Strasbourg-born cellist Blaise Déjardin was appointed principal cello of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons in spring 2018, having joined the BSO’s cello section in 2008. He is the 14th principal cello in the history of the orchestra. In making the appointment, Maestro Nelsons praised Déjardin as “an absolute complete musician with an exquisite breadth of tone, beautiful musical phrasing, and inspired creativity and imagination, only matched by his supreme dedication to conveying the true spirit of the music.”
Déjardin made his highly acclaimed concerto debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons in spring 2022 in Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1. He has also performed as soloist with orchestra around the world with such ensembles as the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Cape Ann Symphony, and Melrose Symphony Orchestra. Recent solo performances featured concertos by Dvořák, Brahms, and Shostakovich.
A dedicated chamber musician, he spent two summers at Ravinia’s Steans Institute and is since 2018 a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Previously, Déjardin was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. He was also a founding member of A Far Cry and the Boston Cello Quartet. He has arranged numerous pieces for cello ensembles, earning five ASCAP Plus Awards and receiving commissions from Yo-Yo Ma, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and A Far Cry. In 2013 he launched Opus Cello, his online sheet music publishing company. He has served as artistic director of the Boston Cello Society since its creation in 2015.
Déjardin made his solo debut with orchestra at age 14 performing Haydn’s C major concerto at the Corum in Montpellier, France. Among his numerous awards and honors, he was awarded first prize at the Maurice Gendron International Cello Competition and was also the youngest prizewinner at the 6th Adam International Cello Competition in New Zealand. In 2007 he made his Paris recital debut at Le Petit Palais as a laureate of the program Déclic supporting emerging young soloists in France.
In 2019 Déjardin released the album MOZART New Cello Duos with cellist Kee-Hyun Kim, featuring his own transcriptions. He also appears on both Boston Cello Quartet albums Pictures and The Latin Project. His first album as principal cello of the BSO, Adès Conducts Adès, was released by Deutsche Gramophone in 2020.
Déjardin holds a first prize in Cello with highest honors from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris, as well as a master of music degree and a graduate diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston. His main teachers were Philippe Muller, Laurence Lesser, and Bernard Greenhouse. He serves on the cello faculty of the New England Conservatory and is regularly invited to give masterclasses in Europe, China, and North America. His instructional book Audition Day was published by Opus Cello in 2022.