Franco-Belgian cellist Camille Thomas broke through to international recognition with major prizes in the early and middle 2010s, winning a coveted place on the roster of the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Thomas was born in Paris in 1988 and began cello studies at age four. She made rapid progress and was enrolled at the National Conservatory in Paris by ten. At 16 she received a first prize award from the school's jury. After that her training was both French and German. Thomas took classes at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Aulnay-sous-bois, France, and then moved to Germany to continue her studies at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin and then the Hochschüle für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar. She has taken master classes with, among others, Steven Isserlis, who has invited her to perform at festivals with which he is connected. Thomas made an unusually large number of appearances with mid-level European orchestras, including Sinfonia Varsovia, the Baden Baden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lille National Orchestra, the Philharmonischen Staatsorchester Hamburg, the Orchestre de Picardie, the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Strings, the Young Belgian Strings, the Brittany Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège.
In 2013 Thomas released an album devoted to Russian works with Swiss pianist Beatrice Berrut, on the Fuga Libera label. The following year she won two major prizes: Newcomer of the Year at the French ceremony Les Victoires de la Musique (roughly analogous to the U.S. Grammy Awards), and First Prize at the European Broadcasting Union Competition. She appeared with tenor Rolando Villazón on the television program The Stars of Tomorrow in 2015, and her second album, Reminiscences, snared an Echo Klassik prize in Germany. These accomplishments put the young cellist on Deutsche Grammophon's radar, and she released her debut album on the label, a collection of works by Saint-Saëns and Offenbach, in 2017.