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 Cello Takes Over || The Next Generation
The Cello Takes Over
'Everything sounds more beautiful...on a cello!’
This slogan might not be entirely true of course, but it is certain that much music which was originally composed for other instruments does sound just as beautiful on a cello, and in some cases maybe even more so. This year we’ll see a lot of music that was never intended for cello. There are no more borders, no more limits. The cello sings, is a violin, alto, clarinet, saxophone or electric guitar and plays music, well known and less well known, that wasn’t written for cello. The cello takes over!
Everything will be addressed: Purcell, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Bartòk, Bernstein, The Velvet Underground, The Beatles, Snarky Puppy and much more!
Truly new: six cello concertos!
In addition to adaptations of music that wasn’t composed for cello, naturally there is much real new music. This edition of the Cello Biënnale there will be a whopping six new cello concertos, of which two are written by jazz composers. Three Dutch composers, Rembrandt Frerichs, Kate Moore and Martijn Padding; and three overseas composers, Bill Laurance, Gerald Barry and Anders Hillborg, will enrich the cello repertoire with new concertos for cello. Martijn Paddings new cello concerto will during the Cello Biënnale become a highlight of a special focus on Martijn Padding as composer for cello. All his previous works for cello will also be performed. Furthermore he composes the mandatory assigned solo piece for the participants of the National Cello Concours 2020.
The Next Generation
Celebrities as Sol Gabetta, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Nicolas Altstaedt, Matt Haimovitz, Giovanni Sollima, Pieter Wispelwey and Julian Steckel will not be missing, but this edition is particularly about the generations after them: The Next Generation, the young international top talent that’s on the verge of breaking through professionally.
This world class talent is especially eager to go a particular global institution in order to ascertain new insight and skill: the Kronberg Academy. This top-notch German institution has been partner of the Cello Biënnale for 10 years. To underline this, many famous alumni and Kronberg student stars will attend the festival. The perfect chance to discover the cello stars of tomorrow!
powered by Sena Performers
CELLOFEST is the alternative sub-festival of the Cello Biënnale in the Bimhuis: every evening there will be two performances 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 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.” The musicians of the CELLOFEST 2020 are from the USA, Canada, South-Africa, Germany, Austria, Morocco, Turkey, Sweden, Finland, Iran, France, the UK, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.
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 lives in a 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.