Moray Welsh has had a very distinguished career as soloist and chamber music player, following the unique experience of studying for two years at the Moscow Conservatoire with the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. A native of Edinburgh, while still a student at York University the quality of his playing was recognised by Benjamin Britten, with whom he played the composer's Sonata for cello and piano. Britten followed this by arranging an introduction to Rostropovich, which led to an invitation to study in Moscow. Prior to that he had been a pupil of Eleanor Gregorson, and then of Joan Dickson.
In Britain he has played several times at the Proms, in all the major concert halls and with all the key symphony orchestras. He has toured abroad as a soloist with several British orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, the RPO, and BBC Scottish Symphony, and appeared as a soloist in Scandinavia, Europe, the USSR, the USA, and the Far East.
His musical interests are extremely wide, and his records range from a disc of Baroque Concertos, to several records of contemporary music, including the Hugh Wood Concerto, which was selected as a Record of the Year by the Sunday Times. A disc of Herbert Howells pieces with the LSO was selected as Editor's Choice in Gramophone Magazine, and his CD of cello music by Rachmaninov with Martin Roscoe was an Amazon record of the month.
Also very active in the chamber music field, Moray Welsh has been a guest with numerous groups, including the Amadeus Quartet and all the major British String Quartets. He has recorded Bach Trio Sonatas with James Galway and Kyung Wha Chung, and has several times performed the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano. Recent chamber music partners have included Andre Previn, Martin Roscoe, Peter Cropper, Yuri Bashmet, Midori, Leif Ove Andsnes, Jonathan Papp and Marcia Crayford.
Highlights in past seasons have included appearances as a soloist in the Schumann Concerto with the ECO under Sir Yehudi Menuhin, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in the Britten Cello Symphony, and in November 1991 with The Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, where his playing of Frank Bridge's "Oration" was praised for its " sense of passionate conviction and wonderful tone. "
He has been associated with a number of contemporary composers who have written works for cello, notably the Concerto by Hugh Wood, and he has premiered concertos by David Blake, Lennox Berkeley, Ronald Stevenson, Daniel Jones, George Nicholson, William Wordsworth and Alun Hoddinott, as well as championing works for cello and orchestra by Hans Gal, Sir Donald Tovey, Alexander Goehr, Joachim Raff, Havergal Brian, Herbert Howells and David Dorward.
For eighteen years Moray Welsh held a teaching post at the Royal Northern College of Music, and followed that in 1992 with an appointment as Principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra. With the LSO he has often been heard as soloist in Don Quixote, the Tippett Triple Concerto, Beethoven Triple Concerto, the Elgar Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto, both in this country and abroad, under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis and Andre Previn. In June 2007 he relinquished this position to diversify and concentrate on chamber music activities, and now divides his time between several chamber groups, recitals, and guesting as principal cellist with various symphony orchestras including the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic.
In addition to teaching privately in London, Moray Welsh also gives Master Classes internationally. Many of his ex-students now hold key positions in London Orchestras.
Apart from concert work, he has also recorded extensively for film sound tracks, and can be heard playing the Slow Movement of the Schubert Eb Trio in Stanley Kubrick's iconographic 1975 film of Barry Lyndon,
and one of the more unusual things he has done in recent years was an evening spent playing Piano Quintets with Condoleeza Rice at Buckingham Palace, at the invitation of the Queen and one of her corgis - or was it a dachshund....
He also took part in John Bridcut's BBC 4 Film " Rostropovich - The Genius of the Cello " ( first shown in Autumn 2011 ) contributing interviews and photographs from his private collection.
Alongside playing the cello, he is also a painter, trying to get to grips with oils, a gardener, and,
(fulfilling the Sufi name he was once given, Khalique), a fashioner of things material and immaterial.