premieres in Switzerland, Germany and Denmark. 

She plays a cello by Ersen Aycan (2009)