Cellist Anja Lechner was born in Kassel, Germany, and studied with Heinrich Schiff and János Starker. Though her roots are classical – she speaks of coming from “a land of forgotten folksongs” where childhood melodies were supplied by Bach, Schubert, and Schumann – her musical interests span the globe and embrace a wide range of improvisational traditions. She has described the appeal of folk music as springing from its “abundance of songs, songs that tell stories”.

“One of the most gifted cellists in the world, often bridging the gap between contemporary and traditional, east and west, and arranged and improvisational music”

– Greg Cahill, Strings, USA 

Anja Lechner’s projects for ECM include a long-running artistic collaboration with Argentine bandoneonist-composer Dino Saluzzi (“El Encuentro”, “Navidad de los Andes”, “Ojos negros” and, with the Rosamunde Quartet, “Kultrum”); music by composer-philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff (“Chants, Hymns and Dances”), a recording made in partnership Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos which topped the US classical charts; and, with French pianist François Couturier, music by Komitas, Mompou, and Gurdjieff. From 1992 until it disbanded 18 years later, Lechner was the cellist of the Munich-based Rosamunde Quartet, whose acclaimed ECM New Series recordings include music by Mansurian, Schoeck, Larcher, Webern, Shostakovich, Burian, Haydn, and Yoffe.