The next Cello Biennale will take place from 22-31 October 2020!
The Cello Biennale Amsterdam is a ten day long international music festival revolving around the cello. With over 100 events in every space of the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and the Bimhuis, the Cello Biennale Amsterdam forms a meeting place and source of inspiration for cellists and music lovers from all over the world.
The core of the festival programme is formed by classical music, but many connections are made with music from other cultures, pop, jazz, and impro.
The National Cello Competition is an important and exciting part of the festival. The competition inspires and stimulates young top talent in playing for an international jury and audience. The educational programme Hello Cello is aimed at introducing children and teenagers to the cello, teaching them to play together, and promoting classical music on elementary schools. The Hello Cello Orchestra consists of 160 children and teenagers playing together.
Outside the festival period, the Cello Biennale organizes various activities all across the country, such as concerts by laureates of the competition, the Hello Cello Days in four Dutch cities, and the Cello & Film festival in EYE. In the year preceding the festival, the Sneak Preview takes place in the Muziekgebouw, where a taste of the following festival programme is given.
The Power of Music, The Power of the Cello
Many believe that culture is the only hope left for the world. Through music we can express our deepest feelings and make connections that surpass geography, history, and religion. Music comforts, gives hope, and brings people together. Every musician knows this power deeply.
The Cello Biennale 2018 hosted some very special musicians who use the power of music to make the world a better place. World renowned viola da gamba player and early music specialist Jordi Savall is the perfect ambassador for this ideal. The Italian cello phenomenon Giovanni Sollima – without doubt the most energetic cellist of all times – shook up the festival like he did in Italy with his project 100CELLOS. Exciting new cello music from New York appeared by Bang on a Can, also known as the world famous composers’ trio Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, who never see their music as separate from what’s happening in society.
An additional programming of presentations, panels, and workshops shed light on other powers of music. Scientific research has shown that music has a significant effect on the development of the brain, it has a positive effect on Alzheimer and Parkinson’s patients, and works calmingly at medical operations. And why does virtually everyone love the cello? What is its secret, what is its power?
powered by Sena Performers
Cello Biennale en Bimhuis presented the very first CELLOFEST: 8 evenings, 16 shows, in the Bimhuis featuring the most interesting material from the worldwide cello-underground. Cello techs, loopstation artists, singer-songwriters, world music-, jazz- and pop musicians, improvisation artists, and video- and performance artists will appear at these events.
All over the world, the cello is being experimented with. Cello players create their own music, going beyond classical music and sometimes even the classical playing techniques. They experiment with loopstations and sound and video technique, and use their cello as a guitar, percussion instrument or as a projection screen. This brings about interesting, surprising, and sometimes beautiful results. For the first time, CELLOFEST is offered a stage to players from around the world who are playing the cello “off the track.” This first CELLOFEST presented the first set of players from the USA, Canada, South Africa, Iran, Germany, Austria, Sweden, France, England, Spain, and of course, the Netherlands.
For all CELLOFEST concerts, click here
The festival is not only a hotspot for international soloists, but also the place to be for international cello students. Students from Barcelona, Freiburg, Zurich, Geneva, Vienna, Paris and Beijing participated in the international masterclass program. The masterclasses are very popular. Eight out of the twelve masterclasses sold out. The masterclasses are always given by the international cellists who visit the festival as a soloist or member of the jury. Last year this resulted in masterclasses given by Jakob Koranyi, Colin Carr, Giovanni Sollima, Jordi Savall, Kian Soltani, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Nicolas Altstaedt, Michel Strauss, Chu Yi-Bing, Roel Dieltiens, Reinhard Latzko and Matt Haimovitz.
'De familie Decibel woont in een violoncel.' How did this family end up there, and what are they up to? Find out in the picture book created by Micha Wertheim and illustrator Cristina Garcia Martin, commissioned by the Cello Biennale: De familie Decibel.
The book is published by De Harmonie and can be purchased in higher end bookstores and of course at the festival's book market.
At the occasion of the anniversary of the fifth Cello Biennale, the poem collection Cello. Ten Poems, edited by Mirjam van Hengel, was published in 2014. Ten Dutch poets, including Remco Campert, Micha Hamel, and Anna Enquist, wrote poems inspired by the cello.
In 2016, a literary continuation followed and four writers were asked to write a short story, edited once more by Mirjam van Hengel. Uitgeverij Podium published the short story collection Four Variations for Cello, consisting of stories by Jan Brokken, Marente de Moor, Annelies Verbeke, and Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer.