Umberto Clerici

Umberto Clerici conducts Messiah.

Following from a career spanning more than 20 years as a gifted cello soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, Umberto Clerici is consolidating his multi-faceted and diverse skills as a conductor of increasing renown. Umberto began his cello studies with the Suzuki method at the age of five, later continuing with Mario Brunello, David Géringas and Julius Berger. Umberto received several international prizes including the Janigro Competition in Zagreb, the Rostropovich in Paris and, in 2011, the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow making him only the second Italian cellist ever being honoured in the history of the prize, after Mario Brunello.

As a cello soloist, Umberto debuted at the age of 17 performing Haydn’s D Major cello concerto in Japan, and has since appeared with an array of renowned orchestras internationally including the Philarmonia Wien, St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonic, Russian State Orchestra of Moscow, "I Pomeriggi Musicali” (Milan) and Zagreb Philharmonic. In 2003 he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival and in 2012 he performed Tchaikovsky's “Rococo variations” conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Umberto has performed on the stages of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musicverein, the great Shostakovich Hall of St Petersburg and Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome. After 4 years as the Principal cello of the Teatro Regio di Torino, Umberto was Principal Cello of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2014 to 2020.

While with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Umberto continued his solo appearances with orchestras throughout Australia including the SSO (notably an interdisciplinary project centred on Strauss' Don Quixote (2017) and the Brahms’ Double Concerto (2018)), the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Youth Orchestra. Umberto also enjoys his position as the Artistic Director of the Sydney Youth Orchestra Chamber Ensemble.

As a conductor, Umberto made his debut in 2018 conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House with the Dvořák New World Symphony. Since then, he has conducted the Izmir and Istanbul State Orchestras, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Orchestra d’Aosta, Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Swan Lake, Mahler 4), Queensland Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven 6, Stravinsky’s ‘The Firebird’) and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Schumann’s cello concerto, Mendelssohn 4 - ‘Italian Symphony’, Schumann’s violin concerto).

In 2021 Umberto's conducting fixtures currently include the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Umberto plays cellos by Matteo Goffriller (made in 1722, Venezia) and Carlo Antonio Testore (made in 1758, Milano).