Smorgasbord of talent for Adelaide Cello Festival

The Rastrelli Cello Quartet.

The Rastrelli Cello Quartet.
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German cellist Nicolas Alstaedt.

German cellist Nicolas Alstaedt.
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Monday, 21 March 2011

Classical music lovers will be spoilt for choice next month when the University of Adelaide hosts the 2011 Adelaide International Cello Festival from 1-10 April.

A 'United Nations' line-up of the world's leading cellists will perform during the 10-day festival, including:

  • Lithuanian-born David Geringas, considered the 'elder statesman' of the international cello world, who has created a new era of cello playing in the world today;
  • Dutch master Pieter Wispelwey, who is well known to Australian audiences through his collaborations with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra;
  • Li-Wei, popular Singapore-based cello personality;
  • Renowned French performer Martine Bailly, former principal cellist with the Paris Opera;
  • German cellists Nicolas Altstaedt (Credit Suisse Young Artist Award for 2010) and Gabriel Schwabe (winner of the prestigious Pierre-Fournier Award);
  • Adelaide's own twin cellists Pei-Jee and Pei-Sian Ng, who are now London and Singapore-based.
It is the second International Cello Festival that the University has hosted in three years, following the outstanding success of the 2008 event.

Principal cellist of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Senior Lecturer in Cello at the University of Adelaide, Janis Laurs, has brought together the world-class musicians in a series of performances, master classes and lunchtime concerts at the Elder Conservatorium of Music and the Adelaide Town Hall.

In a major coup for the festival, the Russian-based Rastrelli Cello Quartet, renowned for their innovative non-traditional approach, will make their first visit to Australia to perform exclusively at the festival. "This unique ensemble creates a special magic," says Mr Laurs. "Their rich tones and soulful expression will delight audiences when they perform works from Tchaikovsky to Piazolla, Gershwin to Bach."

The public will also be able to witness the construction of a cello over the course of the 10 days, which will be played at the festival's conclusion. This instrument-making project will take place in the Radford Auditorium of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Apart from afternoon and evening concerts, Elder Hall lunchtime concert goers will have the rare opportunity to see some of the world-class performers in a week-long program between 1-8 April.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Adelaide audiences to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the cello and its exciting repertoire and witness some of the greatest musicians in the world performing and teaching right here at the University of Adelaide," says Mr Laurs.

For more details about the Cello Festival visit


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