Cellist Gabriel Martins (b. 1998) is the winner of the 2020 Concert Artists Guild (CAG) - Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) Grand Prize, 2020 Sphinx Competition, 2013 David Popper International Cello Competition, 2018 Orford Music Award, and 2020 Schadt String Competition. Additionally, he won second prize in the 2014 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, and the Czech Music Fund prize in the 2018 Prague Spring International Music Competition. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Carnegie Zankel Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. According to esteemed cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, he has "revealed heart, passion, intellect, and a finely-nuanced palette of colors in a compelling manner worthy of a seasoned artist."
Martins has appeared in concerto performances with the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, Fukuda Ensemble (São Paulo), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, USC Thornton Symphony, and has given solo recitals on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and IU Summer Music series. His upcoming debuts include Wigmore Hall in London, Merkin Hall in New York City, and the Allentown, Arkansas, Elgin, and Pacific Symphony Orchestras. His performances have aired on National Public Radio's From the Top, New York's WQXR, and Chicago's WFMT. From 2017-2019, he was a member of the critically-acclaimed SAKURA Cello Quintet. In 2019, Martins was invited to tour with Miriam Fried and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, giving concerts in Boston, Chicago, New York City and elsewhere. 2021 saw the debut of his first complete Bach Cycle, in collaboration with the Kaufman Center and the Alphadyne Foundation, where he played all Six Cello Suites back to back in New York City.
Born of American and Brazilian heritage, Martins grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. He began playing the cello when he was five, studying with Susan Moses at the Indiana University String Academy. He later served as a teaching assistant at the Academy's summer program. His festival appearances have included the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Verbier Festival Academy, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Orford Music Academy, Four Seasons Festival Winter Workshop, and Aspen Music Festival and School, where he won the Low Strings Concerto Competition. He received his B.M. as a Presidential Scholar at the USC Thornton School of Music with Ralph Kirshbaum. In his freshman year at USC, he won the school's concerto competition as well as its Bach competition. He received his M.M. with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory of Music. In the fall of 2021, he will begin post-graduate studies with Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy in Germany.
In addition to his commitment to the great masterpieces of the cello literature, Martins composes his own works and arranges others. He is also a passionate educator, teaching privately and giving a number of masterclasses around the United States. His students have gone on to achieve major success in competitions and performances around the world. Martins currently plays on a composite Francesco Ruggieri cello made in Cremona, c. 1690 and a François Nicolas Voirin bow made in Paris, c. 1880.