Sophie Rolland. Cellist, b Montreal 18 Jul 1961; premier prix cello (CMM) 1981, Diplôme d'études supérieures (Quebec Department of Education) 1981. She began her musical studies in piano at age five at the École Vincent-d'Indy. At tenor she opted for the cello and worked at the CMM with Walter Joachim. She pursued advanced studies 1981-2 with Lee Fiser at the University of Cincinnati, 1982-3 with Nathaniel Rosen in New York, and 1983-6 with William Pleeth in London. She was a winner of the Prix d'Europe and of the du Maurier Grand Prize in 1983 and of the Virginia P. Moore Prize in 1985. She made her recital debut in Montreal 30 Jan 1982 at Pollack Hall as part of the Debut series. That same year she played as soloist with the MSO and the following year she was heard with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and the OJQ. She made her European recital debut in 1985 at Wigmore Hall in London, where she settled in 1987.
Rolland has performed in China, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, England, Switzerland, the USA, and Canada. She has played under such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Jeffrey Tate, Jean Fournet, Franz-Paul Decker, Mark Wigglesworth, Hartmut Haenchen, and Peter Maag, among others. She has been heard regularly on CBC and BBC radio as well as on broadcasts from Radio France, NDR radio in Hamburg, and Hungarian radio. She has been a frequent guest at international chamber music festivals in Europe, such as the Kuhmo festival in Finland and the Dubrovnik festival in Yugoslavia. In Canada, she has appeared at the Festival of the Sound, the Festival international de Lanaudière, and the Orford Festival. Rolland has recorded André Prévost'sImprovisation II for solo cello (6-ACM 28 released in 1987); in the fall of 1991 she signed an exclusive recording contract with the British company A.S.V.
In 1989 Rolland founded the Duo Rolland-Hamelin with the pianist Marc-André Hamelin. In 1990-1 they performed the complete cello and piano works by Beethoven in Montreal (Pro Musica Society), in London (Wigmore Hall), in New York (Weill Recital Hall), and elsewhere.