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Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week – 29 May

Here’s your weekly dose of cello news.

Cello News

Deutsche Grammophon Signs First Female Composer-Artist Duo

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 29 May

Pianist, composer and singer Hania Rani and cellist Dobrawa Czocher.

Deutsche Grammophon has announced the signing of a record deal with its first female composer-artist duo: pianist, composer and singer Hania Rani and cellist Dobrawa Czocher.

Rani and Czocher have known each other since their student days at the Feliks Nowowiejski Music School in Gdańsk, Poland. They collaborated on a previous album for Deutsche Grammophon in 2015 and have each done individual projects with the label as well.

Their first project after this new signing will be an album of original works scheduled to be released later in 2021.

Click here to read the full story.

The Healing Power of the Cello

Moscow Conservatory-trained cellist Claire Oppert has been playing to patients who are struggling with physical pain for almost a decade. We featured her story here and here, but did not have video footage for you. Here is a video:

Cellist Zoë Keating and Composer Jeff Russo Created the Score for the HBO Film Oslo

Listen to the brilliant work of cellist Zoë Keating and Emmy Award-winning composer Jeff Russo in the trailer to Oslo, a new HBO film about the 1990s peace accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The final score, she said, is a combination of writing what they felt after reading the script and fitting exact moments into the finished film.

“This is a drama; it’s almost like a thriller in some ways,” according to Keating. “The music is another character that aids the scene, and it has to be exactly timed.”

Learn More about World-Renowned Cellist, Jan Vogler

DW Classical Music presents a wonderful portrait of cellist Jan Vogler, including several musical excerpts.

He spoke to us about his instrument, his passion for music, his life in New York, and trans-Atlantic commuting. In the interview he further touches upon his work outside of the music itself, including his position as festival director, and his new online concert platform, Dreamstage.

Read more in the YouTube video description.

Electric Cellist Iain S. Forrest, aka Eyeglasses,Featured on PBS

Cellist and medical student, Iain S. Forrest, is featured in the following episode of NYC-Arts in a segment about his performances as a Music Under New York (MUNY) artist. Watch from 19:00 to learn more about Iain and his moniker, “Eyeglasses.”

Irén Hangen Vázquez Won Poetry Out Loud State Championship and was a National Finalist

Cellos in the News: Top Stories of the Week - 29 May

Irén Hangen Vázquez

Cellist Irén Hangen Vázquez found her cello skills helpful in competing in the Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition. She is the 2021 Vermont state champion and one of nine national finalists.

Vázquez said that playing the cello and reciting poetry are related:

All of the English teachers like to have their students prepare poems around the POL season. And then we’re given the option to participate in the school competition if we would like to do so.

And so my freshman year, I had prepared my poem, and I was thinking that participating in the competition might help me with performance nerves that I was feeling with my cello performance. And so I thought that, you know, since those skills are very similar, my poetry recitation might help me be more comfortable on stage [and] with memorization. And I haven’t looked back since.

Here is Vázquez reciting “Often rebuked, yet always back returning” by Emily Brontë:

Click here to listen to and read an interview with her by Mitch Wertlieb and Matthew F. Smith on Vermont Public Radio.

Podcasts / Broadcasts

KTOO Juneau Afternoon – Red Carpet Concert with Cellist Zuill Bailey

Click here to listen to Part 1 of the broadcast with guest Zuill Bailey. Below is a video of part of the performance.

Zuill Bailey talks about parenting, playing the cell0, the joys of making great music accessible to all and his first year as artistic director for the Juneau Jazz and Classics festival.

Together with Classical: Classical Chats – Classical Cello in a Doctor’s Life with David Bittleman

Listen to Dr. David Bittleman talk about his experiences as a cellist. Be sure to scroll down the podcast page to see his suggested listening list.

Classical Chats - David Bittleman

Click on the image to hear the podcast.

David started playing the cello in elementary school and continued in a community orchestra through high school. He was a member of the Yale Symphony as he majored in chemistry at Yale College. He attended medical school at the University of Rochester and played in string quartets and other ensembles. He then moved around the country and played in various different orchestras and chamber groups. In 2013, he moved to San Diego with his wife and played with a community orchestra at SDSU. In 2015, he started playing with the UCSD orchestra.


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Nineteen Movements for Unaccompanied Cello by Scott Ordway, Performed by Arlen Hlusko

Released 27 May 2021.

Composer and cellist Scott Ordway was commissioned to write this work for unaccompanied cello. First performed in 2018, one can now hear the piece on this new recording by Arlen Hlusko released last week.

Read a review by Jay Lewis and another by Tony Frankel.

Get the album here:

Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Worlds Within Live

  • Release date: 2 July 2021
  • Available for pre-order: 4 June 2021

Here is his announcement:

Here is one track from the new album:

Cellist Harriet Krijgh Announces New Album: Silent Dreams

  • Release date: 1 October 2021
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Cellist: Harriet Krijgh
  • Pianist: Magda Amara
  • Songs for cello and piano by German, French and Russian composers

‘Of all my recordings this album probably comes closest to the person that I am. My music is the purest filter I possess. We must cherish this art. Our society cannot do without it. My hope is that music will continue to hold its value and future. I believe this. Its power can be compared to that of love, and likewise it will never disappear,’ Harriet says.

From an early age Harriet grew up loving songs. “My grandmother deeply loved art, and especially music. At bedtime she came and sat on the edge of my bed and sang those beautiful German songs as lullabies to me,” Harriet says. Her love for songs grew even stronger when at the age of thirteen she started studying the cello in Vienna and first read great German poets such as Goethe and Heine. “The songs awoke something in me that I could not express myself. But they brought me wisdom and comfort.”

“Cliffs” by Chris Roe from the Soundtrack of After Love

Collaborating with cellist Alice Purton on several tracks, composer, pianist, and string player, Chris Roe, wrote and performed the soundtrack for After Love, a film by BAFTA-nominated Director Aleem Khan. The soundtrack was released on 28 May 2021. Purton’s

cello playing is meant to evoke “the wind, waves, seagulls and distant ferry horns of Dover and Calais.”

“Scoring After Love was a dream project for me, and was intensely collaborative from start to finish,” said Roe. “Aleem and I worked closely with sound designer Joakim Sundström to blend the score and soundtrack together, and I was lucky enough to work with phenomenal cellist and improviser Alice Purton to explore how the cello could mimic the sounds of the sea and build the entire score just from one instrument.”

Here is one track from the new album:

Lung – New Album: Come Clean Right Now

Classically trained cellist and opera singer, Kate Wakefield, and drummer Daisy Caplan, make up the band Lung. They are due to release their third album, Come Clean Right Now on 20 August and have premiered a new video of their song, “Sun God.”

“The video for ‘Sun God’ was a collaborative experiment. Rachelle Caplan has been Lung’s visual artist and tour manager from the beginning. Since she has a background in video editing and had been branching out in photography, we figured why not try to make our own videos? I came up with the treatment and thought it would be fun to have different characters of sorts weave in and out of each other. Each represents these different sides of ourselves – the parts of us that just act on impulse, the parts of ourselves that reach for beauty, and those that go numb from feeling that life is mundane.

“The song is about a lot of things, but the main idea is that we are very much human – we are stuck inside ourselves with all of the good and all of the bad. It is about how sometimes when we are most weighed down with the world, we are hit with moments of monumental beauty and how the beautiful and the painful are all happening at once. Life is pretty intense and the pauses and quiet that this year provided forced me to experience a lot of highs and lows sometimes simultaneously.

Read more about Lung’s new album in the full article by Matt Matasci.


Andrea Bocelli and Hauser – Con Te Partirò

Andrea Bocelli and Hauser performing Con Te Partirò (Time To Say Goodbye) in Teatro Del Silenzio, Italy 2021

Miles Milou – Libre ( حر – свободе – חופשי – 自由 – Free )

Gnus Cello – Birdsong_02 – (Official Music Video)

Members of Poznań Philharmonic – Villa-Lobos: The Song of the Black Swan

  • Maria Liszkowska-Sikorska, cello
  • Paulina Maciaszczyk harp

Norwegian Chamber Orchestra – David Popper: Requiem for three cellos and piano

  • Torun Stavseng, cello
  • Audun Sandvik, cello
  • Ole Eirik Ree, cello
  • An unnamed pianist

Áron Petrus Bölöni – J.S. Bach Suite No. 5 Prelude

From the Top – Daily Joy: 16-Year-Old Performs Bach Prelude from Cello Suite No. 6

Cellist Sean Yu from Rye, NY

Yun-A Kim Cello Cover of One Fine Spring Day (Korean Film Music)

Emil and Dariel – Batman Beyond Main Theme (Metal Cello Cover)

Batman Beyond Full theme by Kristopher Carter. Metal cello cover by Emil & Dariel.

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