Every two years, Kronberg Academy invites cello enthusiasts to the “World capital of the cello” (Mstislav Rostropovich). This year, the Cello Masterclasses & Concerts are set to take place again, from 23 to 30 September. Over 170 cello students from 40 countries will visit the town to take part in masterclasses with renowned cellists Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Jens Peter Maintz and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. Audiences will also be warmly welcomed to Kronberg, as the concerts, masterclasses, talks and instrument-making exhibition are all open to the public.
“The Cello Masterclasses & Concerts allow the intergenerational pact between young artists and established musicians to become tangible and alive. In the year of our 25th jubilee, enabling this cross-border, creative exchange between artists from across the globe is something that remains a key goal and motivating force,” explains Raimund Trenkler, Founder and President of Kronberg Academy, describing the idea behind this project. He adds: “We received nearly 180 applications, which shows that Kronberg is something of a place where cellists long to be. We are delighted about this, but therefore also see it as our responsibility to ensure that we offer an outstanding event.”
The evening programme comprises seven concerts, including four where the tutors will perform with former students. They begin on Sunday 23 September with “Cello a tre”, where cellists Jens Peter Maintz, Chiara Enderle and Andrei Ioniță will play works by François Couperin, Joseph Haydn, Krzysztof Penderecki and Ludwig van Beethoven. On Tuesday 25 September, cellists Ella van Poucke and Gary Hoffman, accompanied by David Selig at the piano, will feature works by Eugène Ysaÿe, Steven Smith, Béla Bartók, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Carlo Alfredo Piatti in their concert “Con molto sentimento”, a programme with lots of emotion.
A charity concert marking the 70th birthday of Boris Pergamenschikow (1948–2004) will be dedicated to the great cellist, and will be given by six of his former students, cello players Nicolas Altstaedt, Claudio Bohórquez, Danjulo Ishizaka, Amit Peled, Christian Poltéra and Julian Steckel. Together with pianist Martin Helmchen, they will perform works by Ernest Bloch, Ludwig van Beethoven, Antonín Dvořák, Robert Schumann and Henri Dutilleux on Wednesday 26 September.
Thursday 27 September will see Kronberg play host to the multi-award-winning music and comedy duo Carrington-Brown. For ten years, cellist and singer Rebecca Carrington and the actor and singer Colin Brown have shared a partnership both on and off the stage. The artists are therefore celebrating this milestone with their new programme, “10”, accompanied by Joe, Rebecca Carrington’s multifaceted, 18th century cello.
Cellists Frans Helmerson, Harriet Krijgh and Gabriel Schwabe invite the audience on a journey across Europe on Friday 28 September. Accompanied by Nicholas Rimmer on the piano, they will perform works by Gabriel Fauré, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benjamin Britten and Krzysztof Penderecki. A further concert featuring a tutor and young cellists will take place on Saturday 29 September: Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Janina Ruh and Camille Thomas (cello), together with Keiko Tamura (piano), will present works by Dmitri Shostakovich, Nadia Boulanger, Damian Scholl, Jacques Offenbach, Claude Debussy and David Popper.
At the Grand Finale on Sunday 30 September, a performance will be given by masterclass students selected by the tutors. After the closing concert, four sponsorship awards – the Landgrave of Hesse Prize the Boris Pergamenschikow Scholarship, the Frans Helmerson Award and the Kronberg Academy Scholarship – will be presented to outstanding young cellists.
Talks, workshops and a specialist exhibition of luthiers, bow makers and strings manufacturers all run in parallel to the Cello Masterclasses & Concerts. The “Open Workshop” of master luthier Ekkard Seidl from Markneukirchen and master bowmaker C Jochen Schmidt from Dresden will be on hand for any small repairs to instruments and bows. An exhibition of caricatures by artist and double bass player Clemens Falkenstein entitled Breitköpfe und andere Gezeichnete (Sketches of Breitkopf alumni and others) will be on show as part of the fringe programme.
The full line-up of events can be found at www.kronbergacademy.de. Advance ticket sales have already begun, and concert tickets ranging between 18 and 48 euros in price (concessions available for children and students) can be bought online or from the Kronberg Academy box office, Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 6 (Receptur), 61476 Kronberg im Taunus. Tickets for the public masterclasses can be obtained during the event at the rehearsal venues and cost 6 or 4 euros (concession) for a single session ticket, and 12 or 8 euros (concession) for a day ticket. A general pass granting entry to all concerts and masterclasses costs 240 euros (category 2) or 180 euros (category 3).