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.
Festival 2020 - The Cello Takes Over!
'Everything sounds better... on a cello?'
Ofcourse this slogan is not true, but it is certain that a lot of music originally written for other instruments sounds just as good on a cello, and maybe even better. During the Cello Biennale 2020 we presented a lot of music which was not originally meant to be played on cello. The cello sang, was a violin, viola, clarinet, saxophone or electric guitar and played music that was never composed for cello. The Cello Took Over!
Eight days in a row, live performances were streamed from the Muziekgebouw and the BIMHUIS by the top of the Dutch cello world, also including the National Cello Competition. We were able to do this in collaboration with the Dutch Public Radio and TV, to guarantee the best quality possible. Curious? Almost all of the streams are still online (click here).
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CELLOFEST is the Biennale’s alternative ‘sub-festival’ held at Bimhuis. Every evening for eight days, you’ll be hearing two of the most intriguing young cellists from the international non-classical underground.
Of the original 16 concert's of CELLOFEST 2020, only 4 concerts could go on as planned, with cellists who were residing in the Netherlands.
As a consolation for canceling the Opening Concert of the Cello Biennale with the Metropole Orchestra, Annie Tångberg and Emile Visser gave a spectacular concert in the BIMHUIS with 'Metrocelli', the cello ensemble from the Metropole Orchestra.
Katharina Gross premiered her new soloproject Sehnsucht, the Amsterdam-based Moroccan cellist Yassir Bousselam played for the first time with his new trio and the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio collaborated with kamanchehplayer Kayhan Kalhor and starcellist Kian Soltani in a mindblowing performance.
What could make a greater impression on a young cello student than a lesson from one of their idols? At this year’s Cello Biennale, thirty-six cello students from all over the world will be coming to Amsterdam to receive instruction from twelve grandmasters, who’ll also be performing in several of our concerts.
Each masterclass will take two and a quarter hours in which three students each get a turn. Our regular accompanying pianists are Noriko Yabe and Daniël Kramer. The masterclasses will take place simultaneously at Bimhuis and in the Muziekgebouw’s Kleine Zaal.