Principal cellists announced

30th October 2016


Torun Stavseng and Sebastian Kuijk

We are thrilled to announce that following a two-year international search Aurora has appointed two new Principal Cellists. Torun Sæter Stavseng and Sébastien Van Kuijk will share Aurora’s Principal Cello chair as joint appointees, joining the orchestra’s core group of seventeen members.

Chief Executive John Harte writes: “Working with Torun and Sébastien over recent months has been nothing short of a delight.  Both are players of the very highest international calibre, and in common with the other Aurora principals they combine virtuosity across an exceptionally wide range of repertoire with a collaborative spirit, a huge appetite for adventure, and an irresistible sense of enjoyment in their music-making.  The Principal Cello vacancy attracted applications from all corners of the globe, and it is testament to Torun and Sébastien’s extraordinary abilities that they emerged as clear leaders from such a fiercely competitive field.  These are exciting times for Aurora, with a rapidly-expanding national and international touring programme and a host of exciting projects on the horizon – we are thrilled that Sébastien and Torun will be joining us on the journey, and can’t wait for audiences to experience their wonderful playing.”


Prize winner of the Prague Spring, Rostropovich and Casals competitions, Sébastien Van Kuijk has performed around the world in venues including the Rudolfinum in Prague, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Teatro Real de Madrid, Tokyo’s Bunka-Kaykan Hall, the Concertgebow in Amsterdam and London’s Wigmore Hall. He has worked with composers such as Nicolas Bacri, Henri Dutilleux, György Kurtág and Thierry Escaich and artists including Gary Hoffman, the Ebène Quartet, Augustin Dumay, Cédric Tiberghien, Renaud Capuçon and Daishin Hashimoto.  As a soloist, he has appeared with Orchestre lamoureux, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra.  Recordings include Mendelssohn’s works for cello and piano, and Nicolas Bacri’s Four Seasons concertos with François Leleux, Valeryi Sokolov, Adrien Lamarca and Besançon Orchestra.

Torun Sæter Stavseng is a Norwegian cellist with diverse musical interests active as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader and teacher.  In 2010 she was awarded the Swedish Royal Academy of Music honorary prize after her debut in Britten’s Cello Symphony with Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In the same year she was awarded the Young Swedish Soloist prize and offered the Principal Cellist position of Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. Torun has formed various ensembles with a broad span of repertoire including Duo TÖ with Swedish pianist Anna Christensson, Tre Voci alongside cellists/composers Gregor Riddell and Colin Alexander and TrioTaus with friends Liv Hilde Klokk (violin) and Ida Bryhn (viola). She is a member of Cikada Contemporary Ensemble and creative director of KRANTZ Chamber Music Series. As an orchestral leader she has worked with Royal Opera Stockholm, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. She is currently teaching cello at the Arctic Conservatory of Music Tromsø (Norway) and plays a cello by Matteo Goffriller (1725) on generous loan from Dextra Musica/Sparebankstiftelsen.